Jerez, Spain – Horses and Sherry

Departing Seville, Spain with a population of 700,000 we boarded our Motor Coach and headed for Jerez de la Frontera with a population of 213,000 (estimates via the Internet). This was an interesting change as we travled through the smaller Spanish towns and saw more of the countryside.

Our first adventure in Jerez was a stop at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. We were greeted by a guide who explained the history and goals of the academy. This is a very exclusive school and gaining acceptance is quite competitive. Our group was taken inside a display area where horse carriages were stored and available for inspection.

One horse was tethered nearby for us to admire. Unfortunately, photography was restricted in many areas which proved disappointing. I was hoping to gather a couple of snapshots of horses being trained in the indoor stadium, but this was not permitted.

The guide begrudgingly allowed a few quick photographs of the tack room.

Pictures of the rein training outdoors were allowed.

The saving grace of this stop were the beautiful buildings and grounds. As we were waiting to walk toward the arena, an upward glance revealed an interesting and somewhat surprising sight.

Storks nest in many of the high towers, ridges and chimneys afforded them in and around town. As a matter of fact, we found that storks are an object of pride in Spain (and Portugal) and are encouraged to nest. At one time most of the birds migrated to Africa during the winter months and returned for the warmer seasons, but nowadays less and less of the birds migrate.

It appears that the availability of higher quality water in the wetlands combined with availability of “junk food” has become attractive to the White Storks that now become year-round residents.

You can find more information about the storks in Spain and Portugal HERE and HERE.

I must say that the exhibition hall and arena at the school was quite attractive.

The administration building and headquarters was equally impressive with its old-style elegance.

The area outside the administration building had a very picturesque fountain that added to the splendor of the estate.

After our stop at the Equestrian School, we walked to The House of Sandeman Jerez – producers of fine sherries and port. The traditional Andalusian garb includes a cape and large-brimmed black hat ala Zoro.

I wasn’t too interested in the distillation and preparation of sherry since red wines are about as much as I have on occasion. Our guide, however, did an excellent job of explaining the processes involved and the nuances between the various sherries produced. Of more interest to me was the history and building itself.

Yes indeed, there were barrels upon barrels of sherry being aged as we walked through the distillery (if that is the correct term).

I didn’t understand it all, but the markings on the outside of the the wooden barrels contained important production codes. Naturally, there was a “tasting” with chips and small sandwiches.

These stops did not make my top ten list although I found them somewhat interesting primarily for the few photographic opportunities available.

The Sandeman Sherry Bodega has an excellent website with amusing videos and information. If you enjoy sherry, I think you will appreciate this LINK – click on “OUR STORIES.”

Next stop…Gibraltar!


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©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 –

Seville, Spain – Around Town

We continued to be enchanted with elegance and beauty of the Alfonso XIII hotel. The heavy wood tones, mirrors and gilding of this somewhat intimate elevator made the ride up and down the few flights a royal experience.

In the first post, I presented a picture of the courtyard from the inside corridor of the hotel. Below is a photo of the exterior aspect of the distinguished courtyard.

One of our favorite “touristy-type” things to do when visiting cities that are new to us, is to walk up and down the streets to enjoy the architecture and local ambiance. Seville had plenty to offer.

We appreciate the beautiful colors of the buildings as well as the accompanying wrought iron and floral touches.

Often as we walked the avenues and pathways, we would stumble upon historic sites or markers. At the Plaza de Dona Elvira, we came across a museum dedicated to the painter Amalio Garcia Del Moral. He was born in Granada and began his artistic studies there. He was quite accomplished and was awarded a number of scholarships. He died in Seville in 1995, but shortly before his death he established a foundation to promote his artistic legacy and inspire continued exploration of the arts.

You can read more about Amalio Garcia del Moral

In any country, observers will find cultural artifacts of both past and present characteristics of the area.

The marker below denotes the place where José de Zorilla found the inspiration to write the Opera Don Juan Tenorio during his stay in Seville.

It was surprising to see a placard with the likeness of Washington Irving as we strolled along even though I was aware he wrote Tales of the Alhambra – (1832). Evidently, Irving visited Seville in 1828 as an accomplished author and became a diplomat. He stayed in the old Jewish quarter for a time near the area where this memorial is located. Irving was also interested in the history of Christopher Columbus and thus Seville was a good match for him. Who knew?

You can read more about Washington Iriving, his writings about Christopher Columbus and other activities in Spain HERE

The picture below is of an old water system dating back to the 11th or 12th century which contains pipes from the “Christian period.” These pipes supplied water to the city and the Alcazar.

Once again we found ourselves in the Murillo Gardens which is a lovely place to spend time enjoying the plants, water features and to people watch.

It is also near the street where horse drawn carriages can be hailed to take an open-air ride around town. Indeed we boarded such a carriage to travel to a special location in Seville.

The Parque Maria Luisa which is the site of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition.

The main attraction is the Plaza de España, a semi-circular brick building with ornate and colorful touches. The towers that anchor each end of the building, much like the Giralda, can be seen from many parts of town.

The main section of the pavilion is also quite impressive. The canal in front of the building has given it the moniker “Venice of Seville.”

Along the base of the building, there are 48 alcoves with colorful tile murals, benches and maps representing Spain’s provinces.

The fountain in the middle of the large, granite tiled plaza adds another focal point to the square. Note – At times the area can get crowded.

Read more about the Plaza de España HERE

While it appears that we have seen so much in Seville, there was quite a bit more to enjoy before it was time to say adiós!


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 –

Portugal – Lisbon’s Edward VII Park

During our brief explorations in Lisbon, we stayed in the southern part of the city very near the Parque Eduardo VII (Edward VII Park). This is the largest park in the city and serves as a hub for many activities. It is well situated to the north of the Praca do Marques de Pombal (square) and the major Avenida da Liberdade with its inviting promenades. The park was named after King Edward VII of the United Kingdom to commemorate his 1902 visit to Portugal.

A large flag of Portugal flies proudly at the northern end of the park which is a very good place to start a walk.

large Portuguese flag

Here is a brief orientation via the photograph below… Just to the right of the flag (east) is a fountain. On either side of the large grassy area are walkways lined with trees. The large grey-roofed building on the left (west) contains three greenhouses which, unfortunately, were closed when we hiked through the park. The park was being readied for a large book fair.

aerial view of the King Edward VII Park

This is a closeup of the founatain which two dogs couldn’t resist as we watched them frolick in the cool waters.

Fountain at the north of the Edward VII park

dogs playing in the King Edward VII fountain

This is one of the tree-lined pedestrian boulevards that run north/south through the park. Like nearly every metropolitan park, there were groups of people enjoying the surroundings for a variety of activities. A number of people found the shaded benches a pleasnt place to read or visit with friends.

tree-lined, cobblestone walk of the Edward VII park

There were a couple of people who were tempted to take a nap on the grassy fields punctuated with maze-like manicured shrubs.

people napping along the grassy strip of the Edward VII park

The statue of the Marques de Pombal was clearly visible from the northern vantage points.

distant view of Alfama district and the Marques de Pombal statue from the Edward VII park

In the photograph below, the hilly area to the left is the Alfama district with the Tejo River in the background. The treed area south of the statue is the Avenida da Liberdade.

Closer southern view from the Edward VII park

The beautiful building below resembles a church, but is actually the Carlos Lopes Event Pavilion located on the eastern boundary of the park nicely framed by the trees.

Carlos Lopes Sports Pavilion

As we left the park and headed farther south, I stopped to snap another photograph of the statue of the Marques de Pombal since other attempts were taken during less favorable conditions.

Marques de Pombal statue

We then began our stroll along the very cosmopolitan and attracitve Avenida da Liberdade

…To Be Continued.


Learn More:

Edward VII Park

Parque Eduardo VII

Marquis of Pombal Square


Continue reading about our trip to Portugal and Spain.


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 –

STATUS QUOte – Photography – 20170127

Photography Quote

Bird on Fountain at Casa de San Pedro Bed & Breakfast:, Hereford, Arizona - by J. Ross



“Photographers do this for a living, every single day — they point their lenses toward every single corner of our world and somehow make the mundane mesmerizing through their artistic eye. It’s all a matter of being aware of your surroundings and realizing that there are some really amazing and interesting things to look at, even if it may just be something so simple as a wall being covered up by paint.”
– Ward Jenkins –

** – Photograph Notes – **
Photograph Copyright by Jeff Ross – ALL Rights Reserved
A Finch on Fountain at Casa de San Pedro Bed & Breakfast, Hereford, Arizona

File Name: 2395-2.CR2
Capture time: 4:33:57 PM
Capture date: June 9, 2015
Exposure: 1/100 sec @ f/6.5
Focal Length: 215mm
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS originally published this post

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