“Time is a sort of river of passing events,
and strong is its current.”
Our seventh year of blogging has zoomed by, and we’re scratching our heads and wondering where it went. This is the time of year when we go down the hall to the Gallivance Statistical Analysis Department and get the report on our most popular posts for the year. As usual, some we predicted and others were a total surprise. So here goes: your top 10 favorite posts for 2017.
1. Something’s Cookin’ in this Old Spanish Kitchen. It’s always nice when one of our favorite posts turns up on the top of our readers’ list as well. In addition to being an excellent example of tile art, this beautiful and unique kitchen is a humorous and illuminating look into 18th Century life in Spain.
2. Stumbling into a Roman Villa: In Plovdiv, Truth is Stranger than Fiction. Plovdiv, Bulgaria was a delightful surprise and its Roman ruins were a big part of its appeal. But unlike many typical ruins, the Trakart Museum and its well preserved villa provided a glimpse into the personal life of well-to-do Romans.
3. Chasing Summer: Off the Beaten Path in America. When summer arrives, our first thoughts turn to camping. We love to wander across the USA, stopping wherever our whims take us, discovering the weird and wonderful.
4. Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca: A Stunning Symbol of Religious Cooperation. Breathtaking isn’t a word that we use lightly, but in the case of this Toledo synagogue it was the perfect description. The simple colors and harmonious elements of this building had a visceral appeal that, while difficult to explain, was undeniable.
5. Refugees Welcome: A Most Uncommon Phrase. Our time in Serbia, witnessing firsthand the real human impact of the refugee crisis, is a painful, heartbreaking memory that will never leave us. And while the global news media has moved on to other issues, Madrid’s attitude and their project to help the refugees was a reminder that, at least in some corners of the world, there are kind people willing to help others in need.
6.The Aqueduct of Segovia: An Amazing Legacy of Ancient Rome. A visit to just about any Roman ruin shows that their engineers built structures to last. But the astounding Segovia Aqueduct proves that, even after 2000 years, the Romans built things to function.
7. A Bevy of Brides Across Europe. Much to our delight, we always seem to stumble into weddings as we explore new cities. This year was no different. From Ireland and Belgium to Spain and Bulgaria, there’s nothing more smile-inducing than a bride.
8. Ajvar: Making the Real McCoy Right at Home. We fell in love with ajvar on our trip to the Balkans. Since we became so enamored with the delicious spread, we vowed to make our own when we got home. Here’s how it went! (Hint: it’s a labor of love.)
9. Salamanca Cathedral and a New Kind of Easter Egg. If you’re a tech wizard you know all about “easter eggs” – those hidden gems programmers hide in their software. It turns out that the stone carvers of Salamanca’s cathedral have the same wry sense of humor. This fun post exposes their secrets.
10. If You Build It Will They Come?: The Guggenheim and the Bilbao Effect. Although it was a late-in-the-year entry, this post focusing on an architectural marvel roared onto our list of top posts. It appeals to lovers of Spain, admirers of modern art and architecture, and those curious about the cultural and political ramifications of this bold venture.
So another great year comes to a close at Gallivance, and it’s put a few more miles and a few more posts on the meter. We cherish and never take for granted our ability to travel, nor the readers that have faithfully followed along all these years. It’s been a great ride, and we wish you all a fun, healthy 2018, and most of all – Happy Trails.
Happy New Year,
James & Terri
And if you’re still curious, here are your past faves.