Ten Things That I Want To Do In Spain this Time
“There is no nightlife in Spain. They stay up late but they get up late. That is not nightlife. That is delaying the day.” Ernest Hemingway
1.Most of us have at least a short list of places we want to see before we die.. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is one of my places. I used to walk my dog near Frank Gehry’s house – on purpose. I’ve still never seen him. Modern art, pinxtos Frank Gehry and the Basque region in one place sounds perfect.
2. Visit Guernica at the Reina Sofia and the Velazquez and Goya paintings at the Prado I grew up with the Guernica by Picasso at the Museum of Modern Art. It was the painting that helped me to make some kind of sense of war – or at least understand that grown-ups didn’t understand it either. I often went to visit it. When I left NY in 1980, the Guernica went back to Spain and now resides in the Reina Sofia. Seeing favorite paintings are like visiting old friends. There is no art that touches me more than Goya’s Black Paintings. The dark, twisted, painful scenes have stayed with me, long after I left the museum,.
3, Have some gazpacho and hot chocolate and churros (at San Gines) in Madrid.
4. The Camino de Santiago is a medieval pilgrimage route ending in Santiago de Compostela in the northwest region of Spain. It is a bucket list thing for me to do the walk. Taking one, two, or five weeks (depending on where you start walking) to walk across the beautiful and diverse landscapes of northern Spain is a transformative experience and a great immersion into Spain as well. Since we will be nearby, we will try to walk a few of days of it.
5. Eat at some Michelin restaurants in San Sebastián. San Sebastián purportedly is the city with the most Michelin starred restaurants per capita globally. The highly recommended Michelin starred restaurants in and around San Sebastián include Arzak, Mugaritz, Martin Berasategui, Asador Etxebarri, and Akelarre.
6. Sample pinxtos in San Sebastián and Bilbao. Pintxos are Basque-style tapas known for being extra creative and delicious.
7. Walk through the Albaicin and Sacromonte areas of Granada. There are many neighborhoods in Andalusia where time seems to have stood still. Sacromonte is the original Gypsy quarter of Granada. High up on the hillside above Albaicín, many locals still live in dappled white caves carved out of the rock. The Albaicin is a squashed-together network of winding cobbled streets, whitewashed old houses and jasmine-scented squares perches on the hillside on the other side of the Darro River from the Alhambra.
8. Watch flamenco and listen to Spanish guitar in Granada. Flamenco in Spain is a fascinating tradition. It’s everywhere you look in Madrid. Flamenco is a constant presence and the souvenir shops are all selling polka-dot dresses and castanets. The dance started in Granada and the best shows are here.
9. I have been to the old hammam in Istanbul (baths) so I know how great they can be. Hammam Al Andalus is built over the old Arab Baths in Granada and I am booking my appointment before I go.
10. Eat tapas in Granada and Madrid. Small in size but full in flavor, there is a huge variety of tapas to try in Spain. The small bites give you chance to try many different kinds without feeling stuffed.
I did most of those things. Enjoy!