When I first mentioned my desire to go to Spain during my February vacation way back in October, it was just sort of a passing whim. In fact, I came up with the idea while writing about the (very tepid) movie, Vicky Christina Barcelona. A pretty terrible movie, but perhaps not a bad place to visit, I thought. And just like that, I shall go to Barcelona in February, I decided, and then forgot about it for the next few months. Anyway, we all know how things, plans, circumstances can change in four months, and so perhaps no one is more surprised than me by the fact that hey, I actually am going to Barcelona, after all. I leave on Tuesday. And it's almost as if writing about it made it so. (In which case, I hereby declare that four months from now I will be vacationing on an island somewhere with my wealthy and fabulously good-looking French husband and our two small dogs, getting some well-deserved rest after writing and publishing my riotously popular and critically-acclaimed first novel. May it be so). I will be gone for a week altogether, traveling part of the time with my friend Canaan, who unfortunately has real-world responsibilities to return to, and so must say adios to Spain a few days before me, and the rest of the time I'll be traveling alone. We'll head down to Valencia first and spend a few days there, and then up to Barcelona where Canaan will have less than a day to see the sights before taking off the next day.
I'm hugely excited, because I've never been to Valencia before, and while I spent a couple days in Barcelona on a high school trip to Europe, my memory of it is pretty hazy, and limited to:
-weird sand castle-y church
The last time I saw Barcelona I was 15 and it was my first time in Europe; everything was so new and strange and unfamiliar and exciting. I'm really looking forward to going back and seeing it again through new eyes (and by that I mean through a pleasantly sangria-tinted haze).
So here's where you come in, Internet. I know I have savvy and well-traveled readers. Have you ever been to Valencia or Barcelona? What can I absolutely not miss while I'm there? I'm particularly concerned for Barcelona, considering I will be spending three days there by myself. I have this (probably irrational) fear that I will see everything of interest the first day, and then have nothing to do with myself for three more days, and hence end up spending large chunks of time napping in my hostel bunk and then feeling guilty for not taking advantage of the city with the time I have, and then I will fall into a depressive funk and the vacation will be ruined. Or so my logic goes. I don't want my vacation to be ruined, Internet! Tell me where I need to go and what I must see and what I absolutely, without a doubt, have to eat. Specific is, as always, better than vague. (Who is this Guadi, and where can I find him?)
My vacation is in your hands, Internet. Guide me. Advise me. Hold me. Internet, don't ever let me go.