Well, wordpress was kind enough to remind me that “It’s been a couple of weeks since your last post – We’re sure a lot has happened. Why don’t you write about it.” So thanks WordPress.
To close out the lioness that was March, we took a long weekend trip up to what I will forever refer to as the City of Dreams, Barcelona. I will always call it this because it actually looks like it came out of someone’s dreams (that would be Señor Gaudi). The majority of the city’s main attractions seem as though they belong in a Dr. Suess theme-park, not one of Europe’s major cities. And oh my, what an interesting contrast to the rest of Spain. Now this actually makes quite a bit of sense seeing as how Cataluña does not actually want to be a part of the rest of Spain. With a different language, a different economy, and a much stronger international influence, it’s hard not to see their arguments for wanting independence. And of course, I’m a sucker for any city that rallies around a sports team, and there are few places that do so quite like Barcelona. The politics of the region with this city as the epicenter absolutely fascinate me, but I’ll save Spanish politics for another time…
A city of color, mosaics, beaches, and of course fútbol, I think it’s impossible to have a bad time in Barça.
The first weekend in April, we had planned to spend the weekend enjoying one of Granada’s best features: its proximity to both the mountains and the beaches. What people fondly call “ski to sea,” you can experience the Sierra Nevada mountain range (2nd tallest in Europe after the Alps) and the Mediterranean Sea in the same weekend or even day. We figured this would be the best weekend for average weather in both places, and we were definitely right. We decided not to go skiing (see: foot with possible stress fracture would not have fit into ski boots), but got to spend the morning on a hiking trail, enjoying the serenity of the mountains and simply not being in the city. It wasn’t too cold but we were wearing gloves and plenty of layers. So, to be sun tanning on the beach a few hours later really was something. And I sure have missed the beach!! Almuñecar, a quick hour bus ride from Granada is actually a pebble beach. You can imagine my skepticism, but my west coast friends assured me I would be fine. As it turns out, they were right and I actually really enjoyed it. The rocks are beautiful – all sorts of colors and shapes from the ocean, and were more comfortable to lay on than I ever could have imagined. It was essentially like getting a hot stone massage for free, so I’d chalk that up to a win.
A little “padding for our boots” before heading to the beach!
As the adventure has entered “the countdown” stage, I am about to head off to Morocco, Lisbon, Salamanca, and Santiago, so wordpress might have to remind me to write again…