CBBH Photo Challenge: Bridges

Roman Bridge in Cordoba, Spain

Today is the second anniversary for the CBBH Photo Challenge, beginning as it did on August 1st 2012.  Since then we’ve covered many subjects from Repetition and Reflection to Street Art and Simple Pleasures.  I’ve learned a lot about photography over the past two years and featured some wonderful blogs to link to.   But, in the true time-honoured fashion, all good things must come to an end, so this month’s CBBH Photography Challenge will be the final one.  

As a result, I’m going to indulge myself with one of my favourite subjects – BRIDGES.

According to Wikipedia a bridge is “a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.”  Of course there are many different designs, from the most natural – such as a log across a stream, through to the most complicated of modern bridge designs we currently see around the world.    Cantilever, arch or suspension and made of iron, brick or rope, there’s something about bridges I just can’t resist.  I love to look at them, be on them and take photos of them.

My first photograph this month (above) is of the Roman bridge spanning the Rio Guadalquivir in Córdoba.  To capture this shot, I walked over the bridge from the old part of the city, just as the light was fading.  The building you can see in the background is the Mezquita.

Cruising under Triana Bridge, Seville

Further along the Rio Guadalquivir as it flows towards the Atlantic Ocean is the capital of Andalucía, Sevilla (known to English-speakers as Seville).  This shot of Triana Bridge was taken from the river as I was enjoying an early evening cruise.  It’s a very pleasant way to spend part of an evening in Seville before making your way around the many tapas bars, for which the city is famous.

Bridge at Plaza España, Seville

My final photograph is of another bridge in Seville, but this time a much smaller one.  This ceramic tiled bridge spans the moat at Plaza España, a well-known local landmark and tourist attraction.  If you’ve got the desire and the muscle-power, you can hire a boat and row around the moat, though on the last occasion I was there, most visitors were laughing at a couple who hadn’t got the hang of rowing at all, and were entertaining the crowd by going round in circles just a few metres from where they rented the boat!  If you are visiting Seville, Plaza España features plaques for each province in Spain, all beautifully decorated in tiles and should be high on your list of places to see within the city.

So, will you join me one final time in this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge: Bridges?

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways. First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month. Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, conejo blanco means white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.

That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

Conejo Blanco BLOG HOP Photo Challenge


Coincidentally, my Featured Blog Links  for this month are both called Sue:

*** Living in Alberta, Canada and married to her best friend Dave for over thirty years, Sue Slaught hopes that her Travel Tales of Life will still entertain anyone who will listen when she is an old lady sitting in a nursing home.  Still many years away from that situation, Sue always has me spell-bound with her adventures around the world – whether it’s a tale of a ghost in the lobby of the Banff Springs Hotel, getting stuck in the rush hour of gondolas in Venice or being chased by dogs while cycling in Turkey.  

*** Sue Judd, on the other hand, has recently been re-defining who she is – transforming from scientist to very talented photographer and award-winning poet.  Sue’s Beauty in Decay series has truly made me look at flowers through new eyes.  I’m fortunate also that she seems to love peonies as much as I do!  But, how can you not fail to be moved by Sue’s poem Am I Still the Same?written in response to her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, expressing her view on how it affected her.

Please HOP over and say HELLO to both of these ladies, and tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the final CBBH Photo Challenge folks 🙂

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the monthtag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’, link back to this blog and, most importantly, don´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.


Game of Thrones, Series 5 WILL BE filmed in Andalucía, Spain

Alcazar, Seville, Spain


The eagerly anticipated announcement that Game of Thrones fans have been awaiting has been made.  The United States Ambassador to Spain, James Costos, has confirmed that Series 5 of the popular TV series will be filmed in Andalucía, Spain.

The Royal Alcázars in Seville (Reales Alcázares de Sevilla), which is the oldest Royal palace in Europe, has been chosen as the main venue for the filming of Series 5 of the Game of Thrones.  The Alcázar, originally a Moorish fortress, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and the palace is one of the best remaining examples of mudéjar architecture.  (Filming will take place from 14th – 22nd October 2014).

Mercury's Pool in the Alcazar gardens, Seville

Mercury’s Pool in the Alcazar gardens, Seville.


Gold ceiling of the Ambassador's Hall, Seville Alcazar

Gold ceiling of the Ambassador’s Hall, inside the Alcazar of Seville.

It has also been confirmed that filming will take place within the historic town of Osuna, in Seville province – the origins of which date back three thousand years.

Whilst the exact locations of all filming within Andalucía for the Water Gardens of Dorne is still being kept secret, it’s understood that the Alcázar of Córdoba, the Alhambra Palace in Granada and the Alcázar of Málaga have yet to be completely ruled out.

This is good news for Andalucía with a boost to the economy in the region of €80 million euros, creating around 900 permanent and 5000 temporary jobs, as well as a growth in tourism to the area.

EDITED TO ADD: The Spanish producer chosen by US TV network, HBO, for the filming of ‘Game of Thrones’, has just issued a casting call for Series 5.   Interested persons should register with the following email address:


At this stage, specific characteristics for actors have not been announced – but hey – GO FOR IT! 

Which location would be your choice?  Would you like to be an extra in Game of Thrones?


“Game of Thrones” scouting film locations in Andalucía for Season 5

SSSHHHH!  For all of you Game of Thrones (“Juego de Tronos” in Spanish) fans out there, I’ll let you into a little secret.

The Andalucía Film Commission has been showing representatives of the Game of Thrones’ production company around filming locations in Andalucía during the past two months, as they gear up for season 5.

And, I can reveal the three top locations in Andalucía to you, in no particular order:

Alcazaba, Cordoba, Spain

Alcazaba, Cordoba, Spain

Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (also known as the Alcázar of Córdoba)

Alcazaba, Seville, Spain

Alcazaba, Seville, Spain

El Real Alcázar de Sevilla (also known as the Alcázar of Seville)Within the Alhambra Palace, Granada

Islamic arches in the Alhambra Palace, Granada

La Alhambra de Granada (also known as The Alhambra Palace of Granada)

Do you watch Game of Thrones?  Which of these famous Spanish monuments do you think would be best suited to the TV show with the largest world-wide audience?


CBBH Photo Challenge: STREET ART

Street art in Malaga, Spain

In November, I featured some of the fabulous urban street art in the Soho district of Málaga – which proved to be a very popular post!

Since then, more murals have been commissioned by the city, including these two on the facade of the Colegio García Lorca.  The one the left is by British street artist D*Face whilst the other, (Peace and Liberty) comes from American contemporary street artist,  Shepard Fairey (aka OBEY).

There’s great street art in many cities around the world, so please share some with us in this month’s CBBH Photo Challenge: STREET ART.

Don’t forget that the CBBH Photo Challenge is a little different from some other challenges, in two ways.  First, it’s only once a month – giving you lots of time to consider your entry before the end of the calendar month.  Second, and most important, this is a BLOG HOP (after all, it is the CBBH – Conejo Blanco Blog Hop, meaning white rabbit in Spanish), so DON’T FORGET that in your post you need to add links to two blogs that you have visited and commented on during the past month.  That way, when we visit each other, we can HOP OVER to your links, connect with others and share a little blog love around!

Conejo Blanco BLOG HOP Photo Challenge

My Featured Blog Links for this month:

Casa Az provides an online scrapbook of daily events in the life the Queen of Tapas!  Canadian by birth, Shawn is a cancer survivor now living with her little friends in the Andalucían capital of Seville, where she conducts tapas tours for visitors to the city.

Caroline Angus Baker is a self-professed Duende-loving Kiwi novelist, commentator on modern and historical Spain and Spanish Civil War nerd, full of bullfighting praise.  She’s had a busy 2013, too!

I’d love to you pop along and say HOLA to both of these ladies.  Tell them Marianne sent you!

So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for January, everyone!

Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’,  link back to this blog and, most importantlydon´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look.  Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month´s exciting challenge!

For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.

I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite!  I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]

My Travel Reflections on 2013

Fireworks at midnight,  New Year's Eve, Sydney, Australia

JANUARY:  I kicked off the year by fulfilling one of my long awaited “Bucket List” dreams – to see the New Year fireworks over Sydney Harbour, Australia!   If you want to see what I saw, click HERE!

View from Paku Hill, Tairua, New Zealand

FEBRUARY:  By now, I had moved on to New Zealand.  This is the view from Mt. Paku, a twin-coned volcanic peak dominating the head of Tairua Harbour on the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula, New Zealand.   See what I saw by clicking HERE.

In my shoes - by the Yarra River, Melbourne

MARCH:  If you had been in my shoes, you would have been in Melbourne, Australia, sitting by the Yarra River.  I was there for the opening race of the Formula One motor-racing season – well I am a petrol-head!  Join me for a look around beautiful Melbourne, HERE.

Cómpeta and Mount Maroma, Spain

APRIL: Time to head home to the white, mountain village of Cómpeta, east of Málaga.  Behind the village you can see the highest mountain in this part of the world, Mount Maroma.  Let me show you around the village, HERE.

Seville Cathedral, Spain

MAY:  My birthday treat was a few days away in Sevillethe fourth largest city in Spain and capital of Andalucía.  Seville is well known for religious festivals, flamenco, world-class tapas and sherry drinking, but did you know that the tomb of Christopher Columbus is inside Seville Cathedral?  See the city for yourself, HERE.

Calle Alta, Frigiliana, Spain

JUNE: Whenever we have visitors come to stay, I always take them to the pretty, white village of Frigiliana.  If you watch THIS VIDEO of the village, you can practice your Spanish, too!

Renaissance town of Baeza, Jaen, Spain

JULY:  Situated in Jaen province, Andalucía and crammed full of Renaissance architecture, the towns of Baeza and Úbeda celebrated the 10th anniversary of being granted UNESCO World Heritage status.  The towns offered a special accommodation deal over a ten day period of only 10 euros per person each night.  How could I resist?!  To see what you missed, look HERE.

Malaga Feria, Spain

AUGUST:  This is the month of the Málaga Fair – and OH BOY – the city sure knows how to party!  In the above photo you can see the elegant pedestrianised shopping street of Calle Marqués de Larios transformed into a huge party venue, full of people dressed up, dancing and having fun!  Watch the video and join in the fun HERE.

Looking east from the Balcon de Europa, Nerja

SEPTEMBER:  A trip to the nearby town of Nerja happens every month, and it’s always a pleasure to stroll along the scenic promenade adorned with palm trees and exotic plants to the Balcón de Europa.  Indeed, in a few days I will be seeing in the New Year 2014 in this very place.  If you want to see more of Nerja, click HERE.

One of Lisbon's iconic trams

OCTOBER:  Porto, the vineyards of the Douro Valley and Lisbon, Portugal were my destinations in October.  Even though the weather was showery for most of the time, there were plenty of places to get out of the way and enjoy the cakes!  Here you can see one of the iconic Lisbon trams.   There’s an introduction to Portugal, HERE.

Nuremberg Christmas market, Germany

NOVEMBER:  At the end of the month, I began a 16 day trip to the German Christmas markets (another Bucket List dream) as well as to Prague in the Czech Republic and Budapest, Hungary.  First stop was Nuremberg for the Christkindlesmarkt, the oldest of the German Christmas markets.  If you’d like a stroll around the market with me, click HERE.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

DECEMBER:  My final destination of the year allowed me to cross off my third Bucket List item this year – Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.  As the train from Munich got nearer to Fussen, snow began to appear – making for a picture-perfect scene.  I couldn’t have wished for a more wonderful day!  I hope you will join me HERE to learn more about the structure on which Walt Disney modelled his fairy-tale castle.

Where have you been this year?  Where are you hoping to go in 2014? Do you have a “Bucket List”?