THE NEXT ADVENTURE 

The 2016 solo adventure is booked!

Initially I was considering Peru and an inclusive tour traveling between the Amazon, Lake Titicaca and hiking Machu Picchu. After reading several blogs and articles, the mosquitos talked me out of the trip (for now). One blog suggested slathering yourself in an unscented shampoo building a barrier between your skin and the mosquitos…which sounds incredibly disgusting and not what I’m in the mood to sign up for this trip. After remembering the number of mosquitos I met on my trip to Belize, and considering the zika virus… I decided to pass (for now).  

Then I considered where else I would want to travel alone and again and again I was dreaming of the Mediterranean Sea I fell in love with last year. So…rather than go to Italy for the fourth time… I will be taking my longest and farthest adventure yet! Fifteen days in Athens and three Greek islands. And, after spending over 24 hours in the Barcelona airport last year, I made sure to end my trip on a Friday in case there is another crazy delay. 

BUSY BARCELONA 

I wrapped up my Portugal/Spain trip in Barcelona.   I spent one day wandering the city on my own and one day on a food and wine tour in the neighboring mountains before heading off to the airport.

I arrived in the evening and immediately regretted leaving all of the tranquility of Mallorca.

I sat outside at a bodega across from my hotel for a quick dinner and was immediately warned of the terrible pickpocket problem by a waiter who clipped my bag to a chair.

The next day I went exploring.  I went to Sagrada Familia (where after 133 years construction is still underway), then Park Guell, a short cruise and a stroll along Placa de Catalunya.  It was an enjoyable day, but I could not find what I was looking for.  I’m not sure if I was tired of traveling, or if the contrast between the peace of Deia and the bustle of Barcelona was just too much for me.  I was beginning to miss home.

On the last day before my flight home, I had an amazing day-long food and wine tour booked.  The food and wine was unbelievable.  The tour guide was the worst I’ve ever experienced.  We stopped and asked for directions four times, and circled the mountains lost numerous times throughout the afternoon.  I missed seeing olive oil being made (disappointing), but I did get to see Montserrat for half an hour (a very rushed amount of time).  Eating lunch outside overlooking olive trees was beautiful, but there was always a tiny dread of getting back in the van and driving in circles which put a slight damper on the outing.

I hope if you go, you find more enjoyment than I did, and perhaps go to Barcelona before visiting Mallorca!

STOMPING THROUGH PALACE GARDENS

The Real Alcazar is the oldest European palace (1364) still in use today by a royal family and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The palace combines breathtaking gardens with peaceful water features with Moorish architecture.  Besides being an amazing palace, the vast gardens alone are worth the visit.  I enjoyed them so much I visited the palace twice while I was in Seville.    Getting lost in the gardens with only the sounds of the nearby water features transported me to another time and another world.  I hope you will get a small taste of that faraway land…