We started our journey in Madrid. Brian not only got off the plane jet lagged, but very ill too. What made matters worse was we couldn't check into our hotel for several hours. After we navigated a foreign Pharmacy for what we hoped were the right meds, we took refuge in a park nearby to rest and wait.
The side streets of Madrid were easily by favorite thing about the city. They were full of character. Most of the shops and restaurants had tiny garage doors that slid up and exposed what was inside... quaint and romantic little spaces. Casa Lucas was among the best tapas places in Spain. I'm still dreaming about their calamari with squid ink mousse. We met Hernan of Prisma Blanco Fotografia one evening and he captured us in the heart of the city where it felt most lively and colorful!
We definitely weren't in Ohio anymore. Toledo was only about an hour's train ride outside of Madrid but felt like a trip back in time. It was almost as if the city stayed the same while civilization changed around it. There were castles, lots of street vendors selling swords, ancient yet well preserved cobblestone streets that ran like veins to and around the magnificent Catedral Primada church.
We spent the least amount of time in Bilbao but it was the most treasured part of our trip. The city was a perfect marriage of old and new. Lush green spaces were speckled throughout the cityscape, a mountain range hugged the town and a river ran through it. Super bike and dog friendly. Our kind of place through and through.
It was foggy and cold the afternoon we arrived. We stayed warm though wandering around the amazing Guggenheim museum. The next day we hopped on the street car (btw - same engineers as the Cincinnati street car) in search for the rental car place but accidentally got lost in Casco Viejo, also known as "Old Town". A happy accident really, because it was a breathtaking sight to see for a photographer's soul.
san juan de gaztelugatxe, spain
Brian drove us in a rental car from Bilbao to San Sebastian. We were both in awe at the drastic landscape change in such a short distance. Along the way, we took a break here to stretch our legs. This is where Dragonstone in Game of Thrones was filmed. Yes, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen walked up the same steps we did. However, the "castle" is a bit smaller in real life.
san sebastian, spain
Brian got us to our next destination safe and sound all the while ignoring the anxiety emanating from the seat next to him. San Sebastián marked the halfway point of our trip. I'm not going to lie, there was a moment where I got a little homesick and missed Zula and Huckleberry.
The beach was a quick walk from our Airbnb. I only got in trouble once because I was wading in an area zoned for surfers. I played the ignorant tourist card. Brian has never been one to sunbathe. He instead busied himself by hiking up more stairs and mountains. Because this trip didn't have enough of that haha!
We concluded our adventure in Barcelona. On the second night, we enjoyed a bottle of wine on our rooftop terrace while we watched the fireworks for the close out of the La Mercè festival. I had to pinch myself because I couldn't believe it was real life. Barcelona was beautiful, the people friendly and there was so much to see! We could of stayed here our entire vacation and only have seen a fraction of what the city had to offer.
la sagrada familia
Casa Batlló, barcelona, spain
Marrying Brian didn't make me feel "tied down." With him I am free... free to explore the world. He is the best company I could have by my side. Hoping for many more wild and crazy memories in different places!