Category Archives: Travel

#bestcityintheworld (Barcelona…or San Sebastián?)

This series was featured on Hipstography.com!  Read about it here…

First stop on this Spain journey is Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia. It is an important cultural center, renowned especially for its architecture, particularly the works of Antoni Gaudí and Montaner, both of whose works have been designated World Heritage Sites. The people are friendly, the food is spectacular, and the beaches are bustling with activity.  And, it seems, everyone is an art lover (or at least a lover!).

MOVING right along…we took the train to Pamplona (Iruña, in Basque), a wonderful little city in its own right, first stop in the Basque Country and home of the famous Iruña Café–in what’s known as Hemingway Corner–and the ancient Citadel with walls spread throughout.  I believe it’s most widely known as the location of the “Running of the Bulls”, which takes place every July.  Oops, missed it this time around!

Then, we boarded another train to the NEXT best city in the world…San Sebastián/Donostia (in Basque) !  This is truly my favorite place.  It is close to the region which my husband’s family hails from, which is another reason that we are here.  And I’m enjoying seeing familial similarities in the people here.

Honestly, San Sebastián seems to have it all.  Beautiful weather, beaches, ocean bay, picturesque marina, little mountains, a super clean and interesting old city.  The Basque museum is fabulous: San Telmo Museum, contains everything you need to know about Basque culture. It was here I learned about the “Construcción Vacía” (Empty Construction) movement and fell in love with its form, substance and simplicity. I’ve got two examples below, one by Eduardo Chillida, the other by Jorge Oteiza (both Basque artists).

Lastly, folks here are really into fitness, they run, bike, swim, hike–we would fit right in.  Maybe we will come back and stay someday…


Third Time’s a Charm

This is my third trip to Kibera, in Nairobi Area, Kenya, to do volunteer work as a photographer with Power of Hope Kibera (POHK.org).  As I’ve said before, there are many non-profits working in the slum here, but this one is unique in a number of ways.  First, it was started by local residents, several of whom remain key players in the organization.  Secondly, POHK merges private sector business approaches (micro-enterprises) with research-based behavior change strategies.  The ultimate goal here is to reduce diarrheal disease in children, which is the major cause of death in children under age 5. We would like to thank Toilet Hackers for funding this project. We would also like to thank Alfalfa’s and individual donors for their generous contributions.


On My Way to Kibera!

I’m getting excited about my upcoming trip to Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, leaving September 3, 2014, to continue my work with the Power of Hope Kibera (pohk.org).  Stay tuned for more adventures in hygiene and friendship.

Just to remind myself and everyone else what it’s like there, here’s a GoPro Video I shot last February…

http://youtu.be/PsltQeO-O2s (we enter the actual slum at minute 4:15)

The soap sellers' daughters enjoying some traditional chai and chapatis (in Kibera)

The soap sellers’ daughters enjoying some traditional chai and chapatis (in Kibera)

Read more about it on Slate.com…

also, see the entire portfolio on maureenruddyburkhart.com


i-Click Andalucía! Join us May 3~May 12, 2015…(NEW DATES!)

Join us for a unique and fun

iPhone Photography Tour of Southern Spain

Hostal Persal View of Madrid

View of downtown Madrid at sunset

Sign up NOW(click here) for this unique opportunity to tour southern Spain, the fabled Andalucía, with Spain travel expert/flamenco dancer Salli Gutierrez of Spain-Connection.com and guest photographer Maureen Ruddy Burkhart THIS COMING OCTOBER 4~13, 2014.  All types of photography enthusiasts welcome!

We will meet in exciting Madrid, soak in the local flavor,  then travel to the legendary Córdoba, home of the Moorish Mezquita Mosque/Cathedral.  Then on to beautiful Sevilla, known for its food, wine, flamenco and extraordinary Moorish/mudejar architecture and the medieval Alcázar palace.

Next, we go to Jerez, home of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, the famed Central Market, the Jerez Cathedral.  We will explore the ancient squares and avenues where the locals live, work, and play.  (Optional side trips to Cádiz and Granada, home of the Alhambra.)

in Córdoba

Mezquita in Córdoba

 

All photos courtesy Maureen Ruddy Burkhart…shot with an iPhone 4s or 5s, utilizing the amazing array of photo apps (Hipstamatic preferred in this series).

The deadline for registration is fast approaching…don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to capture the essence of the legendary Andalucía region of Southern Spain!  Click here now to register…


Sevilla…feed your creativity! (This adventure can be yours too…keep reading)

Watch for our iPhone Photo Tour…

mudéjar detail

mudéjar detail

SEVILLA in Andalucía, southern Spain, is  home to the Alcázar de Sevilla.  The Alcázar was originally a Moorish fort, then later a palace and now a World Heritage Site. The palace is one of the best remaining examples of mudéjar architecture. This is a photographer’s and historian’s delight.  Also here is the Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world.

They say that ‘flamenco is in Sevilla’s blood’…and this is evident everywhere in this lovely Spanish city.  Our own Salli Gutierrez of Spain-Connection.com, is a flamenco dancer and well-connected with the dance scene in southern Spain.

But the thing I love about Seville is its unique sort of energy, a quirky mixture of Euro-modernism wrapped in ancient, exotic structures.  The people are light-hearted, the food an incredible adventure in varying tastes.  Our room was in a delightful hostel (hotel) right downtown, but so very quiet.  Then, just one step out the front door and we were in a different time in history.  Pure magic!

This adventure can be yours too!  Maureen and Salli of www.Spain-Connection.com will be leading a GUIDED PHOTO TOUR  from October 4 through 13, 2014.  Sign up now at spain-connection.com to spend 9 days with Maureen, Salli, and the camera of your choice (iPhones welcome!).  Space is limited, so sign up right away.  (PS: all above photos above taken with iPhone, courtesy, Maureen).


Medieval, Magical Córdoba!

resting
In the heart of Andalucía, southern Spain, lies the medieval city of Córdoba, with its rich history, culture, and architecture.  I’ve always wanted to visit there but never got around to it until now…and it was worth the wait.

The Mezquita (Great Mosque/Cathedral of Córdoba) of course is the destination, visited and photographed by thousands every year.  I found the architectural styles fascinating, but what truly drew me to it was its history.

Here is my traveling partner…I caught her relaxing before we headed out to see the sights.  It seemed to capture the mood of Córdoba.

This adventure and guided photo tour can be yours too!  Sign up now, space is limited: www.Spain-Connections.com.  

Save the date!  October 4 ~ 13, 2014

(meetup in Madrid)


Madrid! Day two…

Well, this blogging thing has not gone according to plan!  I had decided that I would only take two iPhones and an old iPad (no computer), for ease of travel.  After all, the whole point of this trip is to shoot iPhone on the move.   So now that I’ve done this, I know what problems to anticipate.

The iPad is great for storing images for backup, but not so great for accessing and navigating a WordPress blog. I’ve had to email my favorite images to myself and then using Salli’s computer, upload the images to my WP site.

Long story short…I’m a week late in posting images, but I can still tell the story.  Traveling with Salli from www.spain-connection.com has been a joy.  She really knows her way around and shares her love of the country and culture through her energy and enthusiasm.  Stay tuned for more excitement from Sevilla, Jerez and Cádiz!


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