At the edge of civilization: Torla and the Pyrenees

Rick Steves missed this one on his best of Europe list. The tiny Pyrenean-style stone village of Torla, Spain has quickly become one of my favorite places in the world.  Torla is tucked away from civilization in a glacial valley in the Spanish province of Aragón and was quite appropriately chosen as one of Europe's 10 Coziest Mountain Villages, managing to retain its... Continue Reading →

Food and wine adventures in Spain: The Mugaritz and Rioja experience

Summoned by the allure of the culinary experience of a lifetime, Mugaritz, named one of the world's 17 restaurants worth planning a trip around by Travel and Leisure, coaxed me back to San Sebastian's  enchanting beaches and tapas-laden streets for the second time in a year. We had tried to make a reservation at Mugaritz last September, but despite booking 5 months in advance there were no tables available. As... Continue Reading →

Barcelona, Spain

The peak travel holidays are over. The tourists have come for the summer and left by fall, but we’re still here. And we’re thankful for it: The streets are less crowded, the flights are less filled, the lines are shorter. That all makes a late fall visit ideal timing for Barcelona, and a welcome reprieve... Continue Reading →

Oviedo and Bilbao, Spain

The Asturias region of Spain may be the best kept secret in Europe. Famous for its cider, fresh local seafood, over 40 varieties of cheese (like Cabrales, Gamoneu, Afuega'l Pitu, Los Beyos) reflecting the finest flavors the countryside has to offer, gorgeous beaches and lush green parks and hills, we should all get on a plane right... Continue Reading →

San Sebastian, Spain

Chris had another one of his terrible conferences on a gorgeous beach somewhere in Europe this past week, a perk that may be enough to make just about anyone want to be a physical chemist. The one also happened to coincide with our friends’ wedding in Oviedo, only a few hours farther down the coast of Spain, so we found ourselves in Basque... Continue Reading →

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