Spain, the land of Sangria, Sherry and Siestas – Warning,you may not want to return home! And that’s before we even start talking about the food … Tapas! Apparently I’ve been practicing for traveling in Spain for much of my adult life, I just never knew it. Who knew that there was actually a magical land far, far away where after enjoying a glass of wine, (or two), at lunch, you take an afternoon nap before getting up and having more wine! I mean who wouldn’t want to go there. I suppose if you live there you’re expected to go back to work after your afternoon Siesta, but as a tourist I had no such obligation to interrupt my utopian experience.
My daily tourist schedule was something more along the lines of wake up, (not too early of course), see main tourist site, have a late, fabulous lunch, siesta like a champ, visit a smaller tourist site and then dinner in an equally fabulous way!
My first trip to Spain was to the Andalusia region, which is in southern Spain, in November. It was a bit cold, but still wonderful. This was my first exposure to tapas, Iberian ham, and Sherry. The tapas mostly confused me for a few days, mostly because it seemed too good to be true, but it’s not. You really are supposed to just order a couple of small appetizer type dishes to share; and if you’re still hungry order more. For all you sports fans out there it’s basically tailgating with none of the work. The Iberian ham was also over my head at first. It really shouldn’t be called ham. Ham in my mind conjures images of Easter dinner or deli meat. This ham is closer to thinly sliced pieces of cured heaven (this knocks prosciutto right out of the water); which I suggest having with local cheese. And then there’s Sherry, another new … I swear I saw historic and cultural stuff too between the wine and food. Anyhow the Sherry also so wonderful it deserves it’s very own post.
My next trip to Spain included Barcelona, Madrid, and Bilbao in June, beautiful! All are in central to northern Spain; which are a world away from Andalusia Spain. But I was willing to overcome and adapt. By that I meant I had to switch from Sherry to Sangria. It was actually a pretty natural transition, really not too much of a hardship.
In between the drinking, eating, and sleeping there was some time left over for tourist attractions which were all wonderful in their own, drier way.
I’ll be following up with more of my favorites from Spain all month, but what are some of yours? They could be food, drink, places, or something I haven’t yet thought about.