Madrid is exceedingly hip. We spent a few days there with our friends Pam and Josh before our week in Morocco, and we returned for a few more days on our own. We stayed near the Malasaña and Chueca neighborhoods, which are full of vintage shops and great restaurants.
We took some day trips from San Sebastián to see more of the countryside. It rained everywhere we went, but the towns we visited were all really picturesque and once we gave in and purchased umbrellas we were up for exploring. The northern countryside is dramatic and home to lots of cute fishing villages.
After a few days in Barcelona, we rented a car and drove up to San Sebastián with Pam and Josh and with a plan of eating all the pintxos (that region’s tapas) we could find. Along the way, we stopped in Zaragoza to stretch our legs and have some lunch. Zaragoza had a nice waterfront and some pretty shops and cathedrals in the old quarter. It also had a shopping mall with a two-story tall Augustus statue in the middle. We’re not sure why.
It was wonderful to come back to Barcelona after seven years. We really enjoyed the city the last time we were here, but this time we did it even better. We had our good friends from San Francisco, Pam and Josh, visiting us and together we explored cute neighborhoods and fully embraced la hora de vermut.