I came home from Barcelona and promptly fell into work and routine mode. Here is a wrap up to the Barcelona experience, which was amazing thanks to Erin.
Day 5: I woke up the day after the marathon feeling great. Much to my surprise, I was walking like a normal person, which made me wonder if I hadn’t worked hard enough during the race! Erin and I hit the gym for a swim and spin to loosen up from the race. (If it hasn’t been clear from my posts, let me stress that Erin was a gem about my training while I was there. She got me passes to her gym so that I could keep up with every bit of my training. That meant so much to me and reminded me what a supportive friend she is.) After working out, we got ready for school! This day was Erin’s last day at her MBA program in Barcelona, and I got to go to class with her. I loved loved loved it. I loved being on a campus again and thinking about media, art and love in the context of developing truths about life. After an incredible class, we had dinner with her philosophy professors and classmates.
Day 6: After a late night out with her professors and classmates, Erin and I got up ridiculously early to catch a plane to Seville. We flew Ryanair, which was an experience, and arrived in Seville around 7:30 in the morning. We checked into our adorable bed and breakfast, the B&B Naranjo, drank an obscene amount of coffee, and then set out to the incredible Museo de Bellas Artes where I saw some of my favorite art.
After the museum, we went to the Casa de Pilatos and saw strange combinations of Christian and Moorish influences.
We wandered Seville in the rain, which we discovered is somewhat hard to do with the narrow and slick roads. Then, because we were exhausted, we called it an early night.
Day 7: The next morning, we got up early for a run. We ran along the water and, thanks to Erin’s sense of adventure and direction, we entered a park that led us to Plaza de Espana. I didn’t have my camera on me, unfortunately, but it was stunning. After our run, we lunched near the Seville Cathedral and then went on a three or more hour tour of the Cathedral. It’s the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the third largest Christian cathedral, after St. Peter’s in Vatican City and St. Paul’s in London. The tomb of Christopher Columbus is there (pictured below), and it houses the third most important art collection in Spain. I loved it, and I loved the view we had from the bell tower.
After touring the cathedral, we wandered the Jewish Quarter, saw a flamenco show – which was incredible – and had a late dinner at Choco Y Late before putting this amazing day to bed.
Day 8: The next morning, I went for a short run before we hit Alcazar’s Palace. It’s an enormous structure, but I was most taken by the gardens.
I could have wandered those gardens for hours. Hours and hours. But we didn’t have a lot of time, so we wandered through and then visited the General Archives of the Indies and walked by the bullfighting arena before heading back to the airport to catch our flight back to Barcelona.
Day 9: The next morning, we hit the gym again one last time for a swim and a spin. Then we visited the Barcelona Cathedral, the Santa Maria de la Pi (another church), Las Rambles (a big shopping area where I might have indulged in some gelato), La Boqueria (an enormous market of fish and fresh foods), and the most amazing part of the day – La Pedrera, one of the apartment buildings designed by Gaudi, who also did the Sagrada Familia. At La Padrera, I learned that, for Gaudi, interior and exterior walls are not part of the support system for his designs. They are fascades, curtains, decoration – nothing more. He was such an imaginative architect. I loved seeing his work. Here are photos of the exterior and the rooftop.
The next morning, I flew home.
I loved Spain. I loved running in Spain. I loved touring Spain. I loved hanging out with my dear friend in Spain. I’m so grateful for every opportunity I had there. I cannot thank Erin, Joe and Jen enough for welcoming me into their home in Barcelona and allowing me this incredible adventure.