Pamplona’s Fiesta de San Fermín, the fiesta to end all fiestas, is underway again. Hear about all the insanity in my latest podcast.
My good friend Graham Roumieu, a very accomplished visual artist, made the above illustration for my podcast cover art. (And this one blinks every five seconds. Cool, eh?) I think it’s perfect. Funny but also elegantly simple and incisive. Thank you Graham!
In this first of a two-part series about jamón Iberico de bellota, I talk about the history of pigs and pork with author Mark Essig. If you are a fan of food and history, buy his book (see the affiliate link below). It’s impeccably researched and written in a plain, clear prose style, making it both enjoyable to read as well incredibly informative.
Get a taste of it by hitting play on the podcast link below. I hope you enjoy and thanks for listening!
My friend Guillermo and I are hiking the GR221, a trail that follows the northern coastline of Mallorca. At least we hope we are. We’re definitely hiking the coastline of Mallorca, but whether we’re on the GR221 is impossible to know. What is incontestably true is that we’re in a densely wooded valley and not where we want to be. It’s been a long day. We want to be in a town. Any town. Any town with a bar, I mean. One that serves cold beer and hot food and has a patio, preferably with a view of the Mediterranean since that’s why we came here, after all.
Instead of finding a town, however, we find yet another mountain. Worse, our mystery trail goes up it. We’re tired and sore and sweaty and so the thought of yet another uphill slog—there have been many—can only properly be described in language that I never use in public, but you get the idea. The only upside is that we must be fairly close to where the trail meets the road.
It takes us an hour to trudge up the mountainside. When we finally reach the top we can hear the traffic on the road–so close!–but there is one very big, very disconcerting problem. There’s a giant gate blocking our way, about twenty-feet-high and framed by two stone pillars equipped with a thicket of barbed wire. Continue Reading →
A month or so ago, I went to the walled city of Ávila with some friends and family for lunch. Of course, I took my camera with me, as I always do. I didn’t have a lot of time to shoot–hey, the famous (and delicious) steak from there is huge and takes a while to get through–but I still managed to get a few shots I like.
With my photo book of Spain finished, I’ve been wanting to take on a new project and I’m happy to announce that it’s already online: The Spanish Food podcast! Episode numero uno is ready to download on the iTunes store here. (If you don’t have iTunes, you can also listen on Soundcloud, or right here on my own site.)
It was an easy choice for me. I love podcasts and I love Spanish food. I’ve asked a lot of travellers to Spain how important food is to them and for most people it’s not just important, it’s everything–the central thing around which all other activities are planned!
And podcasts are such a great way to, well, consume content about Spain. You just download episodes to your phone or iPad and then you can listen whenever and wherever you want. Think of it as radio on demand. And there’s something special about listening to high-quality audio. It’s been called ‘the most visual medium’ for good reason. It transports you to another place, and the sounds and words excite the imagination like nothing else.
So please join me on this new adventure. If there’s anything in particular you would like to know more about, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!
As of this moment, there are only 38 hours left in my Kickstarter project, a photo book on Spain, and the funding has reached 121 percent of my goal. Success! Thank you to all who have participated, and for those of you who haven’t yet, there’s still time! As a way of saying thank you to all the backers of the photo book, in addition to your name going in the credits as a photo editor, for a limited time I’ll be offering prints at super low prices. This is a one-time thing and these images–240 of them–will never be offered at this price again. Exclusive to backers of my photo book. Only a few hours left, so don’t miss out. They also make great gifts for the Spain lover in your life.
Thank you all once again. We did it together!
Un saludo muy cariñoso desde España,
I’m excited to announce that after eight years of working towards a photo book of Spain, the day has finally arrived! Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding website, launched in Spain today, and I wanted to be up there on the very first day. And I made it, so I’m very happy. But of course, it still has to be funded!
If you have a few moments, please take a look at the Kickstarter website to read about the project.
But first I want to say thank you for reading this blog and leaving comments. Getting your feedback and knowing that you enjoy seeing my images has been a huge source of inspiration for me. Also, seeing which images get more feedback than others has been very interesting. And it also gave me an idea. I’m not sure this has been done before, but I am going to let all my Kickstarter supporters choose which images go in the book. So instead of Spain by Mike Randolph, it’s more like a book by all of us, because everyone together will edit the book. I think it’s a pretty cool idea, I hope you do, too. It’s a small way I can thank you, and I hope you’ll participate. Check out the project for more details.
I also included many of your comments on this blog in the Kickstarter campaign. Sorry I couldn’t include you all! But a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has followed me over the last three years.
Wish me luck! And muchísimas gracias!
Last week a reader wrote to tell me that my photo of the horseback rider on the cold, wet mountain trail in Asturias was beautiful, she loved it (thank you again P), but that she wanted to see images of spring because it’s been a hard winter in Toronto, Canada, where she lives.
Since I know what that’s like, I get it. This is urgent. Continue Reading →
When my parents came to visit in Madrid last year, they brought with them some of my old photos, a box of a few hundred slides I’d set aside years ago. It was a random sampling of the uncounted thousands of Kodachromes and Fujichromes I have sitting in the not-so-archival environment of my parent’s damp basement in Toronto.
There are a lot of things I prefer about digital photography over film, but film has digital beat when it comes to looking at old photographs. You get to hold the actual original thing, for starters, and you can see it without having to plug anything in. Slides can’t be perfectly copied in a keystroke, they’re one of a kind. And for that same reason, you see them only once in a while. They get put into deep storage and get forgotten about until they surface sometime later, like artefacts from the past.
There was one slide in particular that caught me eye. Continue Reading →
If you’re the kind of stork that wants to see rather than be seen, this wildlife observation tower in the province of Caceres, southwest of Madrid, is a great place to build a nest. Photo ©Mike Randolph
On a cold sleety day, a horseback rider makes his way along a trail in one of the wildest corners of Spain, the region of Continue Reading →
High above the village of Benasque, in the province of Huesca, a hiker walks along the frontier between Spain and France. A little to the right lies the Continue Reading →
A shepherd leads his flock of goats along a dusty road near the village of Bermejo, in Andalusia, Spain. Just on the other side of the hill, Continue Reading →
The famous Ribera del Duero wine-making region, on the high plains of Castilla y León, has an alluring, if austere, beauty. The Duero River winds through some of the most empty, and historic, landscapes in Spain. For three centuries, the Duero was a kind of no-man’s land, a dangerous frontier between Christian and Muslim Spain. Click the Continue link to see all seven images, and as always, click any image to see a larger view. Photos ©Mike Randolph Continue Reading →