It’s getting to be that time again. Soon enough I’ll be off and on my way to Spain to see a number of new cities in such a beautiful country. I’ve only been once before, and did a quick stint in Barcelona and a longer stay in a more remote town in the Costa Brava. This time I’ll be seeing a much larger variety of cities, and I’m eager like a child on his first vacation. In addition to sorting out last-minute logistics and planning my packing, I sat down for one of my favorite pre-travel rituals – watching some informational footage by Rick Steves.
Rick does an excellent job on his travel shows, and they served as formational videos for my childhood. I even crossed paths with him once in Athens – I didn’t have the opportunity to introduce myself unfortunately, but just being in his presence made my spine tingle and filled me with joy. It brought me back to my early childhood.
I particularly like this video, as it is a bit of a shift from the normal travel videos and, I find, a bit more candid. It’s pretty cool to think about the history of the country, and how much influence the Moors had in forming the country. Naturally, they have a bit of a bad reputation in terms of the history books, but their impression on the country’s culture brought a unique flare. This comes through particularly in the architecture of the south of the country, and hopefully I’ll be seeing some of that along the way.
I will be spending some time along the south eastern coast, seeing a few of spots that are high on my list for relaxation purposes. However, I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the other cities – Madrid in particular. I have only been to the Catalonian region of Spain before, yet I don’t speak any Catalan. My background, like most people who learn Spanish language in high school in the US, is in the Castilian language. Castilian is spoken in Madrid, and basically anywhere that more to the north and/or west of the country. I always enjoy a city more when I am able to immerse myself at a deeper level so I’m quite excited.
So, what’s on the schedule for me?
Well, I’ll be staying a nights in Valencia, just to get a quick feel for the place. Then I’ll be off to Alicante, which is a beautiful seacoast town. I’ll be there for a while so perhaps I’ll be making some day trips when I have a chance. Then I’ll be off to Seville, passing through Madrid as the train system necessitates. This has been on my bucket list since learning about it over a decade ago, and I am very excited to see what this quaint and romantic village has in store. Finally, I’ll post up in Madrid for a while before my trip comes to a close – it will be a sad day indeed, but unfortunately it is inevitable.
Well, back to travel prep for me. I’ll make sure to stay up to date!