Day 8

As we head to the airport at 5 am, we are lucky enough to grab a taxi since a strike is happening.

Once we arrive to the train station our friend was a victim of theft.
Headed back to Madrid, he and his wife begin to make a list of items he lost. I can’t believe this just happened. You’ve always heard it happening to others but never imagine it could happen right in front if you. The bad part is the other 3 of us who were with him never saw it coming.

We get off the train and immediately notice the difference in temperature and it’s much cooler and less humid, more my style.
Fred heads to the embassy to work out his situation as we head to the airBnB to drop off our stuff.

The apartment isn’t ready until 12:30 so we go out and grab food. I’ve been trying to find a pair of gauchos on this trip and we run into a mall along our travels.

I was very interested to see a supermarket inside the mall and a man going down the escalator with his cart of groceries. Apparently you can get everything here!

With luck I find a really cute pair at Zara, which feels like a Forever 21.

As Fred still try’s to get a temporary passport, his wife, my husband, and I head back to the apartment to take showers and wait for him to get back. Each room at this airBnB has air conditioning in the bedrooms and for that we are grateful. The last one in Madrid did not.

We all reconnect.

Ready to go out, we hit up dinner first at a pizza parlor before the end of the nights entertainment, a flamenco show.
The pizza place serves craft beer from Madrid and this is the first time on the trip I’ve had a beer. I choose a white hoppy IPA and it goes nicely with my margherita pizza.

Fred orders the volcano which comes out in flames and as you could guess that was a spicy pizza! It had him sweating towards the end.

The flamenco show is two doors down from the pizza parlor. As we enter we are greeted with a complimentary glass of vino tinto. They take us back to our seats for the show.

The performers start the show by explaining the importance of each element; the singing, guitar playing, the dance, vocalizations and chorus clapping, hand clapping and finger snapping and how each part is critical to the entire performance of flamenco.

Flamenco's origins are a subject of debate since its only been documented for the past two hundred years. The word Flamenco did not come into use until the 18th century.

The theme of the music is almost always passion of love, poverty, death and injustice.

The show ends at 9, and we are amazed at these performers. The level of intensity and the contortion of their bodies definitely show the passion of flamenco.

Heading back through the streets the sun begins to set and we hail a cab for an early night. First one in eight days.

Day 7

Today my husband go out together and take a tour of the places we wanted to visit along the bus tour from the other day.
Sagrada Familia, finally! I have been looking forward to this ever since we started planning for this trip.

If your ever in Barcelona I highly recommend it. The tour wasn’t expensive and we purchased the audio guide to go along with it. The front entrance as seen above depicts the birth of Christ.

By getting the audio guide we were able to walk around and hear the artist intention for everything. Gaudí used nature for inspiration. The columns inside the church are meant to represent trees as they branch off at the top to hold the weight.

This place is amazing and the artist who created it, inspiring. Outside barriers and walls keep people from coming close to the exterior since construction is being done still on the cathedral and won’t be completed until 2026.

The structure is massive and dominates the entire block. The back where you exit contains images of the passion of Christ.

The crypt below the alter is where the artist, Gaudi is buried. This location is blocked off to the public and can only be viewed from windows staring down.

Gaudi is the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. Definitely a man before his time.

Gaudi was hit by a tram so he never saw his work completed. On the back of the cathedral another artist was chosen to finish it. You can see in the background of the picture below the betrayal of Judas as he kisses Jesus’s cheek.

Not only was Gaudí the architect he also designed the furniture pieces that are used for mass.

As we finish out tour of the cathedral, we make our way to see the Dalí exhibit at the National Museum of Catalan.

At the top of the museum entrance is a beautiful spot to take photographs of Barcelona.

The Dalí tour is quick and mostly about his wife, Gala. Paintings, videos, and photographs adorn the walls depicting their interesting relationship. Dalí felt his wife directly inspired him and appeared in many of his works.

We head back through the small narrow passageways of the town. I notice a lot of graffiti on the doors and it gives a nice pop of color to these beige buildings.

Hailing a cab we take it back to the hotel.

Our tired bodies are done and we take a siesta before dinner. We end the night with a romantic walk on the beach one last time before heading to bed and back to Madrid tomorrow.

Day 6

Earlier today my husband and I took a trip to the beach, Marbella, and enjoyed a couple hours in the sun. After our time in the sun we grab a taxi and head back to the hotel to get ready for a delicious dinner.

Arriving to the restaurant we see a large door with the name of the restaurant, ABaC, on the front.

We buzz in to let them know our group is here. A door opens and we enter this beautifully landscaped entrance.

We sit down at this table that’s already set up with plates and glasses. Manolo has recommended this restaurant and as I’ve said before he doesn’t disappoint. He knows great food!

Looking around we are the only ones in the room. The waiters cater to us and we look at the menu that’s been prepared for tonight.

A group of five waiters in black suits take our plates and we are told this one waiter is assigned to our table to take care of all of our needs.

He describes every plate as it comes to us and how we should enjoy it. As we finish our glasses of wine, they come around and fill you back up- your glass is never empty.

I look around I feel like I should see the Kardashian’s sitting next to me, everything is so formal and undoubtedly expensive!
I know my brother in law, chef Andrew, would’ve enjoyed this meal so this post is dedicated to him!

Lime cactus, tequila and green leaves

Crunchy bread with spicy tomato sauce and basil

Galician Salmon and cured egg yolk, trout eggs, soya butter and Nori textures

Gilda de mar

Bloody Mary on the rocks with Clams and cockles

Whipped hazelnut butter with bread crusts and caviar

Almond foie gras shaves with honey, vanilla and miso

Chinese box: Chinese bread, fried broche, grilled eel and wasabi

Roasted turbot suquet and picada with citronella “all i oli”

Tuna rice, Mediterranean tomato stew, tuna belly and pecorino Romano

Parpatna stew and veal with hazelnuts like chickpeas, crispy kale and citrus

“Our pine cone”: cured lamb tea and pine leaves to drink and roasted, cured and dried suckling lamb meats, apricot confit, pine shoots, pistil crud and caramelized jus

Camomile “pillow”, milk and buscuit roll with a touch of lightly spicy citruses

Chocloate fragile crate

Violets egg with yoghurt, blueberries, and buscuits

“Sweet Pumpkin” A berry flavor frozen lipstick is brought out to everyone along with a silver platter served with desserts. We were instructed to coat our lips with the lipstick each time we eat a small dessert off the platter.

I’ve mentioned before this trip is a lot of food firsts for me and tonight it definitely was. I can say that I enjoyed every single item that was brought out to us.

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