Where in the World?

I was home for approximately five days in the month of march. Between a whirlwind trip to southern Spain and two work trips, I arrived home last night jet lagged and completely unaware if it was still winter or if spring had sprung already in Virginia. So, where in the world have I been?

Let’s start with the beginning of the month. The boyfriend and I had an action-packed trip around Andalusia, Spain. This region boasts a unique mix of Spanish Catholicism and Moorish Islam, and the melting of these cultures is fascinating to see. We traveled through Seville, Granada, Ronda and Malaga, and I’ve got to say that gypsy-filled Granada with its winding cobblestone streets and famous Alhambra was my favorite.

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Our rooftop view in Granada

Many of the cities also flaunted carriage rides with their regionally-named caballos, aka Andalusians. I don’t know if these horses are actually of the “Pure Spanish Horse” variety, but I was pleased to see that nearly all were well-kept. I always shudder a bit to see hoards of carriages, but there seemed to be some semblance of horsemanship, so that eased my concerns, although we didn’t carriage ride.

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In Ronda, a rural city that sits atop a massive gorge, we toured the oldest bullring in Spain (for the history of it all, the actual act of bull fighting doesn’t appeal to me in the least), and they currently keep a riding school there.

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A enter working trot beneath chandeliers…

I sadly didn’t get to see any riding there, and for some reason my boyfriend refused to let me stare at the horses in their stalls all day, but needless to say I thought this was the coolest part of the tour.

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sound familiar?

It was an amazing trip, but before I knew it I was back and already leaving again for Southern Pines, NC to cover Carolina International! I covered this event last year too, and because of the fun atmosphere and amazing hospitality I volunteered very early on to snatch it up again this year.

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game faces

Again, it lived up to the hype. It was pretty surreal to see Caroline Martin win the three-star at just 22, and it was inspiring as usual to see Kim Severson take the Advanced with a horse that she’s given the time to come up through the levels confidently.

I got home, threw clothes in the laundry, and then immediately repacked them to head to California for Galway Downs. This was my first West Coast event and I was really excited to see different competition.

Galway Downs View

looking from the cross-country over the racetrack at Galway

It’s sandy as I expected (I’m more accustomed to the grassy, often hard footing on the east coast), but the scenery was much more picturesque than I thought! They put on a fantastic event and I was thrilled to experience it. Now I’m finally home just in time to move (today!) and hopefully enjoy some downtime before the next installment of “Where in the World” when I head up for Fair Hill’s spring CIC next weekend…

 

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