Where in Spain?

The above image was shot in Spain. Do you know where? Be the first person to name that city and win a free 8×10 print of any image in my Spanish portfolio. Leave your guess in the comments section below (one guess per person, please). Photo ©Mike Randolph

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On the Moove

Shiny and clean after a rain shower, cows take a short cut through a village in Cantabria, northern Spain. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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Stone Cold

The Medieval town of Aínsa is a gateway to the high Pyrenees mountains in the province of Huesca, Aragón. It’s days like this one, when the cold mountain winds bring a fresh blanket of snow, that make you wonder what it was like to live in a stone house in the mountains before the age of electrical heating. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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Scenery on Big Screens

Crossing the mountains that divide León from Asturias, Renfe’s high-speed Alvia train slows to a crawl to negotiate tight turns. Having a bit more time to enjoy the views didn’t seem to upset anyone. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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Amapolaaaa…

In May, wild poppies bloom across Spain, dotting fields with blooms so vibrantly red they almost seem to glow. It’s common for poppies to grow in large clusters of plants, but this field of them near Albacete is, by far, the biggest I have ever seen. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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Fiesta Special: 50% Off Jeans

Very few fiestas in Spain take place without vaquillas. (The English translation is heifer–young female cow.) But these are not your average cows. They belong to the same stock as fighting bulls and they are fast, agile, and charge after anything that gets close to them. They’re also extremely strong and they know the game–the vaquillas are not harmed, and they travel from fiesta to fiesta to reprise their roles. The idea is to get close to them without getting caught by them. Their horns are taped to Continue Reading →

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Ancient Mariners

At low tide on a foggy afternoon in Cadiz, a fisherman walks past stranded boats on the beach of La Caleta. Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe, was founded in 1104 B.C. by Phoenician sailors. It sits on the end of a bulbous peninsula of land that juts out into the Atlantic to form one of the best Continue Reading →

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Sentries of Tradition

On a cold November day, sleet that wants to be snow falls on a pasture high in the mountains of Somiedo, Asturias. This wild corner of Spain, still home to wolves and brown bears, has for centuries been used by Continue Reading →

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Medieval, but with Street Lamps

Midnight in Sos del Rey Católico and the streets are deserted. This stone village in northern Aragón was built on a rocky hill in the 10th century as a Christian fortress to repel attacks from Moorish armies. The etymology of the word Sos is unclear. Some say it was the name of the hill on which the village was built, others say it’s of Basque origin and refers to the Celtic tribes that once inhabited this part of northern Spain. Five centuries later, in 1452, Continue Reading →

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Field of Dreams

A lonely football pitch on the high plains of Old Castile near Palencia. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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Facing History

Segovia’s Roman aqueduct is at its most spectacular downhill from here, where in the center of town it reaches a height of 30 meters and throngs of tourists gather to admire it. But in the quiet, little-visited southern part of town, the aqueduct, built at the end of the 1st century, passes through humble barrios where locals live with it right outside their front doors. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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The King of León

Every Wednesday and Saturday in the city of León, vendors set up stalls in the Plaza Mayor to sell meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and even socks and underwear. In the past, prices weren’t always fixed and haggling was the norm. Today however, you might have a harder time shaving off a few euros from your bill, but many abuelos still insist on negotiating the price of their cheese.

León’s most famous delicacy is  Continue Reading →

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Not in Cairo Anymore

Seville’s Plaza de España was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair, and is regarded as a shining example of Neo-Mudéjar architecture. While not strictly Islamic, it was good enough for legendary film director David Lean to use as a stand-in for the officer’s club in Cairo in his epic motion picture Continue Reading →

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Seaside Salad

The rocky, rugged coastline near Llanes, in Asturias, is home to samphire, an edible wild plant. “Half-way down, Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!” wrote Shakespeare in The Tragedy of King Lear, referring to the dangerous business of collecting it. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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Mudéjar Reflections

Seville’s Alcázar is Europe’s oldest royal palace still in use. Originally built by Almohad Berber-Muslims, the fortress was expanded by later Christian kings and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hidden underneath the palace are the Baths of Lady María de Padilla, above, which were used to collect rainwater. Photo ©Mike Randolph

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