July 24, 2013 |
A train operating on high-speed tracks in Spain derailed and crashed late Wednesday, and news reports put the death toll as high as 60. It was the second serious train derailment in Europe this month. The train was en route from Madrid to the northwestern coastal town of Ferrol when the accident occurred near the train station in Santiago de Compostela , the capital of the Galician region. Television images showed rail cars overturned and upended, and bodies arrayed beneath blankets near the tracks as rescue workers and paramedics worked to locate and save survivors.
July 19, 2013 |
GULLANE, Scotland - Could this British Open be the first golf major ever won by an old man who smokes a cigar and has yet to totally recover from a broken leg he got in a skiing accident? Or by someone who wears his hair in a ponytail, knows and partakes of the finest wines and, were he not a golfer, would be a pilot? Or someone who warms up on the driving range by twirling a golf club in his hand and shrugging his neck a couple of times, and who goes to a physical therapist each morning to get work on a tennis elbow he didn't get playing tennis?
July 15, 2013 |
Good news on Monday: “Woman gored at San Fermin: More women joining in the running of bulls.” OK, sure, that's not good news for the woman who was gored (she was listed in serious condition Monday; best of luck to the young Australian). But look at the bigger picture: Until 1974, women couldn't even participate in the famed running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Now, though, women are just as able as men to be trampled by a snot-slinging, large-horned, stomping beast of a bull.
July 14, 2013
If You Go GETTING THERE From LAX to Barcelona, the nearest major international airport to Girona (about 60 miles away), connecting service (change of planes) is offered on KLM, Air France, British Air, Air Canada, United, Lufthansa, Alitalita, Delta, American, US Airways and Swiss. Restricted round-trip fares range from $845 to $1,353, including taxes and fees. BEST TIME TO GO You can bike year-round in Catalonia. The peak seasons are April to June and September to October.
July 14, 2013 |
MONELLS, Spain - Almost every year since 1996, I have organized a week-long, early summer bicycle tour in a foreign country for a group of friends. So far we've biked in 10 countries from New Zealand to Italy, including three tours in France. I never considered Spain's Catalonia until I started researching our 2013 trip on BikeToursDirect.com, which represents scores of overseas bike-tour companies offering more than 400 tours on all six inhabited continents. That's where I found an excursion called Medieval Villages of Catalonia, operated by CreativeCatalonia.com, a company that former teachers Daniel Herzberg and Lucy Kinnison, now married and in their 40s, started in 2004 to provide customized biking and walking holidays.
July 12, 2013
If you go THE BEST WAY TO VIGO, SPAIN From LAX, Iberia offers nonstop service to Madrid, and American, Air France, United, KLM, Delta, British, Lufthansa, US Airways and Air Canada offer connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares range from $825 to $1,333, including taxes and fees. Iberia, Air France, American and British offer connecting service to Vigo's Peinador Airport. Restricted round-trip fares range from $825 to $1,308, including taxes and fees.
July 12, 2013 |
PONTEVEDRA, Spain - Galicia, the Atlantic-splashed left shoulder of Spain, grabbed my attention with photos of spectacular scenery and tempting cuisine. But truth be told, I wanted to see something more: the region's Sotomayor Castle, a medieval fortress that bears my surname. I wanted to brag a bit about having spent a night at "my castle. " Like many Americans, I'm delving into my family's genealogy, and although our roots are proudly anchored in Mexico, I found it fun to explore the origins of the Sotomayor name in Galicia on a six-day visit.
July 11, 2013 |
It's not every day you stumble upon the ruins of a 15th century hospital, but that's exactly what happened to Apple in Spain, where it is building a store. Apple's basement construction of a new store in Madrid has reportedly unearthed the outer wall of a hospital built to treat plague victims more than half a millennium ago, according to El Pais . The Buen Suceso hospital and a church of the same name were demolished in 1854 to make room for Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, but parts of both buildings remained.
July 9, 2013 |
New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan ran with the bulls -- or at least he ran with them part of the way before having to climb out of the way of one particularly speedy beast in Pamplona, Spain, this week. That's not to knock Ryan at all. It takes a lot of guts to be one of the thousands of thrill seekers to take part in the series of 900-yard dashes over two days as part of the annual San Fermin Festival. And Ryan was smart enough to know he wasn't going to match the hoofspeed of a charging bull headed in his direction.
July 5, 2013 |
TARRAGONA, Spain - Despite his nation's deep rift with the West, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can count on one comrade to argue his case behind enemy lines: a multilingual Westerner who is as much at home in Pyongyang's secretive halls of power as he is in Silicon Valley or his hometown on the Spanish Riviera. Alejandro Cao de Benos, a 38-year-old aristocrat from Spain's Catalonia region, is believed to be the highest-ranking foreigner working for the North Korean government.