Madrid day 2

Sunday 9 June 2013 In the morning we visited Madrid’s famous flea market, El Rastro. This was a fairly intense experience. We arrived before the crowds had built up. Susie was in heaven, browsing through stalls full of bags and artisan jewellery. She found one jeweller whose work she admired—a good-looking, middle-aged woman with impeccable…

Cuenca—Madrid day 1

Saturday 8 June 2013 We booked a taxi from Hostel Tabanqueta to the train station and boarded an AVE to Madrid which took under an hour. Have I sung the praises of Spain’s national railway, RENFE, loud enough yet? When can we have something like this in Australia? Perhaps we need to send all the…

Cuenca day 2

Friday 7 June 2013 We breakfasted in a local cafeteria and then walked across an iron footbridge that spanned the gorge to visit a museum of modern art on the other side. Alas, this had permanently closed, and so we re-traced our steps back to the main part of the old city where we visited…

Valencia—Cuenca day 1

Thursday 6 June 2013 Susan did well to hail a taxi as we lumped our packs out of the old city. We learned on our arrival that station for the fast trains was some distance away, and my back was not up to the task of carrying a heavy pack. The train from Valencia to…

Valencia day 3

Wednesday 5 June 2013 We started the day with a visit to a local bakery which sold excellent “rustic” bread rolls which were covered in seeds. We then picked up our bicycles and a map of the parklands. We rode to one extremity of the “river” and had a picnic lunch in a quiet spot…

Valencia day 2

Tuesday 4 June 2013 We started the day with a visit to El Mercado Central, which is a vast array of food stalls located in a vast and beautiful tiled building a few blocks away in the old city. The variety of goods on offer was bewildering. The seafood and the smallgoods were particularly impressive….

Barcelona to Valencia day 1

Monday 3 June 2013 It was with a tinge of sadness that we packed up and left our apartment in Barcelona. As a new working week began for the locals, we caught the metro to Sants Station and boarded a train to Valencia. As usual, our experience of RENFE was absolutely seamless. The trains have…

Barcelona day 7

Sunday 2 June 2013 Susie woke up with a migraine this morning, so I went out on a mercy mission to find some diet coke and freshly baked bread. This was a bit of a challenge because it was Sunday morning, but eventually I struck it lucky. We had a leisurely breakfast in the sun…

Barcelona day 6

Saturday 1 June 2013 During our wanderings the previous day we had chanced upon the imposing edifice of the Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). We decided to make a day trip to this establishment the next day, so after our usual breakfast of huevos à la Ho Chi Minh (which is inspired by a…

Barcelona day 5

Friday 31 May 2013 Today was taken up by a day trip to the Parc de Montjuíc. We caught the metro and then changed to a funicular railway which took us most of the way up the steep hill that overlooks Barcelona. The seamlessness and efficiency of Barcelona’s public transport system were again in evidence:…

Barcelona day 4

Thursday 30 May 2013 We spent the following day exploring one of Gaudí’s other achievements: Park Güell. Susan researched the best way to approach it, and indeed our arrival was unhampered by crowds. We entered the park from the top of the hill and gradually wended our way down over the next few hours. Not…

Barcelona day 3

Wednesday 29 May 2013 Today was reserved for a visit to La Sagrada Familia. Although we arrived early, there was already a queue snaking around the block. We did not have to wait too long to get in, however. The building is structured so as to tell the story of Christ’s life: the eastern entrance…