Whenever I speak to someone who has just come back from travelling to Spain, they always mention the food or the lifestyle. It's very rare that they rave about a site or monument like people do when visiting many other places in the world. When we travelled to Ireland everyone said we couldn't miss the Giant's Causeway or the Cliffs of Moher, and you can't visit France without seeing the Eiffel Tower or laying eyes on the Palace of Versailles. Travel to Spain is less about looking at famous landmarks or tourist attractions, it's more about experiencing the lifestyle. In our opinion, Spain was made for slow travel.
In our opinion, Spain was made for slow travel.
We have visited the Catalunya region of Spain on three separate occasions and enjoyed it each time, but I can't really tell you a spot that stands out or a site that really sticks out in my mind. When people ask us what we like about Spain, we never have a clear answer. We say things like “Oh it's beautiful” or “we had such a wonderful time.” But we can never put our finger on what it was we liked or why we keep coming back. There hasn't been one moment that has wowed us, it's been more of a series of moments that have created lasting memories.
Yes, we have enjoyed the views in the Pyrenees and the Costa Brava coast, we've walked around aimlessly in Barcelona and Girona and it was here that we've eaten at some of the top restaurants on earth. But if you ask us what we like about the place, we don't have much of an answer.
We'll let the Video do the Talking
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Why Spain is so good for Slow Travel
Spain is a place that we feel you don't have to rush around to see every site. If you do nothing but sip coffee in a café and enjoy a three-hour lunch there is no guilt that you have missed something spectacular. We can spend a day going into town to shop at the market for ingredients to prepare for dinner and then take the afternoon to have a nap or read a book before we begin making our meal.
The evening is then all about watching the sun go down, sipping wine and having great conversations.
Travel in Spain is about living life.
I used to work with a guy in the Film Business that visited Barcelona regularly. Whenever he came back from his vacation to Spain, he didn't rave about the Sagrada Familia or the Picasso Museum, instead he talked about playing haki sac with the locals on the waterfront or eating amazing paella he had at a local restaurant. That's the best way I can explain what traveling Spain is all about. It's about pleasant memorable moments.
First Choice was Spain
So when Dave recovered from his back injury, we decided that Catalunya was the perfect destination for us. We had been talking about this for the better part of last year. The past few years have been all about fast travel, and seeing having one incredible “Wow” moment after another. It's been amazing to see the things that we have seen and our check-list of experiences is off the charts. But life isn't about one moment it is about taking the experiences you have in life and letting them shape who you are. The best way to do that is to travel slow and get to know a culture and its people.
It was time for us to rediscover why we started traveling in the first place. Travel is about escape and relaxation. Yes, it is about adventure and sightseeing, but whenever people have asked us what we remember most about a place, our answer always seems to be the people we met or the friends we made.
Catalunya is a place for that. We want to get to know the shopkeeper at the market, we want to enjoy a leisurely lunch chatting with new friends and we want to go at our own pace.
And that is exactly what we did. There is a lot to see and do in Spain. I'm not saying that it doesn't have incredible sites. What I'm saying is that it's the people we meet and the experiences we have that make for the most memorable moments.
Seeing things is wonderful, but experiencing moments is better.
- For accommodation in Spain visit Charming Villas – From Penthouses to country houses they offer incredible stays..and they are perfect for slow travel.
- For bike tours in Costa Brava visit BikeCat.
- Thanks to Wandertooth for shooting and editing our slow travel in Spain video.
- Our trip to Spain was courtesy of The Costa Brava tourism board.