Last day of my European vacation 😪

It was a great day, but I feel torn. I’d love to keep traveling but I’m excited to share Thanksgiving with family. So onward!! I was trying for an adventure this morning but it was a failed attempt due to the funicular not being open. My bad. So….I headed for the market!

patty locktov…. Gummies!!

marzapan!!

So after a hard core nap, I went back to the market for lunch and sat down at this place. I knew the local Catalan dishes were made of beans and I saw a woman eating this so I said… I’ll have what she’s having. It was canelli beans and squid that I think was swimming 15 minutes before. It was absolutely amazing!! Best squid I’ve ever had. There were two Spanish business men next to me eating rabbit ribs who were trying to figure out the Catalan language. They were from La Coruña in the North. So cool to see men in suits eating at a market. The guy on the other side of me was from London and he ordered the same thing as me (he was super skeptical) and loved it. He said it was a very well known restaurant…..wellllll……

this was our waiter…. Owner… And had a book written about him!!!! I just happened upon this place. So awesome!!

i ended up going on an “uncensored” tour this afternoon. While it was interesting, I don’t think I’d do it again… Imagine a group of tourists walking through a street full of prostitutes, dodging pickpockets, sticking out like sore thumbs. Anyway…. This was a hole in a the wall of an orphanage…. Yep, you hand the baby through the hole when you don’t want it. You can also drop money in the slot to the left.

Picasso hung out here…. Right next to where the prostitutes hang out.

cool tiles….. That ended up being….

this huge mural!!

random church I walked by on the way to dinner

Finally the beach… Sand brought in from Egypt for the Olympics at barcalonetta beach. There was no beach before 1992.

And that’s all folks!!! Thanks for going on the ride with me!!

Advertisements

Gaudi…Pinxtos… Flamenco

I had no idea how different the Catalan language was from Spanish. I feel like I’m back in Lisbon!! Anyway… It was a gaudi day!

parçue guell

the mosaics were amazing

sagrada familia… Sorry but I agree with Picasso… Too much. It is now in the Guinness book of world records for being the longest construction project ever… Won’t be done until 2026.

the inside was pretty darn impressive, but give me a cathedral like the one in Siena or Toledo anyday.

Christmas everywhere!

gaudi’s casa Mila…I didn’t go in because a tour was quite expensive.

gaudi’s casa batllo

Amazon delivery boy!

yummy noodles and seafood! The waiter said it’s a typical meal served on Sundays by grannies. So good.

they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving 🤔

great Square that is super young. It used to be be full of prostitutes and drugs in the 80’s. Barcelona shaped up after the 1992 Olympics.

lamp post by….gaudi! I went on a fantastic free walking tour this afternoon. Learned a ton. They are the way to go as soon as you get to a new city. Helps so much!

the harbor! For the Olympics, sand was shipped in from Egypt in order to make barcoloneta…. Their fake beach!!

gorgeous night!!

my Pinxtos!!

did you know these are made in Barcelona and the design is by Salvador Dali!!

my cathedral by my hotel!!

so tonight I went to see a Spanish guitar and flamenco because of a suggestion by my friends Pat. It was awesome but the building blew my mind!!! I thought it was a gaudi, but it was designed by Lluís domenèch i Montaner. Absolutely blew me away!!!

Such a fantastic way to end the night!!!

Barçelona!! Written yesterday but my wifi sucked.

I arrived this afternoon at 1230 and the best thing happened. My hotel room was ready!! After a short 3 hour train ride, I unpacked and hit the streets. I did Rick Steve’s audio walking tour which is always fun and then dodged raindrops.

leaving Madrid this morning was funny. I was at the train station at 0700 and it was full of hard partying 20-ish year olds eating greasy food while trying to maintain steadiness.

first view in Barcelona!

kind of normal to have mannequins on balconies

famous water fountain on last ramblas.

cool architecture on my Rick Steve’s Gothic quarter tour

4 cats…. One of Picasso’s old haunts

i had the potatoe bravas there…to.die.for.

view from my hotel room!

pintxos!!

great alleyways!

a great way to finish the night!

Last day in Madrid with good friends

Spent most of the day wandering around Madrid and finding some cool back streets with the swedes…Michelle, CR, and Magnus.

my name at Starbucks in Madrid

more of El retiro!

known each other since kindergarten!

CR and Michelle in the Crystal palace

more gorgeous buildings

tea or Coke

great sunny day

super walkable big city

Tile in Spain!

the palace gardens

i took the subway to meet them for dinner and there were mass amounts of people out on a Saturday night! Fantastic last day in Madrid!!

Madrid with friends

Today was a lovely day. I met up with the two ladies that I met in Toledo and also two great friends from the states. One is living in Vienna and the other in Stockholm. We also got a private tour of the Prado museum. Beautiful!!

Madrid traffic circle with a taxi strike/demonstration going on.

el retiro park

music in the park!

the Crystal palace in the park

Laurie and Elinor

Michelle, Markus, and myself!!

Madrid at night… So gorgeous!

Ok so when I arrived yesterday I thought Madrid consisted of a bunch of modern high rises… Then tonight I walked over on the other side of town…OMG!!

I also learned that Madrid is one of the most pedestrian friendly cities because most of the major roads are under the city. It was also voted one of europes most livable cities.

gorgeous parks that need to be explored tomorrow!

I did a walking tour today and this is part of the old city walls

Guinness book if world records… Oldest continually operating restaurant

plaza mayor… Many executions were performed here long ago… Having to do with religion of course. Now a vibrant square where people meet and socialize.

finally i met this family from Georgia (the state). He just retired at age 36 and they are traveling around the world until the kids are college age! They have only just begun!!

Madrid…olé!!

I made it to Madrid this morning and it’s huge and awesome!!

steps at the metro station in Madrid

cute little pool on the 15th floor of my hotel. Thanks capital one points!!

these guys are all holding strings that are attached to each corner of the sheet their goods are on… To make a quick escape I think. They did that in Italy too and ran when the cops came.

the cave restaurants… I’ll be there tomorrow

art class

very cute side streets

the Royal palace

the church across from it which I think is written into dan browns new book, origin

and he wrote about this altar also!

changing of the guards

beautiful fall colors

ok this place!!! Mercado de San Miguel. Amazing!! You can get tapas for 1€. And they are all gorgeous! I ate my way through this place. A woman in Lisbon told me about it.

olives olives olives

drinking wine in the market at noon

sausages to go

A type of baklavah… So flipping good

oh my gosh…. Burrattas with blueberries and almonds…. To. Die. For.

nasty fish

i might get brave tomorrow

barnacles!

pulpo for dinner!

famous churro and chocolate place!!

and then I found a place who sold tickets to flamenco at the last minute for 11€. It was absolutely amazing! Spanish guitar, a guy singing who sounded like the guy in Gypsy Kings, and three amazing dancers. The guy moved his feet so flipping fast it was a blur!

I saw flamenco…. In Madrid…. In Spain!!!