Spain! (not a farm post)

I had the opportunity to go to Spain for a work conference and vacation.  So we flew to Barcelona, and this is the plaza where my conference was held.

We did get a chance to see the sights after the conferences were out.  Here’s Sagrada Familia.

We were there during La Merce so here’s one of the many evening events we attended.

After the conference we headed north to Figueres to see the Salvador Dali museum there.

We then headed north and west to Pamplona

and on to San Sabastian.

I could not resist taking photos of the local animals- terribly missing our own.

We headed further west through Basque country and stayed in the lovely little town of Llanes.

We headed further west into Asturias to the cider museum in Nava.

Then we headed back to Barcelona, stopping at site along the way, including the monastery of Santa Maria de poblet.

If you could allow me a couple of stories.  The first is that (not mentioned in the guide books) there’s a lot of smoke in Barcelona.  There’s pollution, ubiquitous cigarette smoke, and then with La Merce there’s fireworks smoke as well.  Plus there’s not the best of personal hygiene so I got the “Spanish flu” there.  Tom managed to avoid it, but I was sick the majority of the trip.  If you do go there in the fall you may want to bring you own Tamiflu and get a flu shot if possible first.

The other issue is the food is quite different.  We were struggling with trying to identify our food and finally decided to treat ourselves to a fancy restaurant rather than struggle through another tapas bar.  The menu was in English so we thought we were good to go.  Well, the waiter misunderstood Tom’s order for ham and brought foie gras instead.  Then out “barbecued cod” was actually slightly warmed raw salted cod which had the skin, globs of gelatinous material and a rubbery white fish meat.  This meal cost us over 100 euro (likely $150!).  But Tom’s parents loved hearing the story that night (thanks to cell phones) of Tommy eating goose liver.  This will be fodder for family story telling time for a while.

I am hoping over time the memories will become fonder and the difficulties forgotten.  In the unlikely event you want to see the rest of the photos of our trip, they are at

Farm blogging will resume shortly…..

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7 Responses to Spain! (not a farm post)

  1. Jody says:

    Been there!!! I know travelling to other countries and cultures can be tricky (and costly)…all part of the fun.
    There are not many ‘no smoking’ areas in Europe and smoking is still widespread.

    • That’s cool you have been there. We did not see many Americans there. There was not nearly the degree of smoking in England. It’s scary to jeopardize your health for a vacation though. Hopefully I will recover soon and have good memories. It certainly is educational to travel to different cultures.

  2. sheepsclothing says:

    Looks like there was lots of neat stuff to see in Spain (including all the beautiful critters)- too bad the smokiness detracted so much from the experience. I remember thinking the same thing when in Milan a number of years ago. Had to wait at the airport and thought I was going to suffocate!

  3. jackie says:

    Wow, a trip to spain! How cool. I know what you are talking about when you got the flu over there. I have been to Europe 3 times and each time got a really NASTY flu bug, and had to travel like that, making the most of the trip in spite of being sick. I have “fond” memories of puking in public, feeling like I’m going to pass out on the train, and touring Monaco a fever. Also being nauseated and having horrible muscle aches on the flight from England to Seattle. There’s just something about going overseas, probably no immunity to the bugs over there. That is probably way more than you needed to know!

    • So, you understand Jackie. In the past I had been to less developed countries (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala) and had become ill, but I was not expecting it in Spain. My current back problems are likely exacerbated by this too. The joys of travelling. The good old US of A is looking better and better.

  4. Donna says:

    The photo gallery is now at

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