“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.” ~ Edith Wharton Of all the things we experience as we travel, food, architecture, landscapes or climate, what really impacts our lives are the people we meet along the way.
So many of the places we have visited throughout the world are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Barcelona has nine such sites. These exquisite buildings by Catalan Modernist architects Antoni Gaudí and Domènech i Montane are some of the most beautiful structures in the world whether you’re an expert or simply appreciate impressive architecture, they are worth seeing.
Construction of La Sagrada Familia cathedral, Barcelona's magnificently iconic and controversial church, was started in 1882 by the famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí and is expected to be completed in 2026—a century after his death. Its design incorporates Gaudi's geometrical ideas and aspects of Cubism and Art Nouveau, or as it was called in Spain– Modernista and Catalonia - Modernisme.
Taking the train from Madrid to Barcelona used to take just under nine hours. Today, with ALL our luggage, it only takes about three. The speed display in the car we were in showed a top speed 300 kph (180 mph), but averaged a little less than that. The terrain in the center of Spain is rather arid and brown, and as we neared the coast there was a change toward more green vegetation and trees.
We had been in Madrid for just about a month, and we couldn't see everything. That is a difficult concept to accept at times, but for the experiences we want, it is essential. The days that have no defined purpose or destination are often the most rewarding; because it seems that for those brief moments we feel as if we live there. Those are the times we made time to stop and really see the city and its people. And like any big city it’s not always pretty, but it is always fascinating.
Madrid, besides being the capital of Spain, is a great city. The best thing about a great city and its culture is its people; and the best places to experience being among the people are parks and markets. These kinds of things are what our travels are about - to experience the place, its people, its culture, its life.