According to Fodor’s Spain 2012, May and October are optimal months to visit Spain. Of course, last time I went I arrived in August and left in May – so I covered most of the months, while missing the really hot summer.
There are high speed train tracks in Spain now, so you can get from Barcelona to Madrid in about 2 and a half hours. That’s new since I last visited in 1989. In 2010 Catalan (the region where Barcelona is) banned all bull-fighting. Other regions have NOT followed suit.
Top attractions include La Alhambra in Granada – so glad to see that still tops the list. I went there the year I lived in Spain and it was indeed a great place to visit. Toledo is next on the list, which is kind of funny since it’s an entire city, not just one specific building or site. But it is worthy of a visit – such an interesting city. We went there too, back in college.
Third on the list is La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I never made it to Barcelona while in Spain, so I haven’t seen this church which has been in progress since 1882 and is still probably 30 years away from completion. The Guggenheim in Bilboa, another place I never visited. But it sounds fun when the museum itself is as interesting as the art in it.
Museo del Prado in Madrid – I did make it there. Even though I’m not a huge admirer of art, I do recognize some of the great pieces and it was fun seeing them in El Prado.
Merida’s Roman Ruins is another place I never got to, although I did see other Roman ruins near Sevilla. Cuenca’s Hanging Houses and San Lorenzo de El Escorial are more places I did not see. Something about attending classes kept me from traveling all over the country.
The last entry on the list of attractions is the Mezquita in Cordoba – I did make it there. Some interesting architecture, and a symbol of the Catholic-Muslim-Catholic history of the country.
Not in the list of attractions, but in the list of events to consider is the Feria in April in Sevilla. I was there for that, quite a contract to the Semana Santa (Holy Week) that comes before it. Horses, bulls, wonderful costumes. Lots of fun.
And way in the top left corner is Santiago de Campostela, a site traditionally approached by foot.
I, of course, find it fascinating, but not something I will probably ever have time to do.
I’ll be back to talk some more about Spain – then and now.