My mom has just visited us in Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela (see photograph of edible goodies displayed in a store window in Santiago) for two and a half weeks and I asked her to tell me what she liked most. Here are her lists:
Edie’s Ten Best Things in Spain:
1) Wading in the Mediterranean Sea.
2) Watching for Pilgrims walking into Santiago de Compostela, their journey completed.
3) Trying new foods – garlic pork with fries, cherries soaked in liquor, and baccalau fish.
4) Riding the Metro system in Barcelona.
5) Touring the city on the Hop-on, hop-off bus.
6) Visiting Sagrada Familia.
7) Using the Euro is just like using the Canadian dollar; the coins and bills are in the same denominations as ours.
8) Nice warm weather.
9) Neat shops, not big shopping malls.
10) Drinkable tap water.
What Edie found different about Barcelona:
1) People take their individual bags of garbage out to the street and dispose of them in large grey plastic bins with lids you can lift with a pedal. These bins are located every few blocks all over the city.
2) Construction garbage is carried off the site on workers’ shoulders and dumped into large bags on the sidewalk to be picked up at night.
3) Motorized ladders are used to move large objects (like furniture) up to the fourth or fifth floor of apartment buildings with narrow stairways inside.
4) Tiny “cage” elevators in apartment buildings.
5) So many ambulances and police cars racing by with their sirens blazing.
6) Shopping daily for meat and vegetables for the night’s meal.
7) Buying fresh baguettes daily
8) On a daily basis, workers sweeping sidewalks and cleaning up the garbage as well as emptying the small garbage cans along the streets.
9) Not much greenery – just over the top of the Metro station at Calle Diagonal.
10) All of the scooters (known as “motos”) dashing in and out of the traffic. Women were driving scooters wearing skirts and high heels.
11) Streets with a lane designated for busses and taxis only.
12) Small living spaces.
13) Sculptures everywhere.