Here are a few photos from Valladolid that did not fit in with the other stories.
How could you not enjoy being here when you walk out your front door to see this?
The Universidad de Derecho (Law University) administration and classroom building
just across the street. You immediately know, this isn't Kansas.
As I made my morning walk in the City Centre, I quickly figured out
that an open door was an invitation to come in.
So frequently I did...
Was also frequently surprised at what lie inside.
On a narrow sidestreet was the open entrance to Valldolid's first luxury shopping mall,
Pasaje Gutierrez. It was built in 1886 with iron trusses, iron roof, gas lights, and glass skylights.
Maybe a dozen shops in here. Most today serve as a cafe, bar, art gallery or travel office.
Then there are these small pleasant surprises scattered throughout the old city centre.
Fountains and bronze sculptures commemorating... what?
This one is called "The Traveler".
As I rounded the corner of the old cathedral, this combination of centuries-old stonework,
a clear blue sky, the modern construction crane, the faded colors... grabbed my eye.
Nothing in particular to look at, no focal point, yet the scene was somehow attractive.
Maybe it was the open gate inviting me in...
My favorite street in all of Valladolid for photography
Calle Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
Behind the high wall on the right is the Cloistered Convent de Santa Catalina.
This Spanish chef kept turning away as I tried to take his photo. This was the best I could do.
Even returned a few days later to try again, only to find out he had quit.
Why was the chef's photo so important?
While in Valladolid, I was working on a photo project called "Barbudos de España",
(Bearded Men of Spain).
By the end of our stay, I had photographed over 180 different men with beards. Not the straggly unshaven look, but beards that are carefully groomed, shaped, that reflect the man's personality.
Once back home, I'll cull and edit the images, selecting the top dozen or so for an exhibition next Fall.
This is an example of one of the photos from the project that did not make the first cut,
though I love the baby's expression.
A common Spanish street scene, a grandparent pushing a baby carriage,
an elderly gentleman with a cane, two young university students.
We saw quite a few baby carriages and walking canes while in Spain.
What does that tell you?
After numerous attempts over the years, nuns and novice nuns simply refuse to be photographed.
Luck came my way as I captured a rare portrait that is impossible to plan. I happened to have my camera waist-high, watching children play, when a novice nun stepped out of the convent to sweep the stoop.
A slight turn with a quick click, resulted in this photo.
Then as I raised the camera for a better shot, she spun around,
fleeing back inside, locking the door as she went.
That evening, as we were relaxing in a sidewalk cafe, enjoying the cool night air,
observed these three men drinking in the cafe across the way.
The scene reminded me of the 1942 painting "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper.
Though sitting together, each is lost in thought.
Hopper stated his painting was a commentary on the loneliness of a large city.
We are now back in Texas, enjoying the holidays with family and friends.
A month in Spain was a memorable, relaxing experience
for both Amparo and I, where we celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary.
Until the next adventure,
ride safe, ride far, and keep clicking.