Viva Espana

In April/May, Mark and I took our honeymoon to Spain.  It was the first time out of North America for me and the first time I have ever used my passport.  I guess you could say I don’t have “the travel bug”, but I was glad to get out there and see a new spot in the world.

We flew to Madrid and spent two days there.  We stayed at the Hotel Plaza Mayor, which was a fantastic hotel in a great location. Here is Mark at the plaza:Image

On our second day there, we went to the Mercado San Miguel which is a very cool looking, semi-open air market with lots of vendors selling everything from coffee and pastry to wine and cheese.  Image

Since it was cold and rainy outside, we were happy to sit at a covered and heated table and enjoy some drink and snacks.Image

The next day we made our way to Barcelona by train.  We stayed in the heart of the Gothic Quarter at the Hotel Neri.  It was such a cool area.  Here’s a shot of the front of our hotel:Image

And here’s looking down the tiny, narrow street.Image

All the streets in the gothic quarter are like this and they don’t run parallel or interesect at anything that comes close to a 90 degrees angle so if you saw a shop you liked while wondering around one day and you wanted to come back and check it out again the next day, that was pretty much impossible.

Our hotel also had a cool rooftop area with lounge chairs and a bar.IMG_0163

On our first full day in Barcelona, Mark surprised me with reservations to take a cooking class at the Barcelona Cooking School. This was actually my first time taking a cooking class and I loved it.  I would definitely recommend doing something like this when traveling. It was a great way to learn about the food and culture, get local tips, and meet new people.

Our chef/Instructor took us to large market in Barcelona called La Boqueria.  There we shopped for our ingredients and learned about the market and its vendors.

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Then we went back to the kitchen and prepared paella…Image

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Spanish Omelette….Image

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An artichoke soup (which I forgot to take pictures of, but was delicious!) and catalan cream which is a Catalan version of creme brulee.Image

Our Chef/Instructor recommended a place nearby for dinner and we were so happy that he did.  It’s called CATALAN and we loved that the whole restaurant was pretty much just one long bar that looked into the open kitchen.

Our last stop of the trip was San Sebastian.  We LOVED this place!  Beach town with awesome food and nightlife?  Sign.Us.Up.  We stayed right on the beach at the Hotel Niza.Image

We checked in and took this elevator to our room, it was such a trip.Image

When we got our room, this was the view that was waiting for us.Image

We ate the famous three-star Michelin star restaurant Martin Berasategui.  We didn’t take any photos, but the link to the Trip Advisor page will show you lots of them if you are interested. the food was delicious and like nothing I had ever eaten.  We did the tasting menu and the wine pairing, the combinations we amazing.  If you are a foodie and have the chance to eat somewhere like this once in your life, do it.  It’s like no other place I have ever been.

The next day we hiked up to the top of the hill where there is an old fort and a statue of Jesus.  The views from there were spectacular.Image

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There was great shopping in San Sebastian and we loved walking not only through the newer district that had nice boutiques and restaurants, but also the parte vieja (“old part”) that was home to the fishing port and the tapas bars.IMG_0206 IMG_0208

The last night we were there we did a tapas tour though San Sebastian Food.  We really enjoyed learning and tasting basque style tapas and making new friends.Image

We had a great time on our Spanish adventure.  Here’s the one and only shot of the two us on our honeymoon, guess we had better frame it! Image

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4 thoughts on “Viva Espana

  1. Loved your Spanish travel log, especially the pictures that included you and Mark. The Hotel Niza, and your room with a view, brought back sweet memories! Thanks for posting and letting enjoy have a little window into your honeymoon! Cheers!

  2. Great photos of your adventures in Spain. It’s almost midnight and I’m hungry after seeing your pictures of food. It’s funny, Susie and I do the same thing on our travels.

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