Spaintastic Spain!

December 2016: This was my first long roadtrip with my friends Alap and Soumil. We raced across Spain with 4 cities in 4 days! The photos here tell the story of our Spaintastic Spain tour :) Visit Alap's blogpost on the trip here.

Monuments of Madrid

The royal palace of Madrid (middle and right) and the royal church (left) in front of it. Blue skies really make it a bliss.
The national emblem of Spain. The symbol of four red lines is the flag of Catalonia and it has a brave story behind it. The middle and right pictures are incredible ceiling paintings of the time! I wonder how the artists did all the work while basically looking up the whole time!

The grandeur of Granada

On our way to Granada we see snow-clad mountains of Sierra-Nevada.
It's Christmas time in Granada :)
Looks like Persian art? Yeah, me too! Alcazaba forts in Granada mark unique amalgamation of Persian and European architecture.
That's the famous fort of Alhambra (left). No wonder, Khalifas liked it :) That's why they build a garden around it! The middle one looks like big discussion hall, common in Arabian empires. On the right, you see the destructive effects of war.. It used to be a beautiful monument, only to collapse later under a canon attack..
The view from top of the fort is exhilarating! Seems like people of Granada have some affinity with white and orange :) The ancient cathedral of Granada, made of rock stands out in the jungle of concrete! Rock beats concrete!

Wonders of Valencia

And Valencia continues to amaze! Look at the futuristic design of the aquarium and the science center. Seems like spaceships of an alien civilization!
The fort by the sea looks gorgeous in the twilight :)
Well, that's another mix of influences of Gothic and Roman styles. And what's a better time to visit than Christmas!
Some of the weird specialties of Valencia here. The 2nd narrowest apartment (the thin one sandwiched between the other two). The lady in the second picture is standing in a pan used for cooking local delicacy called Paella valenciana in a very unceremonious way and a chandelier made of liquor bottles, that's genius!
And the weirdness continues: A performer with his head sticking out of a table and his two dummies... pretty scary at first! And fishing by the beach seems like a morning leisure activity of many locals :) That's a first for me!

Bella Barcelona :)

Speak of Barcelona and no Messi, That's impossible. That's Messi and his five golden ball awards at Camp Nou! On the right is the famous earth-shaking dance-form of Spain- Flamenco!
Another beautiful cathedral in Spain, with yet another style. The picture in the middle shows the ancient wall of city. The bottommost part was built two thousand years ago and was reinforced and lengthed further down the line... interesting stuff! That sketch is by none other than picaso! It's the Google doodle of that time depicting a local festival :)
There is weirdness here as well! The narrow dark lanes in Barcelona and the irrationally dislocated four-story structure on the beach! The sand sculpture is a piece of work! Notice the three monkeys on the left... ringing some bells? Yup, they are Gandhiji's three wise monkeys see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.