Friday, October 14, 2022

Off to the Races... and Seville Spain - Travel Photography, Art and Book Talk!

Hoping to try something new and combine my passion for luxury travel, fine art and books, with a focus on the work of my wife and I. This collaboration between my wife, daughter and I is the culmination of so many things, but none more so than our passion for beautiful art, books and destinations. We hope you follow us as this new idea grows and evolves. What you'll find is the story behind the work, travel tips, art and book talk, and more.

Seville Spain is one of my favorite places in the world, and the photo above is by far my favorite fine art photo of Plaza de España, a plaza in the Parque de María Luisa. Built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, the plaza is an architectural marvel combining elements of the Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles.

Seville is a wonderful, walkable city, with a wealth of fantastic sites and great restaurants. The light was amazing that day, even through the clouds, after several days of not so clear weather. As I positioned myself, I had to rush, rays of the sun were already warming the brick walls of the institute in front of me. I needed the clouds to part though, so I was patient. Then as a pair of white doves took flight, I knew I had the perfect shot, made even better by the row boat and the doves in the far interior taking flight at that moment as well.

When we visit Seville, we usually stay at Hotel Alfonso. A beautiful hotel, in the midst of all the gardens and close to just about everything you'd want to see in the city. The Universidad de Sevilla is next door and it's very close to Plaza de España, Real Alcazar, the canal and Palacio de San Telmo. Marriott usually comp'd our suites, so it was very nice to get the royal treatment.

We stay away from Hard Rock and tourist traps (expensive for no reason) and visit the local, independent restaurants instead. My favorite gastro memory from Seville: We got lost and ended up at a little dive of a pizza restaurant. Pizza in Seville? Yes, and more.

The owners, surprised to see Americans, were rather excited to see us order in broken Spanish as well. They didn't speak any English and somehow thought all Americans are dog lovers, so one of their children later brought in this rather large dog and kept feeding it bags of pizza toppings while we waited. Odd, quirky and a bit funny, especially considering how allergic I am. The pizza turned out to be enormous too and very good (though not really Italian at all). Sort of an odd mix of an American-inspired pizza with Spanish ingredients.

Getting to Seville can be a bit of an adventure. An easy way is to fly into Madrid and take Spain Rail. Trains to Seville run almost every hour or so from the central station in Madrid, and it's about a 2 hour and 40 minute train ride to Seville. 

When we visit Lisbon or Porto in Portugal we make it a point to drive out to Seville as well since it's so close. The whole Andalusia region is fantastic so it's a wonderful time. We love to visit in spring when the Olive trees are in bloom.

Nothing like driving with the windows open and drinking in the smell of Olive trees in bloom! It's a gorgeous, scenic drive whether you go from Lisbon to Seville or Porto to Seville. And if you drive either route, be sure to stop at the handicraft shops along the way. There's a reason Andalusia is famous for its leather, ceramics and embroidery. The pottery was always our favorite. The colorful plates, bowls and flower pots are beautiful, and each area has its own distinctive style.

It is true that one can write from anywhere, but it took a lot of special considerations to ship the crates of servers that I needed for technical how-to writing for Microsoft from one place to the next. But I never missed a deadline, and never told where I was writing from :)

About Hui Cha Stanek

Erstwhile Photographer and Long-time Publisher Hui Cha Stanek has always been the woman behind the scenes. She has managed the day-to-day operations of Stanek Media for the past three decades. Her work has been featured in a number of gallery shows and recently in a career retrospective with her husband. She prefers candid street photography and photography of people (though not traditional portrait work). One of her most famous works, Tip Toe I See You, is shown below.

Others, not to be missed:

Salt Water Taffy

Let Me See Too

My Hair Day Too Mom

Where Did it Go

You'll find these fine art photography works and more at:

About William Robert Stanek

Seattle-based Photographer and Artist, William Robert Stanek, is a combat veteran who supports other veterans, is also a vocal champion of books and libraries. Not only an artist, he wrote nonfiction for over three decades as William Stanek and fiction as Robert Stanek. Find his fine art photography and prints from his original oil paintings in his online studios:

360 Studios -

1North Studios -

Studio 24 -

Robert Stanek Studios -

Connecting to his roots in his work is important to William Robert. The beautiful fine art print that follows is a view from within Mont St. Michel in Normandy France, part of his popular A Day at Mont St. Michel photo series. Special to William Robert as this is the region where his French ancestors are from--an ancestry William Robert has traced back from Quebec Canada to its origins in France.

Find William Robert's books at


Barnes & Noble

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