Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Donde he estado

Hola, my friends. Long time no publish. Well, I've got a good reason actually. Team PaNaMa has once again gone abroad to the Old World and this time, we made tracks in Spain.

Na and I returned last night after a ten-day whirlwind tour of that delightful little peninsula just north of Africa, where we spent some time in Barcelona and Madrid.

Quite honestly, of the two cities, Barcelona kicks ass. Not that Madrid was terrible, mind you, but it reminded me so much of Manhattan while Barcelona was a gem, full of eye candy (and I don't mean just the guapos!) including some really great architecture and art on every block.

I promise to post pictures later, after the jet lag wears off but I'll fill you in on some of the highlights:

Barcelona is a very noisy, late-night city...and we had an apartment that was right in the Gothic Quarter part so it was pretty damn noisy. Even the garbage collectors pick up at like 3 a.m. We all wore earplugs and that helped quite a bit.

My pants are fitting a little too tight right now. Too much bread and wine, man! The food was great. We did a lot of eating-in because the apartment in Barca was way cool and had a spacious kitchen. Plus it was a lot of fun just hanging out, watching Spongebob Squarepants in German with Mr. Na. Of course, eating out was awesome, too. Who could resist tapas and paella and sangria and gelato? Not me!

We went up to Montjuic to see the old '92 Olympics site which was so cool. They also have a Joan Miro foundation set in a park which is just beautiful. We were just a few blocks away from the Mediterranean and so my running routes were pretty neat. They also have lots of cool little parks, too. So I ran twice there and not once in Madrid. In Madrid, I just didn't feel safe.

But we were only like a block away from the heart of Madrid. Our apartment was much smaller and a little icky, but it was like being a block off of Broadway in Manhattan. So--cool real estate but you get a lot smaller space and something that's a little more run-down. The parks in Madrid were beautiful too but not close enough where I could run to them and then do a few laps or whatever. But we went to Park Oeste which is like on the upper west side of Manhattan and from there took this gondola across the old royal hunting grounds to an even bigger park where they had an amusement park and lots of trails for biking and hiking. So we hiked all around. It was so beautiful. We spent one day at the Reina Sophia Art Museum where they had Picasso's "Guernica" which was awesome. We wanted to do the Prado but we were too tired! We needed more time! We also went to the Royal Palace which suspiciously looks a lot like Versailles. Makes sense since the king who commissioned to have it built was born in Versailles.

Ugh! I need to recover. Until next time, mis amigos!