From top to bottom and back
03.05.2012 20 °C
Since the last entry we've seen all shades of Spain and loved them all. San Sebastain (San Ban), would have to be the foodie capital of the world and there are more Michelin stars here per sqm than anywhere else. We were absolutely in our element roaming from one amazing tapas experience to the next through the energy filled cobble stone lanes of this seaside town. Thanks to our friends at Pension Bella Artes for all your tips.
We left the coast to head across to Zaragoza and down to the metropolis of Madrid. Our GPS didn't seem up to speed with Madrid traffic conditions so it took us 2 hours to get to our hotel. This gave us a really good look at this bustling city at night, full of people, monuments, fountains, cafes and bars. We ventured out and got into a bit of this Madrid nightlife via the San Migual market. We arrived at 11pm to see this in full flight with food, wine, beer and produce. There're not joking when they say that everything happens late here in Spain. It was still going strong when we left after midnight.
Through the following day we saw the palace, the Museo del Prado and the peaceful Parque del Ben retiro. At the latter we took occasion to gently row around the estanque lake and take in the sun. This mild exertion set us up for siesta time before we took on one of the best Paella restaurants in the city. A big tick off the food list here with a wonderful seafood paella.
From Madrid we headed south and were blown away with the mix of endless olive groves, jagged mountains, Islamic architecture and simple delicious food. As you head south, you can definitely see the increasing influence of Islam dating back to the 8th century and feel the 700 year struggle with Christianity over this peninsula. While the Christians won in the end, they couldn't remove the traces in the buldings or food and this culture seems stronger than ever. Cordoba gave us song in the streets, flower boxes and bull's tail stew; Seville showed us the power and passion of flamenco; and the beautiful hill top town of Grenada transported us back to Damascus.
A long drive up the coast to Valencia for a pit stop and their famous oranges brings us to Barcalona in Catalunya. A wander down one of Europe's busiest parades in La Rambla, lunch and a siesta was a perfect lead into a highlight on our wedding wishing well - watching Barcalona FC play Malaga at Nou Camp. A great crowd full of song, waving banners and flags delivered the home team to 4-1 win (capped off with a Messi hat trick, 2 direct penalties and one majestic chip over the keeper, to regather and slot home!!). Late night tapas capped off great night.
We head back into the south of France for a few days before Italy - can't wait. There are some updated photos on the right hand panel under 'more photos'. Hope all is well and keep in touch.
Buenos Dias xx