There are a number of places in the world that I enjoy. In fact, I regularly get asked in interviews and when I meet people one of the questions I get asked the most frequently is “what is your favorite country?”
My answer is simple — its a lot easier for me to tell you the very few countries I actually didn’t like much, compared to the long, long of places I really love.
But on the other hand, there are a very select number of those places that I am drawn to over and over again. The places that I can imagine staying for longer than my typical week or ten days. The Costa Brava region of Spain is one of those places.
I was there to attend and speak at TBEX, which is a large travel blogging conference. It was in Girona, which is a city I have spent more time in than any other this year. It has almost become a second home to me — so much so that I think my parents are going to come over in the spring and check it out with me for a bit.
Instagram is something I have just gotten into in the last month or so. I’m finally carrying a full-on smart phone (more on that in an upcoming announcement) and the camera on it is really quite good. Its going to make me too damn lazy to pull out my real camera as often as I should. All of these photos were taken with and edited on my new phone. They don’t entirely hold up to the larger viewing area on this website compared to the phone, but I still like what I can do with the camera and the various editing applications I am messing around with and learning to use.
I’d also love you to follow me on Instagram. I can’t figure out how to link to my profile there, but you can find me by searching for “michaelshodson.” Thanks.
Immediately before the conference in Girona, myself and four other full-time travel bloggers (again, another announcement coming up soon), had the great fortune of having a 17 bed villa donated to us by my now-good friend, Richard of Charming Villas. The villa was called Casa Marcial and it was…. spectacular. We were hosting ten newer bloggers and helping instruct them on some of the finer points of travel blogging. A great time was had by all… perhaps too much fun actually. We might have to have a curfew at the next one.
Old man needs to sleep.
The bridge in the photo above is in the town of Besalu, where the villa was. Its a small town of about 2,000 residents and yes, the entire town is as scenic as this.
I was waiting to meet a group of travel bloggers for drinks at the bottom of the steps of the huge cathedral in Girona, looked up, and ran smack dab into a wedding. Nice looking couple.
This photo, and the ones after it, were all taken on a three day blog trip after the TBEX travel blogging conference all sponsored by the wonderful folks at Visit Costa Brava. It was my second trip with them — more on the previous trip soon, since I finally have my new computer and can work up some video.
On this trip, I got to meet C.C. Chapman. He and I were on a panel discussion at TBEX — him talking about Google+ and me talking about Pinterest. Really fun and knowledgeable guy and I was quite glad he was on this three day trip with us. He just posted up his Instagram photos of Costa Brava yesterday and they are excellent as well.
The photo above is from Salvador Dali’s appropriately odd and interesting home in Port Lligat, which is right around the corner from the picturesque former fishing village, now tourist destination, of Cadaques. It is a worthwhile trip up to see it.
From the front doorsteps of Dali’s home. Any wonder why he settled here?
I did a brief photo tour of Costa Brava a few months back after my last trip here, but get ready for more photos and videos in the coming weeks. As I said, I’m captivated by this area, partly because it is so photogenic. The shot above was taken lakeside in the town of Banyoles.
We took a motorized bicycle tour around town. You pedal for a bit, the motor stores up the energy from your pedaling, then you can use the motor.
Motorized bicycle… say it with me now… lazy man’s dream. In other words, I smiled the entire time.
From the Roman baths in Girona, done up in an artsy attempt of black and white drama.
This was the view from the breakfast at the hotel in Escala. The only annoying thing was that we only stayed one night. I could have stayed a week.
The fact that you mentioned there might need to be a curfew at the next Blog House totally confirms your role as my blog dad 🙂
TBEX Gerona sounds like it was way more fun than Keystone. I wish I would have gone to Europe instead 🙁
The Blog House idea was brilliant by the way, I would love to hear more about what went down in there!
– Maria Alexandra
The BlogHouse was a blast. We will be doing more in the future.
Aww, Besalu bridge, I love that place!
Such a cute little town also.
That was a really good conference and the Costa Brava tourism board could not possibly have done a better job of hosting us!
I’ve gotten two blog posts done and updated my “About” section based on ideas learned at TBEX in Girona.
And best of all I met some great people!
It is simply one of my favorite places in the world. I feel so at home there.
Enjoyed this photo tour M! Would have loved to catch up with you this summer, just couldn’t make the schedule work!
Curfew at the bloghouse?! NEVER!
Might just have to lock up the wine at some point…
Lovely photos Michael. I wanted to visit TBEX Europe but Erika is just a wee babe at this point, so I’m very glad to live vicariously through your photos. Especially love the Dali vantage point—laid back but slightly eccentric is what grabs me about Girona. Would love to see it one day.
We are happy you felt so good with us. Let’s see if you find the time to spend a week with us! Thanks a lot.