I've been stuck inside with a cold for the last couple days. Tara is out shopping for a dress on La Ramblas. I've never been a big country music fan, but George Strait never sounded so good. Maybe I'm already missing home a bit.

Like most of Europe, Spain was sectioned off into many kingdoms. It makes it so every city is distinctly different from the other. No rows of big box stores here. We visited Malaga, Cartagena, Valencia and Barcelona.

When our ship finally arrived in Spain, we were very happy to know we would be touching land everyday. We only had 16 hours on land for the previous 12 days. The first place we visited was Malaga. It's the epicenter of costa del sol. Europeans come here to vacation. It's a small laid back city with a beach type atmosphere, kind of like San Diego. I've never seen so many beautiful people in one place. Even the street sweepers where good looking. The topless beaches made Tara a little uncomfortable. They didn't bother me at all. We had smoked sardines and prawns on the beach. They looked like shrimp to me, but they called them prawns.

Cartagena is naval port without the charm of other Spanish cities. Kind of grey. It even rained that day.

Valencia is a medium speed city with an easy attitude. I wouldn't mind living here. There was an emphasis on arts and culture as well as modern developments.

Barcelona is a city where everyone walks very fast and makes minimal eye contact. Like New York or Munich. I call them anonymous cities. No one can be bothered to slow down and be personable or find out about anyone else. Some people thrive in this environment. It just makes me tired. Growing up in New York I understand this single minded focus. In a city with so many distractions you have to put on blinders, otherwise you won't get anything done. We've been here 5 days now, so I'm starting to get in the groove. However I prefer laid back strolling cities like Valencia.

We were in Barcelona on their labor day. There were protests all over the city. Lots of hammers and sickles and punk rock.

I've only experienced a very small sampling of Spain. Salamanca, Segovia, Ávila are places I would like to visit in the future. I wish I were here on a day when there was a bull fight. It would probably disturb me and I would never go again, but I would have liked to see it once. My impression was that people are more interested in the upcoming Bruce Springsteen concert then bull fighting.

Bull Fighting Ring

What strikes me most about about Europe is the comfort people have with each other. Strangers look at me and talk to me with a familiarity I'm not use to. Old ladies are walking around Barcelona in the middle of the night without fearing for their safety. Why are people here less willing to commit acts of violence. Is it because most share a national brotherhood and the United States is a melting pot that hasn't quite congealed. Or is it because the US is still in it's adolescent stage of development being only a couple hundred years old. I don't know the answer, but it's refreshing to let my guard down for a minute.


  1. Amazing. I totally get what you are saying about feeling really safe there. When I was in Greece it seemed much safer then in the US and Athens was kind of like New York City times 3.
    Really enjoying the post Boris, looking forward to more.

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