We made it to Europe in one piece after a string of 8 hour flights and a 6 hour layover in the Doha airport! So far we have had a great start in Spain, enjoying all of the amazing architecture, food and Football(soccer). We flew into Madrid where we did a Tapas tour, and tried to get used to the meal schedule. In Spain the main meal of the day is Lunch, which is typically eaten around 2-4pm. This means that business hours usually are like a split shift, 10 in the morning until 1pm, then lunch break for a few hours where everything is closed, then shops open again around 5 until 9pm. This is also the time for tapas, which are small snack size portions that you usually eat with a few beers of glasses of Sangria! Then there is a light dinner around 9 or 10pm or just more tapas. We have enjoyed adapting tothis schedule, and the many variations of tapas which include jamon (thin slices of ham), Tortilla (Spanish Omellette), Cheeses, Chorizo, and many other combinations usually served on a piece of bread.
Hawley and I took in some art in Madrid
and Barcelona, going to the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and the Museo Picasso and Contemporary Art Museum in Barcelona. All of them have been great in their own respect although I don´t think I have an eye for contemporary art. We also enjoyed the many feats of architecture in these 2 cities, Segrada de Familia, Madrid Royal Palace, and Barcelona Cathedral to name a few.
The onyl thing more important then food and Art in Spain is the football, and we witnessed the dedication while in Barcelona. We were in town the night that Real Madrid lost to Mallorca, which solidified the Spanish cup for FC Barcelona. The party started immediately, with fireworks and firecrackers going off all over the city. We headed to Placa Catalunya where we saw what seemed like half the city partying, lighting flares being rowdy. Thankfully we left before the riot police were called!
Next we took a ferry across to Mallorca to visit my family there near Palma. They took us in for a week, fed us and my cuisin James drove us all over the island and showed us a great time. The hilight was definately Sunday lunch and Margarita´s
home-made Paella, a Spanish tradition. Thanks again to my Uncle Jim and the family for taking us in and showing us a good time!
After Mallorca we flew back to the mainland to Valencia, had a few days there then down to Andalucia for the rest of our time in Spain. Sorry I have to run the internet place we are at is closing. We spent the last few days in Grenada, a great city at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, that is known for free tapas with each drink you oder, could it get any better? Heading to Sevilla tomorrow then Portugal!
Joe and Hawley
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