A couple of days in Madrid was enough for us especially because the weather wasn’t the best. We stayed on a street equivalent to that of Bourke Street in Melbourne which meant when we walked out of our apartment the first thing we saw were shops, shops and more shops. I don’t think we could of left without buying something, so Mark bought new shoes to replace the old pair he was wearing. Apart from buying new shoes we spent our time in Madrid wandering around like we do. After 2 days there we got an early morning train to Seville. Just before leaving we were trying to remember why we were going to Seville as there didn’t seem like there was a whole lot to do compared to other parts of Spain. After spending a couple hundred dollars on train tickets though there was no way we were changing anything so we got on the train and figured we would use the time to relax if there was nothing else to do.
I’ve realised Mark just loves European life – especially those that encourage a siesta. Seville was great. Everyday we would get up and go out for a walk before deciding what we would actually do with our day. To decide what we would do we would have to go and buy some croissants or donuts for breakfast and then walk over to a local cafe so Mark could have his morning coffee. It was at this cafe that we decided to do our usual – Walk around. So after walking around for a bit we would stop by a small bar that was across the road from our apartment. We would buy 1 Euro beers and possibly get a pork and prosciutto toasted roll, possibly when translations didn’t work we would get a prosciutto and blue cheese – we did prefer the pork and prosciutto over the blue cheese. We would then walk across the road with the intention of writing/reading/emailing but just fall asleep like the rest of the town and wake up after our siesta feeling like we really did what we had secretly planned to do all along. After our siesta we would walk back across the road, drink more beers, eat more rolls and often get a plate of olives and some roasted chicken. As uneventful as all of that may sound we really enjoyed our time in Seville. We stayed out of the main city so we were away from all of the tourist sites which meant we could live just like the locals.
Mark was a bit sad to leave Seville. He absolutely loved the bar we went to everyday and he loved the entire vibe Seville had but we had already paid for our train so we left one afternoon to go to Barcelona. Barcelona was probably just as we had imagined. It didn’t move us the way Seville did as everything seemed more forced upon you. In Barcelona things felt forced whereas it didn’t feel like that in Seville, nonetheless we were in Barcelona so we had to make the most of it. We spent our first full day getting to know the city and checking out a few things before heading back to our apartment. We weren’t happy with our accommodation so that afternoon we packed up our things, wrote a note to our host and left. Our new room at a hostel in the Gothic District of Barcelona was so nice we were disappointed we didn’t get to spend our first night there as well! We ate at a new Spanish burger house down the road, downed some beers and sangria and woke up early the next day for our visit to Casa Batllo and Sagrada Familia. Both sites were amazing and were unlike anything we had ever seen before but if I had to pick between them I wouldn’t even need to think about it. Sagrada Familia was so amazing that when we went to leave the lady at the gate reminded us that once we left we couldn’t come back for the day so we turned around and ran back inside just to make sure we had had our Sagrada fix! Antoni Gaudi thought in a way that I would never even contemplate and everything he did in the cathedral, no matter how different just worked perfectly.
Barcelona is known to the yachting world for it’s huge port and boating lifestyle. We walked along the port throughout the day to look at all of the multi-million dollar boats and along one part of the walk I actually started to get really angry. In the water there were so many boats all worth a ridiculous amount of money, then there was a path running along the waters edge, along that path there was a wire fence (I assume to stop people from just walking straight onto the boats) and then on our side of the fence there were groups of people set up selling souvenirs, gadgets and fake shoes and handbags. The stark contrast between wealth was overwhelming and quite sad. Something that did cheer me up was seeing a rooftop garden on a building (I’m obsessed with them at the moment) – It was a proper roof top garden with grass and all, not just a roof with some pot plants! – and I know that Mark was secretly laughing at me getting so excited that while yelling “rooftop garden” and pointing hysterically, I tripped over while trying to run to get a better look. (My father-in-law would say that’s another reason why I shouldn’t attempt to run)
That night we met up with a friend who lives in Barcelona and funnily enough works on the huge boats that dock there. What was meant to be quite dinner and drinks turned into a very late night with us missing our flight this morning. Because we missed our flight we had to book one the of cheapest flights available and now for that reason we are sitting on a plane that took off and then turned back around because the landing gear didn’t go up which could apparently cause problems throughout the flight. Luckily, they have found us another plane that isn’t currently being used so once we are able to board that one they will be moving us from one plane to the other, or so they say. At this stage I don’t really mind because there is no-one seated next to me so I’m going to lay down and try to sleep so I can function slightly better when we get to Germany.