Oh, Spain, I think we hardly know you. After 11 days in Barcelona and Madrid, I think it's fair to say we barely scratched the surface. While I've been to both cities over 30 years ago, they both appeared like a fresh slate to me. My memory doesn't work the way it used to. Other then the Sagrada Familia this was all new.
It was very comfortable visiting these cities. The language barrier was likely more of an issue then in Berlin or Hamburg, but there was always someone who spoke some English. And Alice did a stellar job of learning enough Spanish to somehow guide us through the rough spots.
This was a vacation done at a reduced speed than normal. Other than tickets for the Sagrada Familia, there were no tours planned, no schedules to adhere to. Sleeping in till 11:00 or noon was allowed. We were all doing some serious chilling.
In the end, in spite of a missed flight home, Spain was charming. Both cities are very easy to navigate. We were provided with terrific weather and lots of sunshine. The food (yes, I'm looking at you Pata Negra) and the spirits (hello Mr. Cava) were definitely to our liking. The pace and lifestyle of the Spanish definitely take some getting used to. As I said, we only scratched the surface, but there is something special about the way the Spanish live their lives. It forces you to slow down and take a deep breath. That's exactly what the doctor ordered.