¡Ay yi yi!
I mentioned in my last post how partner Carol and I were leaving that day for Spain. As it turned out, that didn’t happen. While checking our bags at the airport, the British Airways representative said that Spain wouldn’t admit Carol because her U.S. passport – valid through March 2020 – expired too soon. (As is now etched in our brains, Spain and 25 other European countries are parties to the so-called Schengen Agreement, which requires passports to be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.) So completely deflated, we left the airport, limped back home, and beat feet to the local passport office in Seattle on the next business day to renew Carol’s passport on an expedited basis. Moral of the story? If you have any overseas travel in your near future, check the expiration date of your passport and the entry requirements of your destination country!
After getting off the ground two days late, our first destination was Barcelona, a sprawling city on the Mediterranean in northeast Spain with over 1.6 million inhabitants. Rick Steves devotes 337 pages to Barcelona in his popular guidebook, so I can’t possibly do the city justice in just one short post. But if you’d like to visit a European city with a stimulating combination of history, art, architecture, and culture – along with great food, pleasing climate, and affordable prices – you should strongly consider adding Barcelona to your travel bucket list.
Although Barcelona experienced a major makeover, especially on its waterfront, to prepare for hosting the 1992 Olympics, its historic core – the Old City – remains very much intact. The 14th century Barcelona Cathedral sits at its epicenter, surrounded by a labyrinth of narrow and moody passageways that were once confined by medieval walls. While the featured image suggests the large-cobblestoned thoroughfares are pedestrian-only, they are called calles (streets) for a reason – so don’t be too surprised if a car suddenly appears. When exploring the Old City on foot, you also shouldn’t be too surprised to turn the corner and stumble onto a hidden square that offers a peaceful haven to locals and tourists alike. If there’s a nearby taverna offering libations and tapas, so much the better!
Please stay tuned for future posts relating to our successful trip to Spain. Also, if you happen to be exploring Bainbridge Island in the near future (whether by foot or car), please do visit our gallery if you enjoy photography. We have a wide selection of landscape, urban, and travel images, including an excellent assortment of metal prints, canvas prints, custom-framed black-and-white prints, and fine art acrylic prints – with images from Spain in the not-too-distant future! For gallery hours, please consult our Contact page.
Adiós for now,
Andrew (Andy) Bergh