¡Hola from Madrid!
Sorry about the long gap between postings- We´ve been busy.
After four days in Barcelona, we caught a train to Valencia. It was a beautiful ride along the Mediteranean coast with the azure water often just outside the window. We had looked into stopping at one of the small towns between Barcelona and Valencia, but there wasn´t anything affordable- lots of big hotels and private bungalows on sandy beaches, but alas, no cheap little hostels. Once we arrived in Valencia, we headed to the Red Nest hostel, a funky, brightly painted and spacious place, full of young travelers. Perfect!
Valencia is a beautiful city- the architecture is embellished and impressive, the beach is nearby, and a park that was once a riverbed runs through the center of the city. We ate lots of tapas, (especially dates wrapped in bacon- Yum!), did lots of walking, drank the delicious local horchata, and swam in the almost warm Mediteranean. We both loved the "Ciudad de los Artes y Ciencias" or The City of Arts and Sciences. Located near the park, this collection of super modern buildings houses an opera house, an imax theatre, a science museum and an aquarium. The buildings are truly incredible; elliptical in shape, covered in white mosaic tile and surrounded by shallow pools of turquoise water, they look like some far distant city from the imagination of George Lucas- all but ready to launch off into space. Our roommate at the hostel, Silard, from Hungary, had planned to spend a month in Spain, but once he arrived in Valenica, his one month stay became five, and now he does odd jobs for the Red Nest, like playing guitar and serving free sangria at the Friday night hostel parties, for a free room. It doesn´t seem like a bad life.
After five nights in Valencia, we were ready to move on. We decided to go inland, to Madrid. We´ve been here for a few days, visited the Prado Museum, (Goya, Velasquez, Bosch...), the national Library, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Another beautiful city- but with more heritage and history. We´re thinking of heading up to San Sebastian and Pamplona next... We´ll keep you all posted when we can!
I promise some pictures are coming soon!
Love from the LTD team!