Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Triumphant Return

We’ll start with this—I was up for almost 24 straight hours two days ago. I woke up at about 10:30 PM Mountain Time, and fell asleep between 8 and 9 PM on the plane yesterday. I was going to try and make it all the way to 24 hours, but I got in that plane seat and my brain said, “No, that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. You’re going to bed.” And I got no real say in that discussion.

It’s good to be back in America, but Spain was a real adventure. The best parts?

1. Visiting El Prado

It’s one thing to see art on Google Images, but seeing it up close and personal on the wall in front of me was one of the coolest things I got to do. My favorites included Las Meninas and The Garden of Earthly Delights. El Prado is one of those places I’d love to return to, sit down with a notebook, and write for hours.

2. Visiting El Escorial

It’s old. And worn down. But holy crap, it is filled with treasure and amazing paintings—it was one of the biggest and most beautiful places you could ever hope to live. I was probably not the most respectful of Christians for a really religious place, but it was fun, and it was gorgeous.

3. Seeing La Guernica in La Reina Sofia

This is probably my all-time favorite painting, and seeing it up close really brought the La Guernica unit we covered in Spanish to a close. Confronting previously unseen detail and having the chance to see it that BIG left me shivery and pleased to have gone.

4. Riding on Trains

If we discount the train at the petting zoo, adding onto that the train at the other zoos, I haven’t really traveled places by train. Now I have gone by metro, high-speed train, and just regular train to get around, and they are great napping places.

5. Trying Paella and Tortilla

The two Spanish dishes I really wanted to try were both checks on the bucket list. Paella, a saffron-rice-seafood dish was good, though I didn’t like the saffron, and the tortilla, which is really an omlette, was fantastic. We liked the tortillas so much, we’re going to try making them at home!

6. Coming Home

My sister has made a speedo for her teddy bear, I have fresh clothes and the first shower since Tuesday (I elected not to shower in Barcelona), and have a chance to get some new reading material (I finished the four books I brought on the trip). It’s familiar here, and has the chance to be boring, but after a week in a strange place it is great simply to be back.

I’ll be posting every day over the next week to recount some of my adventures in Spain, so stay tuned! In the mean time, ¡nos vemos!

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