We’ve been back from Spain for a few weeks now but it has taken some time to cull through all the photos and get our story straight. We had a great time, saw some amazing landscapes, tour stunning architecture, learned the history, viewed great art, and ate some great food. Check out a slide show of a few of our photos. We also posted a page of thumbnails for you to pick from.
Arrive in Barcelona on May 7th. Aerobus to Placa de Catalunya (5 euros each). Visited the Parc de la Ciutadella, Arc de Triomf, Mercat Santa Caterina (food market) and Museu Picasso. Checked into the apartment. Groceries, dinner, sleep. Picked up a SIM card for a borrowed smartphone to have maps, internet and google searches. We slept in for our first full day (so it was not really a full day). We walked La Rambla to the bay then over thru Barcelonetta to the Mediterranean Sea. Walked the boardwalk down to the Olympic village to see Ghery’s fish sculpture then up Marina to Pl. Toros Monumental.
On Sunday, May 9th we got up before noon. Did a training run then we were off to Mont Juc by taking the Funicular up to Miro Museu. It was a very laid back day since many things are closed by 2:00 on Sunday.
Monday May 10th was our Gaudi day. We walked over to the Sagrada Familia, his modernist style classic. Started over 100 years ago it is not schedule to be completed until 2030. We then we walked over to Le Pedrera, one of Gaudi’s other buildings. Very cool! Art Nouveau at it’s finest. After a relaxing snack at a cafe we worked are way over to Gaudi’s crazy mosaic world Park Guell.
We walked all the way to the top of the hill and enjoyed some amazing views of Barcelona. We spent the evening strolling around the Barri Gothic. Many shops selling pastries, shoes and jewelry.
Tuesday May 11th started with a tour of the Centre De Cultura Contemporanea De Barcelona. Toured more of the Barri Gothic and La Ribera. Mostly took it easy checking out more of Gaudi’s modernista houses.
Wednesday May 12th hoped back on the funicular to Mont Juc and toured the olympic plaza, Botanical gardens and the Catalan Art Museun. Enjoyed the view from the outside Museum cafe. We then walked down to Miro Park then strolled down Gran Via De Les Cortes. Headed back out to Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona for more art then wandered and went into Barcelona Cathedral and cloister garden.
Thursday May 13th we left Barcelona to fly to Granada. Upon arrival we enjoyed lunch in the Albacin District then went to the Ganada Cathedral and wandered to find diner tho most places were not open yet (most open after 8:30PM).
Friday May 14th was La Alhambra day, the palace and fortress complex constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus. It is a hugely popular must see attraction and we had heard that it is best to buy advanced tickets to visit La Alhambra. So the day before we planed to tour we gave a call and were told not ticket were available. WOW! In talking with the concierge he suggested that a limited number of tickets were available the day of on a first come first serve right when La Alhambra opens. So we got up early (part of our normal routine anyway) to the La Alhambra bus through a crazy route of some of the narrowest street in Spain and arrive at 7:15AM to stand in line. Thing worked out perfectly and we got our tickets for a 9:00AM tour. La Alhambra is an amazing and is roughly made up of the Fortress, the Royal Complex (main palace) and the Generalife (summer palace). We took tons of photos of the lush gardens along with the intricate and delicate stone carved walls and canopy ceilings. La Alhambra was constructed on the top the hill of the Assabica and proves an amazing view of the snow covered Sierra Nevada mountain range. We finished the day with a yummy Morrocan meal at Sultan Arabe, Granada.
On Saturday May 15th we departed Granada by train to Seville. We checked into our very centrally located hotel and took a leisurely stroll to the Cathedral of Seville were we walked up to the top of the bell tower with the thronged of other Saturday tourists. We also picked up a map of the city (since at this point we had lost our guide book) and explored the shops and restaurants around the center of the city.
Sunday May 16th we enjoyed a breakfast at hotel then on to Real Alcazar then went thru Barrio Santa Cruz (bought a few things) up to Casa De La Pilatos (lots of tiled walls)
Tried to find craft and food markets but since it was Sunday many things were closed. We
found place for a snack and then went back to hotel for siesta before tapas and flamenco show at Tablao Flamenco El Arenal. The show was amazing with singing, dancing and spanish guitar.
Monday May 17th we took the midday train from Seville to Cordoba. During the trip we went from 45ish degrees in Granada to 85ish in Cordoba. After checking into our hotel we Mezquita Catedral (Great Mosque of Córdoba) and strolled over to the Roman Arch and Bridge. We had done research into the local craft guild and found there shops. Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Casa Pepe De La Juderia and called it a day.
Tuesday May 18th we walked to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos to visit the palace and large formal gardens. Walked back through the La Juderia and bought a lovely pair of filigree earrings. After lunch we visited the Roman Temple Runis and historic convent.
Wednesday May 19th. After a run morning run I picked up some healthy breakfast. We toured through the local shops and picked up a few souvenirs at a exotic chocolate shop. It was a relaxing travel day from Cordoba to Malaga. Our hotel in Malaga had both a view of the Catedral de Málaga and the Mediterranean Sea. We enjoyed our most up scale tapas at our hotel. Great photos.
Thursday May 20th we toured Malaga starting with Catedral de Málaga then Museo Picasso Málaga and the amazing beach were sun bathers and families relaxed in the spring sun. After lunch we strolled through the Alcazaba (Morrish Fort) and the ruins of a 2nd century Roman theatre.
Friday May 21st I went for a run and then we toured the cities shops and restaurants. Took the city bus from the hotel to the Airport and flew to Barcelona. Spent a short night at the Airport Marriott and then caught our flight back to Oregon.
Arrived home late morning on Saturday May 22nd to a huge plate of freshly backed oatmeal chocolate chips cookies and a relaxed Rex the cat. Huge thank you to Amy for the cookies and the Rex TLC during our long trip.