48 hours at The Marqués de Riscal hotel and winery

What is the point of travel? Why do we feel a need to visit new places? Is there some tenable experience or insight to behold in these unknown locations? Some writers, like Paul Theroux, have managed to eke a career out of travel. I’m a big fan of Theroux’s travel books; he somehow engages with the people he meets and gets under the skin of the places he visits and drills down into what is worth knowing about a place. But I can’t help but wonder; if you’ve been around the world several times like Theroux; wouldn’t you end up forgetting where you’ve been. Wouldn’t places begin to blur together. I can’t say that I’ve ever really engaged deeply with a place during a visit, but maybe I’m spoiled; I don’t pay for anything; my wife makes all the decisions and all I have to do is just go with the flow.

Continue reading “48 hours at The Marqués de Riscal hotel and winery”

Burning Out on the Slopes of Masella

La Masella is a Catalan ski “resort” that sits above a Pyrenees town called Alp which is ironic considering the last few years I have visited Masella, always in February; a month which should be the peak of the snow season, but yet again the mountains are green, the sun is hot, and the slopes are slush peppered with pebbles and striped with brown dirt in the middle of white artificially produced snow – not very alpine, or maybe Masella is ahead of the curve when it comes to climate change and lack of snowfall. So, if what we’ve been told during the last few years about climate change is true, then Masella should be closed for business before long; and closing will mean big loses for a lot of people.

Continue reading “Burning Out on the Slopes of Masella”

Book review: Possession by A.S. Byatt

If you are ever asked to elaborate on the significance of postmodernism, don’t answer; think hard about what the concept means, consider what it signifies other than a school of thinking or any simple-minded theory about its rise to prominence after modernism. But before we can discuss what postmodernism is, or why A.S. Byatt’s Booker prize winning novel is considered by many academics as a standout example of the genre; let us consider what is literature and what isn’t.

Continue reading “Book review: Possession by A.S. Byatt”

Working with Madrid’s ski “clubs”

It’s understandable why many people are unaware of the skiing possibilities in Spain. Most tourists consider Spain a summer holiday destination and imagine beaches, frosty beers with tapas, and hot weather; but there are more than a handful of excellent ski spots sprinkled around the country with the two biggest and most popular being Sierra Nevada down south in Granada and Baqueira-Beret up north in the Catalan Pyrenees, straddling the border with France.

Continue reading “Working with Madrid’s ski “clubs””

Beginner Adults and Learning to Ski

If there were a key to accelerated learning, a token that I could toss into a wishing well; I would cast my wish on being reborn as an expert skier. There are few things that have brought me as much joy as skiing; it’s the same sensation I got when I fell in love with the bike and went full-on psycho for suffering through big rides, but road biking doesn’t require the same level of technique as skiing, and being a great rider means strength but attaining a high level of fitness is not that much fun and besides that; snow allows us to take some safe risks you can’t afford on the hard road.

Continue reading “Beginner Adults and Learning to Ski”

What I learned with Coursera Premium subscription.

Learning has never been easier. Remember back in the day when we had to have everything on paper, take notes in binders, stare at chalk boards and slide projectors, submit to class attendance and assigned seating. Those days (at least for adult learners) are well in the past. Technology has obviously changed everything, but for me one of the biggest impacts the internet has had on my life is in the realm of education. I’ve earned a bachelor’s and a master’s through distance education and am now on my 2nd undergraduate with plans to do another master’s soon. The advent of technology has made information less essential, and while it is within reach of everyone at any moment, learning and knowing is not the same as having information.

Continue reading “What I learned with Coursera Premium subscription.”

Club Med Sensations, ESF, and Val Thorens

The snow was falling so heavily on the drive up to Val Thorens it looked like traffic on those little mountain roads would slow to a crawl and we might arrive late to Club Med, but we lucked out; we had a great driver and made good time, enough to spare and rent skis, unpack and relax a bit before dinner. The sight of deep snow filled me with joyful anticipation. It has been two years since the last time I saw some serious snowfall. Two ski seasons ago was so hot I remember spending a week in Candanchu and wore little more than a t-shirt and normal undies beneath my ski clothes.

Continue reading “Club Med Sensations, ESF, and Val Thorens”

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑