A Plane to Spain
Where to start? We’ve had an obsession with Spain for a long while now and had promised ourselves that 2015 would be the year we’d visit Spain together. But I think we’d made the same promise in 2014 (and ended up in Uruguay) and also in 2013 (and ended up in Hawaii), and so on, so I was sure something would come up that would whisk us away to anywhere BUT Spain. But, the stars aligned and we found ourselves on an Iberian flight to Barcelona.
On the flight over I gave some thought to the aforementioned Spain obsession. Anyone who has spent much time in our company would know – we love tapas!!! So that’s an obvious reason, but beyond that…well…..Luis reads the news like its his job and an unproportional amount of that time is spent reading Spain’s newspapers. “Why?” I asked him. He gave me a blank look. There’s a familial connection to Spain, given that my sister-in-law studied abroad there and my father-in-law spends a month or more there each year as a visiting professor. Spain-centered topics often sneak into conversations at family gatherings. While in grad school, Luis had the opportunity to go for a few weeks in between semesters and has been dying to get back ever since. I forget why I didn’t tag along that time – probably didn’t have enough vacation time saved up. Then there’s me. I’d been given the privilege of visiting Spain on a high school trip and my mother arranged for me to spend a few extra weeks with a friend of hers in Madrid. Awesome, right? I hated it. I know, I know, who in their right mind hates Spain? Apparently and embarrassingly, my teen self. What can I say, I was 15 (read: idiot) and at the time I was more concerned with my super-important social life that I was missing out on back home and I remember little of my visit to Spain other than counting down the days ‘til I could get back to doing…well….nothing, probably. I needed to redeem myself. I needed to go back to Spain and beg her for forgiveness.
And so we went. And ate. And explored. And imbibed. And walked. And laughed. And loved.
Upon landing, it took maybe 30 minutes of swimming through the brain fog and jet lag before a permagrin emerged on both of our faces….and grin that pretty much stayed put for the duration of our “Spring in (mostly) Spain Tour”!
As our departure date approached, the agony began in deciding WHERE within Spain to go. It would take months to properly see and do everything that interested us. It was quickly apparent that our usual preference for Slow Travel wasn’t going to work here. Too much to see, too little time. The Basque Country and the northern coast of Spain tugged at our hearts more than any other region, so that b
One of the very few things I remember about that (torturous) teenage visit was La Sagrada Familia so we decided that our first stop would be to see how construction is coming along. The answer remains the same as it was back in 1995 – slowly. This cathedral has been under construction since 1882 and continues to rise within the Barcelona skyline, slow and steady. I documented its progress so as to have a reference to compare to the next time we’re in Barcelona and we continued on to the massive grounds of Parc Güell for a little exercise and views of the city.
Having those two “must-see” stops out of the way, we dedicated ourselves to doing what we do best, wandering through neighborhoods and eating as often as our bellies would allow.
Barcelona is a really cool city and I’m happy we didn’t pass it over as we’d once considered. It has great architecture and a fun and growing international vibe. It’s easy to get around, has great biking and running paths, and the Mediterranean – all around A+!