Any reasonable, sentient person who looks at Spain, comes to Spain, eats in Spain, drinks in Spain, they’re going to fall in love. Otherwise, there’s something deeply wrong with you. This is the dream of all the world.    ― Anthony Bourdain

Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid


What a city! Woke up our first morning to this view from our balcony, looking down la Gran Via:

And the architecture just kept knocking my socks off!

Top: Edificio Metrópolis. Middle: Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena.
Bottom: Apartment building near Chamartin neighborhood. Below: The grand bull ring, Plaza de Toros.

And the museums, my word:

A wonderful Magritte exhibit was on at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza.

And art was not just in the museums. Here’s just one section of the ceiling in the Catedral Almudena.

And these are the steps just to get into the Museo Sorolla:

The menu in Madrid is very carb-and-sugar laden, and I wondered how the Madrileños stay fit. Here’s one answer: the parks are full of equipment for anyone to use. This is a set up on a bench so you and una amiga can pedal while chatting.

And you have to love a city that celebrates authors! This is a statue in tribute to Cervantes, with his characters celebrated on each side:

Basque Country

Just 45 minutes north of Madrid you’re suddenly in snowy hills:

I travelled to Bilbao and of course went to the Guggenheim.

It was rainy and foggy much of my there, but the museum produced extra fog for this fun sci-fi shot!

And again, just wandering the streets looking at buildings was a pleasure:

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canarias

A friend of mine is living on Tenerife, so I jumped at the chance to join her there for 10 days.

The haze is from an unusually long “Clima,” a sand-dust storm that blows over from Northern Africa and blocks out the view of nearby islands!

It cleared up for my last few days and we walked along the water path to travel through the chain of towns on the south shore, then enjoyed sunset on the water. Pretty idyllic!


The island is full of tourists from all over, so signs and menus are in multiple languages:

Not to Be: Portugal and Morocco

I had planned to visit Portugal and Morocco during this time, but Morocco shut its borders completely, and Portugal put stringent requirements and closures into place that made me feel like I was better off staying in Spain. Outra hora/ وقت اخر.