Travel and Teaching in Portugal and Spain—A Photographic Journey is another in the series Stories I Told My Students. It follows the pattern of books listed above on Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, and Colombia. The book tells the tale of travel in Portugal and travel and summer teaching in the Arizona State University summer program in Spain in 1987.
The format of the book combines notes from the travel diary, vignettes on the history of the places visited, and in particular notes, on major literary figures like Luís de Camões or Miguel de Cervantes. Major universities like the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the University of Salamanca in Spain are highlighted. Emphasis is also given to places and figures of the Catholic tradition, like the Cistercian Monastery of Alcobaça in Portugal and the stories of Santa Teresa de Jesús, San Juan de la Cruz, and Ignacio de Loyola in Spain. All are represented in the 256 photos in the book.
Cities and places in Portugal are Lisbon, Belém, Sintra, Nazaré, Batalha, Fátima, Leiria, Coimbra, O Porto, Viana do Castelo, and Guimarães.
In Spain one sees Málaga, Córdoba, Mijas, Sevilla, Mérida, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Pontevedra, León, Ávila, Madrid, Segovia, Burgos, El Escorial, and Valle de los Caídos.
A side trip to the sanctuaries of Spain and France emphasizes Zaragoza, Barbastro of Opus Dei fame, Lourdes in France, and Loyola in the Basque Country.
The book is written in a colloquial style, the author “conversing” with the reader, perhaps over a “Vinho Verde” from Portugal or a “Clarete” from La Rioja in Spain. One discovers adventures in travel time in Portugal, in Málaga, and Madrid for classes and social life, and travel in other parts of Spain, all accompanied by a nice overview of history and culture.