Browsing CategorySpain

barcelona-12

This was my fourth time teaching a blogging workshop in Barcelona, and one of my favorite things about being in the city for a week is getting to stop for lunch. It’s about $10 for a menu del dia almost anywhere in the city, and for that you get a glass of wine (or sometimes they just bring out the bottle and let you have as much as you like) plus two courses and a dessert. The key is wait until about 2 PM because the best places don’t serve lunch until then. It’s an affordable way to eat out everyday.…

madrid-1

I arrived in Madrid in the afternoon. My hostel was downtown, right off the Sol – Vodafone metro stop. Can we pause for a moment and consider the kind of world we live in when now a metro stop is “officially sponsored” by a phone company? I hadn’t been in Madrid since 2008 when we lived there for three months, and now, upon my return, I find that literally even the public transportation is for sale. I arrived just about 2 years too late to freak out about it, since everyone had already so that and since moved on. So I dragged my…

weekend_barcelona-4

I haven’t posted much from our life in Barcelona, but here it is in summary. You walk out the door and you can have any kind of day you want. I just can’t get enough of it here… I don’t know if it’s the way the city looks, the architecture, the cobblestone streets, the narrow alleyways… or the people, the Spanish-Catalan attitude… maybe it’s just us, but we make friends on every bus ride, whether that’s a grandmother who calls out to Stella, “Rubia, Rubita, Guapa…” and then tells us her life story, or the super relaxed (but still attentive)…

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We just arrived in Barcelona, our new home base. Our forever home. Coming off the flight from Bucharest, I was a little nervous. We hadn’t been here in six months. Would we still love it? Is this really the place? Would my kids love it? My heart just sings, “yes” the moment we land. I love that things are in Spanish and I can once again understand people. I love that it’s bilingual and there’s Catalan signs everywhere. I love that you can go to Plaza Espanola or Plaza Catalunya or La Rambla and be absolutely overrun with tourists, just…

pamplona-sansebasianhellride-2

You know you’re in the middle of a hellish travel experience when you have two major end-all-travel-for-24-hours bike break downs in five days. Here’s a brief rundown of our trip: Day 1: Leave Pamplona at noon. Blistering sun overhead. Get on the highway, whatever, Google said to do it. Get escorted off the highway. Right. Detour to a minor road, popping a tire along the way. Slip a chain. Continue on. 15 km in, find a spot to stealth camp off the main road. Day 2: Ride entirely uphill all day. Pass signs that say, 8% grade, 10% grade, 12%…

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In 1959, Hemingway returned to Pamplona, the city of his first and perhaps best novel, and said he feared he had ruined it. I found myself there, a mere 55 years later, in the city he once loved, and cracking open the digital pages of The Sun Also Rises I read his famous novel on the day we arrived. It was good, damn good, but being in Pamplona while reading it was even better. The book follows the stories of several American and British expats, living in Paris, who decide to travel south to Spain to see the San Fermin…

hemingway-pamplona-1-7

In 1959, Hemingway returned to Pamplona, the city of his first and perhaps best novel, and said he feared he had ruined it. I found myself there, a mere 55 years later, in the city he once loved, and cracking open the digital pages of The Sun Also Rises I read his famous novel on the day we arrived. It was good, damn good, but being in Pamplona while reading it was even better. The book follows the stories of several American and British expats, living in Paris, who decide to travel south to Spain to see the San Fermin…

barcelonamarket-4

There’s plenty of open air markets in Barcelona, but I got to tour La Boqueria  on La Rambla with chef Cándido Cid (he’s one of the owners of Barcelona Cooking). In a way, it’s a tourist attraction, it’s on the most famous street in Barcelona, where tourists pack themselves 8-10 across to stroll past flower shops and restaurants, buskers and newspaper stands, cafés and more and more people. Inside there are little things designed to part the average vacationer from their cash, like over-priced sangria in ornate bottles. However on the whole, it’s a really great market full of anything…

There’s plenty of open air markets in Barcelona, but I got to tour La Boqueria  on La Rambla with chef Cándido Cid (he’s one of the owners of Barcelona Cooking). In a way, it’s a tourist attraction, it’s on the most famous street in Barcelona, where tourists pack themselves 8-10 across to stroll past flower shops and restaurants, buskers and newspaper stands, cafés and more and more people. Inside there are little things designed to part the average vacationer from their cash, like over-priced sangria in ornate bottles. However on the whole, it’s a really great market full of anything…