I know I have done several travel posts before, and fortunately my husband and I are willing to try different things. The first thing that we did differently to book rooms via AirBnB. For those not familiar with AirBnB, it’s a platform where people rent out a free room or entire apartment for travellers. It is so much more affordable than paying for a hotel. It takes a bit of time to scroll and read through all the offering and picking one that suits you, but I would definitely recommend it, especially for those traveling on a budget.
Second, and probably my favorite part of trip, was the Madrid Food Tour. I had research Food Tours when I was back in the US and always wanted to try one! Luke, our guide, for food tour was fantastic! The tour enabled us to venture into local hangout spots and try authentic Spanish cuisine. Did you know the name ‘Tapas” actually means lid? Some say the word originates from a King who ordered a drink with tapa (initially a small food plate had been used to cover the drink to prevent any bugs/flies from entering). Another thing we discovered is that the dirtier area around a bar, the more popular the bar is 🙂 It was the best way to start our Spain trip!
Unknown to us, Semana Santa, the Holy Week, was being celebrated in Seville the time we were there. Our AirBnB host prepared us by saying there would be major crowd. We didn’t take him too seriously because we live in India and the crowds here on a daily basis can be too much. But, we had to take our words back. The procession, which had magnificent statues of Jesus and Mary on intricate floats, which were actually carried through the city by people, drew a crowd like no other. As the procession started at around 2-3 PM and went on till the wee hours of the night, we often found ourselves stuck in the crowds for a good 30-45 minutes.
The icing on the cake was in Barcelona, where we hired bicycles and rode them along the Barcelona coastline. We even witnessed the magical, musical fountains in Plaza Espanya.
On a side note, we did also do most of touristy things in the cities, viewing flamenco shows, visiting all the Gaudi masterpieces, and taking pictures of all of the above 😉
One thing stood out to us, 10 days was no where close to the amount of time one needs to see Spain. Each city had its own unique charm and feel. I am sure there is a lot more diversity across the country that is just waiting to be explored. Till the next time my travel allows me a trip to Spain, Hasta Luego!