Vin Crosbie's Personal Blog

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Volcano Erupts in My Wife’s Native Islands

In the south of La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Island of La Palma, a volcano has erupted between two village in Cumbre Vieja national park. Elsewhere in the Canary Islands is the sites of Spain’s highest point, the dormant volcano Teide (3,715-meter or12,188-foot), which is also the highest point along the Atlantic Ocean. Off El Hierro island, an undersea volcano has been erupting during recent years. And the island of Lanzarote is the site of more than 30 extinct or dormant volcanoes (as well as a restaurant that use a volcanic vent to grills meat).

Flying into Lisbon (4K video)

FOR MY FRIENDS WHO ARE ‘ARMCHAIR’ TRAVELERS and need a scenic, seven-minute breaks. Although the weather in this video is so perfect that it looks more like a Microsoft Flight Simulator artificial view than reality, it is the actual view outside the window of seat 1A while TAP Air Portugal’s Flight #1117 makes its final descent into Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado international airport. It starts with a view of the Atlantic Ocean and the ‘Portuguese Riveria’ where the resort towns of Cascais and Estoril are located, with the Sintra Mountains in the background. Then the mouth of the Tagus River (Portuguese: Rio Tejo) appears as the aircraft steadily descends. At the 1:45 mark, the 16th Century Belém Tower (Portuguese: Torre de Belém) monuments rises above the northern bank of the river, with the Jerónimos Monastery (Portuguese: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) two blocks behind it. The flight path then passes over the heavily-forested Monsanto Forest Park (Portuguese: Parque Florestal de Monsanto) at the center of the city. I regret that this descent doesn’t the old parts of this ancient city, only the new parts of the Portuguese metropolis. The airliner lands at the four-minute mark, then taxis to the airport terminal. If you ever have the chance, visit Lisbon. It is a lovely, charming city, full of friendly people, history, and excellent cuisine. I’ve loved it ever since my first visit in 1970.

Tiempo en Las Canarias

I’m spending most of this month in my wife’s native Canary Islands, doing videography for a project she and I are undertaking later this year. Most of the past weeks have involved shooting ‘B-roll’, which are short background scenes designed to be used beneath narration or other contents. This is an example from a farm in the highlands of Gran Canaria island. This is the Hubble Space Telescope’s photograph of Arp 195, the collision of three galaxies.

Barcelona: Adri Brothers’ Open Cocktail Tapas Bar

For much of the past decade, El Bulli in Catalonia has been considered the best restaurant in the world. Restaurant Magazine ranked it Number One on its  Top 50 list of the world’s best restaurants for a record five times — in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and #2 in 2010. Now, El Bulli’s owners, Ferran and Albert Adrià, have opened a cocktail bar in Barcelona, our favorite city. The seven-minute video above from The Guardian will give you an idea. When Emma and I think about our eventual retirements, we think of Barcelona. That shouldn’t be surprising about her, a Spaniard (although our Catalan friends maintain that the autonomous community of Catalonia isn’t really part of Spain). My own experiences in Barcelona started late for me, beginning in the late 1990s: primarilyspeaking the NetMedia conferences held there, at Pompeu Fabra University, and at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Vilanova y la Geltrú 50 kilometers south, plus friends at La Vanguardia. I remember waking one morning after arriving, and hearing the sounds of roaring motorcycles outside. I saw hundreds of leather- or denim-clad riders astride Harley-Davidsons passing by my hotel. Badly jet-lagged, I wondered if I was still in the States. Hundreds and hundreds of Harleys. But they were speaking French, Hungarian, Finnish, or Greek, etc. I’d arrived in Barcelona when it was hosting the continent’s annual Harley-Davidson riders’ conference. The next day, once I’d gotten used to the all that, I was walking across a crosswalk on a street near Pompeu Fabra when Jay Leno, at the wheel of a Smart Car, pulled up at the stoplight (turns out he was in Barcelona on vacation for Harley conference). That’s Barcelona−surreal, delicious, and always unexpected. Just like the Adriàs’ new cocktail bar.