Welcome to the reawakening of this blog, which has been dormant for three years. I invite you to follow the blog and receive notifications of new posts via email during the next two months. The goal is to explore incredible landscapes and provide the reader with a taste of their beauty and geologic underpinnings. The Mediterranean Sea is the remnant of the once vast Tethys Ocean that has been shrinking as the African and European continents have been converging. Visible in southern Spain is evidence of this collision. Southern Spain is also referred to as Andalusia because Muslim groups from northern Africa (so-called Moors) invaded southern Spain in the early 8th century and named it Al-Andalus. They ruled until the late 15th century when the Christians collided with the Moors and wrested power from them. The culture of southern Spain owes much of its interest to the influence of the Moors. The scenic beauty owes much of its interest to its geologic history. Both will be explored.
The trip will follow a mostly counterclockwise path, beginning in Lisbon, Portugal on 14 September 2015 and ending in Seville, Spain on 5 November 2015. From Lisbon we will travel to Faro on the south coast of Portugal, then to Jerez on the Gulf of Cádiz in western Andalusia (Spain). From there, we will cross the Strait of Gibralter to Morocco, first traveling to Fes and then back north to Tangier. After visiting the rock of Gibralter, we will travel to Ronda, a mountain town north of Málaga, and then on to Granada and Córdoba, with stops in small towns along the way. After walking among small mountain towns at Aracena (north of Seville), the trip will end in Seville, along the Guadalquivir River, the major watercourse of southern Spain.