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Friday, July 4, 2014

Spain- Art, Food, and People- Part 2



  There's something about Spain, well actually lots of things about
  Spain, that make it irresistible to me.  This was my third trip there in the
  the last nine years.  I was gone for twelve days but could have easily stayed
  another twelve if I had the time.


 Three years ago I visited Madrid, Granada, and Sevilla.  This year, my trip was again
 to Madrid (how could I go to Spain and not re-visit the Prado?!) then on to Barcelona and Valencia.

 There are three basic things that make Spain great - the art, the food, and the
 people. In Madrid alone there are three major world class museums, the Prado,
 the Thyssen, and the Sofia Reina. The Prado by itself, containing El Greco, Velasquez,
 Reubens, Goya and more, is amazing. In the other two museums there are even
more masterpieces to be found, including Picasso's Guernica at the Sofia Reina.

Picasso-Guernica, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid

Goya, Prado, Madrid

Reubens, Prado, Madrid

Barcelona has Gaudi, the Picasso and Miro museums, and more.  Valencia is smaller,
and I was unfortunately only there two days, but there is a lot to explore. On top of
Spain's legendary art museums, there is a multitude of wonderful art galleries, which I will cover in a future blog.


Food. Generally I appreciate fine food but never think about it much, although I remember
from my previous trip that almost anywhere we went, whether it was a local small place or
a fancy restaurant, everything was great. This time around, I was even more impressed.
Seasoned traveler and food critic, Anthony Bourdain, has raved about the food there and
once said that the best young chefs in the world are in Spain.





My girlfriend and I ate in the wonderful markets, or mercados, as well as small "local" restaurants, hip to traditional tapas places, top notch restaurants, and even a newer "cool" pizza restaurant "la mucca".
In the end, we had a large range of foodie experiences and just about everything was fantastic.
 

Lastly, the people. Madrid and Barcelona, the two biggest cities, can be a lot of hustle and bustle, but
I still remember nine years ago, when I could barely speak a word of Spanish, we were going out
to dinner in Madrid and got completely lost. I stopped an older man in the street to ask him for
help. All I could do was point to an address and gesture that we didn't know where we were.
He ended up walking with us, a mile out of his way, right to the front door of the place.  Is everyone
like that? Probably not... but I have a feeling the generally warm and friendly Spanish disposition has something to do with constantly being surrounded by beautiful art and delicious food...and I supposed the traditional mid-day siestas don't hurt either.

Flamenco Dancer


So if you ever have a chance to get out to Madrid or any of the places mentioned above, definitely take advantage of that opportunity! More to come soon about the galleries we visited in Part Three...stay tuned!

-Darryll

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