Photos of our European Travel Highlights

By - May 7, 2012 (Updated: November 19, 2014)

This entry is part 1 of 24 in the series Portugal & Andalusia 2012.
The Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque–Cathedral) of Cordoba

The Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque–Cathedral) of Cordoba

The past five weeks have been big ones here at CheeseWeb. While things have been ticking away, mainly on autopilot, here at CheeseWeb HQ, Andrew and I have been exploring some new corners of Europe.

In early April, my parents came to visit and, as we do, we decided to take them on a European adventure. For me, this included 2 brand new countries, 2 new regions of countries I’ve visited before, 7 new UNESCO World Heritage sites and 8 of my personal bucket list items accomplished. I’d say that was a pretty great 5 weeks!

You can expect to read about many of the places we visited on CheeseWeb in the coming weeks, but as I’m busily sifting through thousands of photos, I thought I’d share a sneak peek at a few of the highlights.

The Monastery of the Hieronymites, in Lisbon, Portugal

The Monastery of the Hieronymites, from the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.

Portugal has been on my list of countries to visit since we moved to Europe. We explored Lisbon, Sintra and the Algarve. One of the highlights of Lisbon was visiting the Monastery of the Hieronymites, as seen here from the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries).

The Alhambra of Granada, Spain

Admiring the detail of the Alhambra of Granada, Spain

From Portugal we headed into the Andalusia region of Spain. We visited castles, towers, cathedrals and palaces. We climbed at least a million stairs and wandered the cobbles streets of 5 different Spanish cities. Of our favourite sites, the incredible Alhambra of Granada really stood out.

The Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque–Cathedral) of Cordoba

The dizzying rows of arches at Cordoba’s Mezquita-Catedral.

As did the endless rows of arches of the Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque–Cathedral) of Cordoba.

flamenco performance in Seville, Spain

Watching a flamenco performance in Seville, Spain was one of my bucket list accomplishments.

One of my bucket list items included watching a flamenco performance in Spain, which we enjoyed in Seville.

Gibraltar's Barbary Macaques

Gibraltar’s Barbary Macaques at the top of the Rock

Andrew was keen to explore Gibraltar, where we took a tour to the top of the rock and spent some time with the local wildlife, Gibraltar’s Barbary Macaques. (We even got to hold one!)

The historic centre of Prague, Czech Republic

The historic centre of Prague, Czech Republic, at sundown.

After a quick rest in Belgium, I traveled with my parents to the second new country of our travels, the Czech Republic. There we explored the historic centre of Prague.

The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

The distinctive domes of the Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

Our final trip took us to England, where we spent some time in Devon and Cornwall, where one of our highlights was visiting the Eden Project. While the cold, rain kept us inside, we enjoyed the balmy temperatures of the tropical rainforest under Eden’s domes.

You’ll be hearing more about these places and many others, including some new Belgian locations, over the spring and summer. We can’t wait to share our stories and photos with you and as always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
It's after Halloween so I can officially share Christmas Markets now right...? 🎄🎅 - 1 week ago


  1. Comment by Jean

    Jean May 7, 2012 at 14:50

    great pics – sounds like you guys had a wonderful visit and adventure – looking forward to more pics. Jean & Herb

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison May 7, 2012 at 15:03

      Thanks Jean! It was a fantastic time! I think we all need a few weeks to recover now 🙂

  2. Comment by A Montrealer Abroad

    A Montrealer Abroad May 9, 2012 at 11:30

    Gibraltar is one of my favorite places on Earth – I visited at the end of a agitated day, and hung out with the apes, watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. It was magical!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison May 9, 2012 at 11:45

      The apes were definitely a highlight. I was also thrilled we had a view of Africa. Next time we would love to make the boat trip across. 🙂

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