Spain was great. But also exhausting because went to so many different cities. Started in Madrid, then flew to Barcelona. Took a day trip to Montserrat. Took a train to Valencia. Drove through Granada to Sevilla. Then took another train back to Madrid…
Overall, people in Spain were very pushy. In a slightly rude way. The cities were very crowded and people just didn’t bother to get out of anyone’s way, even slightly. They also just assumed everyone spoke Spanish. But then when I would attempt to respond in my admittedly-slow Spanish, they’d get impatient and switch to English. It didn’t help that their Spanish is totally different from the Mexican/American version I learned. Or it was Catalan, which is incomprehensible to me.
But I did enjoy walking around the cities and stopping to eat at little restaurants. And I liked that everyone drank alcoholic beverages at all hours of the day, with no second thoughts. And really, why not have a beer at noon? The food was all very good, although I was mildly surprised how similar it all was. Or perhaps it was just because I know which Spanish foods I like, so I kept ordering them… Spanish omelette, olives, octopus and paella made up the bulk of my diet there. I did also try sea urchin, which tasted like ocean. And we had vermouth, which I had never actually had. I did not have any gin and tonic drinks, although it seemed to be very trendy.
The most culturally interesting things were probably the Sagrada Familia and Semana Santa. The Sagrada Familia was interesting, but the inside was less impressive than the Grand Mosque here in Abu Dhabi. And really, how many years of construction does it take? Living in a country where everything’s been built so quickly, it boggles my mind. Semana Santa was more interesting. I mean, a whole parade of people wearing outfits that inspired the KKK costume was endless entertainment. The floats were gorgeous too. And I liked that everyone on the sidewalks was just chilling with their beers to watch a religious procession.