…And We’re Off!

Buenos tardes! I’m sitting in our Madrid hotel with just a few spare minutes to tell you about our stay in Barcelona, which we left behind via train this morning.

*Travel notes: We arrived in Barcelona without much incident, which is something to appreciate by itself.  And although I managed a few hours sleep on the plane, I certainly did not escape jet lag and its general malaise, so it was a good 36-48 hours before I could truly pull myself together.*

I’ve had some difficulty conjuring up the words to describe this city.  In one section, it feels like Paris, and then a few blocks later you’re reminded just a touch of Brussels or maybe Florence, and then you look up and you’re surrounded by the proudest of palm trees and a beach, thus erasing all comparisons. The end result of that thought train, perhaps, is that Barcelona feels worldly, like a quilt with many patches, yet when combined it is ultimately its own unique, jamon-loving self.

And speaking of jamon, and food generally, we’ve not been shy on sampling the Spanish tapas culture.  We waited in a line 15+ long last night to sample food at Tapas 24, and we were not disappointed.  The dessert (chocolate with sea salt and olive oil) made the experience especially memorable.

We were also lucky to visit the Sagrada Familia, an incredible church designed by Gaudi..and which is also still being constructed.  This is not something to miss when you visit Barcelona; whereas many churches feel dim and even depressing, the colors and presence of daylight within the Sagrada Familiar truly set it apart from any church I’ve had the good fortune to visit previously. And remember that advance planning saves headaches, so buy your tickets online before you visit, and you’ll walk past the rest standing in line..

And now my time is up.  Our good luck has resulted in two tickets to see the Real Madrid match tonight, so we’ll soon be on our way there….

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