It’s well and truly Autumn now but we managed to squeeze a few more sunshine hours into our trip thanks to Spain.
In fact our first stop in Barcelona was properly hot and I wish I had packed my bathing suit to take advantage of the city beach they have. Lack of swimming aside, we packed in a bit of sightseeing. I was quite excited to see the works of Antoni Gaudi the architect. While some pieces were quite pretty with lots of nature-inspired elements, I thought La Sagrada Familia (below) was…… well……. ugly. The church is taking over 150 years to complete and every inch is covered with ‘stuff’ and it’s set to get a LOT bigger.
We also went to an awesome food market in the centre of town. Lots of delicious, exciting, well priced Spanish foods everywhere you looked…. we were in foodie heaven. The larger cities in Spain certainly seem to be into experimenting with new flavours and combinations etc but all I have photo-wise is me with some yummy meat and cheese on a stick.
Driving Rhonda inland across to Madrid, we saw many small old walled villages on top of hills. We stopped at one of these small towns, Cantavieja and had the best time in one of the local hangouts, Bar Yodi. Delicious tapas, friendly staff and locals and plenty of Spanish drinks. The hospitality here was fantastic, so good we went back the next morning for breakfast! Here is Tim having one of the more unique tapas to the region, fried intestines. Let’s just say it wasn’t my favourite but Tim enjoyed it, along with the pigs lips and ears!
Madrid was surprisingly fun for a big city. We managed to get in a little Christmas shopping ; ), explored a weekly market, saw some unusual buskers and squeezed into another tiny tapas bars with the locals for lunch. We also had the best Churros con Chocolate of the trip here. The trick is go to a proper chocolateria, otherwise the hot chocolate always seems to resemble warm, runny instant pudding.
Heading up North, we stopped at the picturesque Segovia, a town with plenty of cute old buildings, an aqueduct right through the centre and the beautiful palace below that we went into.
Before reaching the coast we stopped at another tiny old town on the recommendation of a man we spoke to in a Madrid cafe. Pedraza didn’t disappoint visually. The entire village is old and almost all original, so much so that it was used as a shooting location for the Spanish TV series ‘Isabella’. From what I could gather this is Spain’s version of ‘The Tudors’. The town is also well known in the area for it’s slow cooked lamb dish. We treated ourselves to some for lunch… see the mountain of lamb we were served in the photo below.
Not sure how this post or this country turned into such a food-related experience but my mouth is watering just at the memory of it!