A Journey to Spain

It has taken me a couple of weeks to get my act together since returning from our journey to Spain.  There are few things greater in life than an amazing vacation spent with people that you feel that you have known all your life.  We spent a majority of our time in the city of Madrid with day trips to Toledo, Segovia, Chinchon, El Escorial. We enjoyed Madrid’s National Art Museums which included Del Prado and Reine Sofia.  For soccer fans, we toured the Real Madrid stadium (Wow!). We enjoyed an evening of traditional Spanish flamenco dancing (Wow, again). We rode a subway in Madrid at 1:00 a.m..  The city was just getting cranked up for the evening. We drank coffee, enjoyed cold vermouth, the husband ventured out of his comfort zone and enjoyed baby eels, octopus, squid and barnacles (Yes, they are exactly what you think the shells that you scrape off the side of a sea wall or your boat containing a snail like creature), Spain was unbelievably hot and unbelievably beautiful.  The list goes on and on.  Since, I can only hold your attention to the post for a limited time-here are the highlights.

Let’s start with Madrid.

Madrid is the capitol and the largest city in Spain. Located in the central part of the country Madrid is home to roughly 6.5 million people.  A cosmopolitan city that has preserved the look and feel of its history and architecture.

The Spaniards have never met a stranger.  Their strong sense of hospitality, warmth and friendliness is contagious. They welcome you into their families with hugs and besos (kisses) on both cheeks. And then, STOP THE PRESSES! They feed you.

Food and drink are to be enjoyed, never rushed.  Sharing a meal is about family and friends. 

It is about long and lingering conversations late into the night. Spain’s economy and national politics are the important topics of the day.

The Opportunities to enjoy food, wine and friendship were endless. The family decided that it was important that we develop an appreciation for Spanish wines-that was easy. We tasted six different Spanish wines. We decided that the white grape Albariño grown in the Northwest part of Spain in Galacia was one of our favorites.

What would wine tasting be without cured iberico hams, chorizos, salamis and slices of manchego cheese?

After an evening of friendship, good wine and food
In Spain pork rules, the wine is local and olive oil is the only oil that should be used.

Fried potatoes, with fried eggs on top and then topped with iberico ham. Can you say heaven? I can. 

I had the pleasure of watching our host prepare a family style paella without fancy ingredients and a special pan.  I photographed the process and did my best to capture the recipe with pen and paper. This is a family recipe that is handed down from mother to daughter and I am going to give it my best shot in my next post to share it with you.

Until later.

36 thoughts on “A Journey to Spain

  1. Velva, I could have read about your trip forever! I do hope you will share more about your adventures. Spain is a place I would love to visit. Looking forward to the paella post.


  2. We also loved Spain but it is going to take me many moons to go through all the Photos ! This trip I tried to take less but……. Looking forward to seeing the recipe for paella. I make it fairly often, but sure it is not like the Spanish people make it at home. Keep well Diane.


  3. Oh my, oh my, oh my. The hams. Oh my. Last night, husband-person was mentioning that we need to go to Spain (never been – he has). Such a storied world of wonderful food. Must make that happen. The photos of sharing food with friends – makes the heart sing. Lovely.


  4. What a wonderful trip! I would love to know about how you came to know your host family. Such a delightful experience. I've been to Spain once – on a school trip with my college during graduate school. We stayed in Torremolinos, toured Granada, Malaga and several other towns along the Mediterranean. The paella, the sangria, the flamenco dancers, late, late night dining – wow is right! Your host family looks warm and wonderful!


  5. Woo hoo! An awesome trip for you for sure! Your photos are beautiful. We were near Spain, but unfortunately, never got there. Flamenco dancing is so intense, love it. Good luck with the paella! And the pic of you and hubby is cool! Great post, I really enjoyed reading it! Pork rules!


  6. What a great trip! Thanks for sharing the photos, I LOVE that grill. Need to have one made at our place. L:ooks like you had a wonderful time.


  7. What a romantic get away with your husband! Wish I didn't have a dreaded fear of flying as Spain is a place I'd love to see. The music, dancing, soccer, LOTSA wine, great food and the best yet, wonderful people to spend time with. Glad you shared with us and looking forward to hearing more………….


  8. Wow. Just wow, over everything. The iberico hams, chorizos, salamis and slices of manchego cheese would have been enough for me but what a spread! Love that wood fired oven, does that have a special name or is it just a grill?


  9. Oh my, all that delicious food!! I enjoyed the posts from your trip I caught on Instagram but seeing them here in full size is even better! So glad you enjoyed your trip. Looks like it was amazing!


  10. I've loved following your travels on Facebook, and what a great post! My daughter and I went to Spain and this brought back great memories. We'll never forget the food and in Barcelona the architecture. Because my daughter owns an art gallery in NYC, we were heavy into museums and galleries.


  11. I have dreams of visiting a farm where they have pigs who eat acorns, eating calcots, and making paella as they do in Spain. I have read about the Albariño wines in Portugal so it makes sense this grape would be available in Spain as well.


  12. Oh! What a fabulous trip!! We are in the beginning researching phase of a hopeful vacation next summer, and Spain is on our list of destinations. I've been to Barcelona, but never Madrid, and I'm loving your pics. The food looks simply fabulous… that cheese, salami and wine!!! You have me even more excited to continue my research. I hope we can make this happen!


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