Archives of articles, essays and stories of Geri Dreiling grouped by month:
January 2013

Postcard Pic: Madrid

Rooftop view of Madrid

By Geri Dreiling

In the United States, we refer to reddish-orange, clay roof coverings as “Spanish tiles.” In Spain, they’re simply tejas.

In this postcard picture, a storm gathers on the outskirts of Madrid, creating a cloudy backdrop for the gray dome of a church jutting up above the roofs blanketed with Spanish tiles. Continue reading...

Steamed Mussels

An affordable eatery near Madrid’s Gran Via

By Geri Dreiling

Madrid has world-class museums such as The Prado and Reina Sofia. It has the interesting architecture of the Gran Via. It has the Plaza Mayor, a preserved medieval grand square that stands as a testament to the reign of the Hapsburgs.

But it also has tasty tapas. And a visit to Spain’s capital would not be complete without exploring the city through food.

If you visit Madrid, a restaurant and tapas bar to consider is El Labriego, located about a block off of the Gran Via and a ten-minute walk from the Hotel Atlántico. With a great selection of tapas, a full restaurant menu and Spanish beer served in an atmosphere that is not overwhelmed with tourists, El Labriego is the perfect place to sample a variety of dishes without destroying your travel budget. Continue reading...

Hotel Atlantico Balcony Gran Via

European romance and charm on the Gran Vía

By Geri Dreiling

January 2013

“Let’s do something different,” I suggested to E before my fifth visit to Madrid. “Let’s check out a new hotel.” He paused for a few moments. The Eurostars Madrid Tower Hotel had been great – modern, spacious and sophisticated. Trying something new meant risking disappointment. “It will be an adventure,” I prodded. He sighed gently and then we began researching Trip Advisor. Ultimately, we settled on Hotel Atlántico. After we booked I fretted silently, worrying it would turn out to be a disaster.

Instead, it turned out to be a wonderful choice. Continue reading...

Moorish Keyhole in Toledo, Spain - Edited

Photoshop Express is a free fix for lackluster pics

By Geri Dreiling

Even though trips must come to an end, travel photos live on. Who hasn’t taken a detour down vacation memory lane before paying online bills by opening a photo folder on the desktop and clicking through the images? How many adults have childhood memories of sitting cross-legged on the living room floor of their grandparents’ home and paging through a photo album stuffed with family road trip pictures?

Cameras have advanced tremendously since the days of black-and-white images framed by white borders. And yet, the pictures taken today still don’t always capture the richness of real life. An iPhone or Samsung Galaxy may be a convenient way to get a quick pic but the results would not be mistaken for those taken by a professional travel photographer. The colors can look drab. Shadows are more pronounced. The lighting isn’t quite right

But there is a free fix for lackluster pics. Adobe, the same company that provides the high-end Photoshop software used by professional photographers, also offers Photoshop Express for free. It can be a great alternative for amateur photographers who aren’t ready to invest in the premium software. Continue reading...