With a less busy period at work and a break from school coinciding on my calendar, I couldn't help but hop on a plane to a new somewhere. The destination of choice this time: Spain!
I originally planned to hit up Spain last year but ultimately chose Italy instead. Newly inspired this year by the travels of my amiga Camille, it bumped back up in my list and, spoiler alert, I was not disappointed.
Spain is....flavorful! Architecture, the language, landscapes, little beige towns nestled in the middle of nowhere...it screams summer and warmth to me. Probably because it was like 100 degrees outside. Tip: don't travel to Spain in the dead of summer, haha. But seriously. It's a lovely and beautiful country but I suggest aiming for spring or autumn. Though, all the sweating inspired me not to wear any makeup but the occasional lipstick for 9 days and I really didn't hate that, so I'll take it!
Hit up 4 cities on this trip, so in order of visit....
Barcelona felt like San Francisco! Maybe because the graffiti told me several times that I should become a vegan. Barcelona's shining gem is Gaudi -- whose work is most prominent in La Sagrada Familia (did I photograph it? I tried. It's too big. Google it.) and Park Guell (all those funky tiled pics below). Gaudi is color and detail and quirk. Also hit up a flamenco show!
Seville is the spot I would choose to live in. It reminded me of Florence! Slower paced, with small shops and plazas with Spanish guitarists and a general meandering vibe to it. Ate some delicious beef filet here (sorry to the graffiti in Barcelona for my meat consumption), grabbed some boba tea, toured Real Alcazar (a palace where they filmed the Dorne scenes, for any Game of Thrones fans out there), hit up a cathedral or two....good stuff all around. Except when I smashed my phone on the ground, but it worked out because I happened to be in a neighborhood with no less than two iPhone repair shops. Weird, but I'll take it. (p.s. the green floral skirt WITH POCKETS I'm wearing below is made my friend Kayla at Lark Skirts -- go check out all her prints!)
Granada! Even though I said I'd choose to live in Seville, Granada is where I'd escape to on the weekends. It has a blend of Spanish + Arab culture that really worked for me. Highlights: La Alhambra (a castle on a hill) and an Arab bath house. Think candle-lit rooms with tiled walls and multiple pools in various temperatures.....plus a massage with red amber oil....yeah didn't hate this experience at all. It's like a public pool times 10,000 cool points.
If Barcelona is San Francisco, Madrid is NYC! Seriously, other than moments when I had to interact with people primarily in Spanish, you could have fooled me that I'd woken up in the United States while in Madrid. (Though the Spanish architecture definitely levels up over NYC.) At this point in the trip I was a bit out-muggled (see: tired of being around crowds of people, especially in the summer heat) but Madrid made it up to me with some yummy churros and a sunset rooftop view, pictured below.
...aaaand that's a wrap. El fin. And now Ima get back to enjoying what's left of my break from school, focusing on work ramping back up, and napping off the jetlag.