By Brad Sham – 6/12/17
Dallas Cowboys Broadcaster Brad Sham hosted the KLUV World Tour to Spain & Portugal this Spring
Kudos to Sharon Carr Travel and Trafalgar! Our mid March excursion to Spain and Portugal was breathtaking and fast paced. 49 veteran travelers fell in love, with our tour guide Rachel and with two countries.
Even the Madrid airport welcomed us artistically, and our fantastic driver Paolo was waiting at the coach.
En route to the hotel on Thursday on our arrival, we stopped for a look at the Plaza del Toro, the main bullfighting ring in Madrid.
Our hotel was just blocks from one of the most famous football (soccer) stadia in Europe, the Bernabeau, home to international power Real Madrid. (The pro shop was open.)
Our tour of Madrid Friday morning began with a look at the monument to the Spanish language, with statues of Cervantes and his great literary hero Don Quixote.
While some of the group toured beautiful Segovia, others got a look at the Plaza Major, and Madrid’s city hall. The population of greater Madrid is six million, 3 ½ million in the inner part of the city.
Saturday took us to Toledo (yes, a sister city of Toledo, Ohio). Past the gate of the Old City, magnificent reminders of the ancient cooperation and peaceful coexistence of three major Abrahamic faiths.
The Alcantara Bridge was constructed by the Moors 2000 years ago.
We saw St Thomas’ Cathedral, with the world famous El Greco painting, plus one of the world’s oldest synagogues.
We visited the iron works. Softened steel is shaped into souvenir swords, and inlayed with 25 k gold in jewelry (yes, the gift shop was open).
Day 4: Sunday breakfast in Grenada! Who doesn’t love a Spanish breakfast?!
One of the highlights of the trip: the Alhambra Palace, built by and for 13th century Moorish sultans. Breathtaking looks at the palace exterior
The entrance hall with intact ceramic tiles, stucco walls, hand carved wood moulding and ceilings
The outdoor reflecting pool outside the Sultan’s private meeting room; private chambers, and the pool court in the Alhambra Gardens.
From Grenada, on to spectacular Seville. First, the Albaserrada, a ranch where bulls are raised for the bull ring. Our group got a demonstration in the test ring, a matador demonstration, a look at an authentic matador’s costume (I believe we would call it game-worn), and the best sangria EVER at our dinner.
We finished our stay in Seville Monday at the incomparable Plaza Espana, where a number of motion pictures have been shot. These ceramic railings are incredible.
Then a stop at the Cathedral of Seville, including the tomb of Columbus (yes, THAT Columbus)
On to Lisbon! Greeted by the Tower of Lisbon, which was designed to guard the port from pirates…
A monument to the great Portuguese explorers…including Vasco de Gama, who took Portuguese culture all the way to Japan…
The Jeronimus Monastery, which includes the tomb of Vasco de Gama
The magnificent resorts just down the coast from Lisbon include the Casino Esteril, and the wonderful beach at Cascais
On the way home…the Presidential Palace in Sintas (the Great Hall and the Chapel among highlights)
the Royal Palace Garden…
And at the end of an AMAZING week, toasting Rachel, Trafalgar and Sharon Carr Travel!