As my time here continues, I can now say I’ve conquered a little bit of Spain.
If you can rightly get a feel for a country in only a week, I believe Julia and I may have done it. By tackling Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville for spring break, we got a pretty good taste of Spain. And within each city we quite literally got a good taste, considering the amount of paella and tapas we consumed. Paella, a traditional Spanish dish of rice and seafood, was almost impossible to pass up, as was the sangria we had almost every meal.
Beyond the food, there were other experiences that really set Spain apart from the other places I’d been. Discovering the clear distinctions between cultures of different countries is perhaps my favorite part of traveling. There are crossovers, certainly, but each place that touches you leaves fingerprints unlike any that came before.
Spanish culture, while similar to the Italian culture in such ways as family values and a commitment to siesta (you’d be surprised by the number of shops closed down at 2 o clock in both Italy and Spain), certainly has distinctions that set it apart.
Catching a Flemenco dancing street performance, riding through the streets of Seville on a horse drawn carriage, Sangria game night at our hostel in Madrid (with perhaps the most eclectic and random group of new friends ever), finally finding a vinyl I’ve been looking for the past two years, drinking the best freakin fresh strawberry coconut juice ever at the market off Las Rambles, having tapas with our wonderful tour guide Evan, who thankfully forgave us for showing up five hours late our first night in, and having talks with Julia on the pier, our converse sneakers resting on the rocks at our feet, made this trip quite memorable. I’m fairly confident I picked a good way to spend my spring break.