About UsArticle on Water Waves ResearchClimate Change

Homepage Hurricane KatrinaHurricane Resources

Photography & Trip Reviews Africa Morocco - TangierAsia ChinaBeijingGuilinIntroductionShanghaiVictoria - Katarina ShipXianYangtze River CruiseThailand - BangkokTurkey - IstanbulTurkish Ports & Greek IslesCanada Canadan RockiesCaribbean ArubaSt. LuciaSouthern Caribbean - CruiseEurope Austria - CruiseCzech RepublicPrague EnglandLondon Northern England FranceParisVersaillesBurgundyRhone Valley & AlpsProvenceFrench RivieraGermany - Austria Border to Nuremberg - CruiseGermany - Nuremberg to Trier - CruiseGibraltarGreeceGreek Isles - Turkish Ports - CruiseHungary - BudapestIreland Northern IrelandRepublic - West Republic - East ItalyIntroductionPompeiiRomeSicilySouthern ItalyPortugalSpainTurkey - IstanbulLatin America ArgentinaBuenos AiresBarilocheUshuaiaBrazil - AmazonChileSouth Islands CruiseSantiagoCosta RicaArenalCentral PacificCorcovadoCentral ValleyGuanacasteManuel AntonioMonteverdeOverviewSan Jose HotelsTortugueroGuatemalaMexicoCancun/RivieraCopper CanyonUSA Assorted SightsAlaska Inside Passage - CruiseFlorida - Disney/UniversalHawaiiNew OrleansNew York City


Science, Photography, and Trip Reviews


Spain & Portugal

with Gibraltar and Morocco

Castles, palaces, cathedrals, medieval cities, and museums

Majestic mountains, scenic beaches, and lovely gardens

Old church in Trujillo, Spain.


Rebecca at Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain.

Old church in Trujillo, Spain.


Rebecca at a charming outdoor cafe in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain.

Contact Us

Madrid, Spain

Our tour began in Madrid where the famous Prado Art Museum is found. We enjoyed seeing the large Royal Palace and the Botanical Gardens. As you walk around the streets you see many attractive fountains. The Plaza Mayor was interesting, and we enjoyed an outdoor cafe there as well as at many other places on our trip.

Medieval and ancient sites in Trujillo, Caceres, and Merida, Spain

From Madrid we headed toward Portugal in a car. Along the way we saw lots of olive trees, and this was the case wherever we drove in Spain and Portugal. In Trujillo, Spain we stopped for a short visit. On a hill are the remnants of an old castle that was built by the Moors on an older Roman site.

Driving further west we stopped at Caceres. This walled city was once a Roman colony, was later controlled by the Moors, and was finally taken over by the Christians. Medieval parts of the city still survive, and the visit there was one of the highlights of our tour. In the narrow streets that are characteristic of medieval cities we saw people dressed in period costumes. It was like an excursion back in time. We spent the night in a parador (hotel) that had been converted from a 16th century palace. It was all very romantic.

Cascais, Portugal and the Boca de Inferno

Dusk on the bay at Cascais, Portugal.


Beach at Guincho, Portugal.

The harbor in Cascais, Portugal at dusk.


Waves breaking on beach at Guincho, Portugal near Europe's most western point.

The next day we headed south of Caceres to Merida where we saw a Roman aqueduct. After the brief stop we headed west to Cascais, Portugal. Cascais is located west of Lisbon on the coast. It is a very charming place with a nice harbor, interesting shops, and quality restaurants. We enjoyed the food and wine everywhere we went, but we especially enjoyed the food and wine in Cascais. Nearby is the Boca de Inferno, where surging action from the breaking of water waves has cut a hole in the beautiful cliffs.

The old city in Lisbon, Portugal

One day we took the electric train from Cascais into Lisbon, and spent the better part of the afternoon doing a walking tour of the Alfama. This is the very old part of the city that was once occupied by the Moors. We saw lots of laundry hanging on the buildings along the very narrow cobblestone streets, adding color to this medieval setting.

Ruins of Moorish castle in Sintra, Portugal.


Pena Castle in Sintra, Portugal.

Ruins of Moorish Castle in Sintra, Portugal.


Pena Castle high on the hill above the Moorish castle pictured to the left.

A palace and castle in Sintra, Portugal

A little north of Cascais is Sintra. This very attractive village has fabulous ruins and palaces. It was very interesting climbing around the ruins of an old Moorish castle that was built about 700 AD. Looking high on the hill above the Moorish castle you have a magnificent view of the Pena Castle. This castle was occupied by Queen Amelia in the early 1900s. We took a tour of the castle, which has been left very much like it was during the days when the Queen lived there. It was impressive.

The attractive beaches of Guincho, Portugal

A little west of Cascais is Guincho. There the combination of the rugged coastline and the breaking waves create a beautiful view. Nearby is the western most point of the European continent.

The Roman ruins in Evora, Portugal

After several days in Portugal we headed to Seville, Spain. Along the way we made one last stop in Portugal at Evora. There we saw the ruins of an old Roman temple and a Roman aqueduct. The Roman temple had been built around 100 AD.

Cathedral in Seville, Spain


Museum of Folk and Customs in Seville, Spain.

Cathedral in Seville, Spain.


Museum of Folk Art and Customs in Seville, Spain.

Wonderful Seville, Spain

Of the places we visited Seville is one of our favorites. The major site there is the massive and majestic cathedral which was built in the 1400s. This is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and the third largest church in the world. The exterior of the church and especially the roof with its' many spires are very impressive. Great views of the roof as well as the city can be seen by climbing the tower, called the Giralda, which is attached to the cathedral. The Giralda, which is 322 feet (98 meters) high, was once part of a mosque that had been built in the 1100s. The inside of the cathedral is so magnificent that it can only be described in superlatives. Not far from the cathedral is the Alcazar, a Moorish like palace that was built for a Christian king. This is another great site. As you wander through the rooms with beautifully decorated walls, arches, and ceilings, and view the patios and gardens, you can only marvel at all the beauty. There are more delightful sites including the colorful and impressive Spanish Plaza. On one evening we enjoyed a great Italian meal in a restaurant that is located in an old Arab bath.

Rock of Gibraltar.


Straits of Gibraltar.

Rock of Gibraltar.


Straits of Gibraltar looking towards Africa in the background.

The impressive Rock

After Seville we headed south to the British colony of Gibraltar on the southern coast of Spain. Gibraltar is a rock, and it is about three miles (4.8 kilometers) long and a half mile (.8 kilometers) wide. We took the cable car to the top which is at an elevation of nearly 1400 feet (427 meters). From the top there is a great view of the Straits of Gibraltar as you look across to Africa. Near the top we saw a colony of the famous Barbary Apes. They were playful and seemed to enjoy posing for us. We also visited St. Michael's Cave which has numerous stalactites and stalagmites.

Barbary ape in Gibraltar.


Sunny with Camel in Morocco.

Barbary ape in Gibraltar.


Sunny (on right) with camel and friend in Morocco.

Fascinating Tangier, Morocco

For a totally different experience we took the fast boat from Algeciras, Spain to Tangier, Morocco in Africa. During our visit we saw camels and learned about Moroccan rugs and spices. There were many hand woven rugs with beautiful and intricate designs. We had an opportunity to sample Moroccan tea as well as have a very good Moroccan lunch. Local musicians performed while we ate. It was a very entertaining day.

Moroccan musicians.


Yacht basin in Marbella, Spain.

Moroccan musicians in Tangier.


Yacht basin in Marbella, Spain.

Rich Marbella, Spain on the Mediterranean Coast

On the Mediterranean Coast we stayed at the city of Marbella which is a favorite place for the wealthy and many notables. Our hotel was located near a fantastic yacht basin which is port for many expensive boats. Cars like Rolls Royce and Jaguars were common. Near the Yacht basin are many nice shops and restaurants as well as nice beaches.

Generalife garden in Granada, Spain.


Court of Lions in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

Generalife garden in Granada, Spain.


Court of the Lions in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

The magnificent Alhambra in Granada, Spain

From Marbella we went east and inland to Granada. This is one of the prime destinations for tourists in Spain. Everyone goes there to see the Alhambra, which is so beautiful, so magnificent, and so impressive that it is difficult to find sufficient words to describe it. The Royal Palace, built by the Moors in the 1300s as part of the Alhambra, contains many rooms separated by intricately crafted arches. The walls of the rooms are ornamented with interesting and beautiful designs. There are also magnificent patios, gardens, and an Arab bath. One of the most beautiful patios is the Court of the Lions where the sultan's harems used to play. A short walk from the Royal Palace is the Generalife which was used as a summer palace. Here you find many lovely gardens and courtyards.

Columns in mosque in Corodba, Spain.


Wood carvings in mosque in Cordoba, Spain.

A few of the 850 columns in the mosque in Cordoba, Spain.


Wood carvings in the mosque in Cordoba, Spain.

The incredible mosque in Cordoba, Spain

We headed northwest to Cordoba. Here you discover the great mosque which the Moors began building in the 700s. It was captured by King Ferdinand III for the Christians in 1236. The mosque is a very large building, and when you walk through the entrance you are immediately overwhelmed by the rows of attractive columns that seem to go on forever. The columns are separated by red-and-white striped arches. In addition, dim lighting emanates from hanging baskets, and the overall effect is quite wonderful. As you wander around the mosque you see beautifully crafted walls and ceilings as well as gorgeous statues. This is an incredible monument.

Charming Toledo, Spain

The next and last stop on our journey was Toledo, which is located just south of Madrid. While in Toledo we stayed in another nice parador which was built on the hill where El Greco painted his famous picture of Toledo. The view of the old city from the parador is stunning. The most prominent building you see is the Alcazar, which now contains a military museum. From there you can walk through the narrow streets to the cathedral, which has a beautiful interior. The shops in the old city are great places to buy Spanish mementos, and that is what we did before heading home.

View in the mosque in Cordoba, Spain.


Toledo, Spain.

One of many gorgeous views in the Mosque in Cordoba, Spain.


View of Toledo, Spain from the hill where El Greco painted his famous painting.

Contact Us/Request Info

Photo of camel with Sunny by Rebecca Breeding. Remaining photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell prints and images.