Over the past few weeks, as I've been telling people about my upcoming RTW(ish) plans, I keep getting a couple of questions over and over again:
“Are you going to Spain?”
“Are you going to Portugal?”
No, I have to repeat over and over, I am not going to Spain. Or Portugal.
And before you ask “But why not?!?” like everyone else has, let me tell you:
I'll admit that neither Spain nor Portugal had really been on my travel radar — until perhaps about a year ago, that is, when some of my blogger friends began writing about this particular part of Europe. The more I read about both countries, the more I realized that I did, in fact, really really want to visit both Spain and Portugal.
Believe it or not, I haven't “done Europe” yet in the traditional sense. I haven't seen the Eiffel Tower or ridden a bike in Amsterdam or photographed gondolas in Venice. I haven't actually been a tourist in Western Europe at all, with the exception of the UK.
I plan to change that this summer, and DID consider adding Spain and Portugal to my already-full itinerary.
But then I stopped to consider it.
And then I realized that there's no way I could possibly dedicate enough time to either of these countries on this trip.
Sure, I could zip through Barcelona and Madrid and visit Seville for a weekend; I could spend a few nights in Lisbon and spend a few nights in Porto. But to me, Spain and Portugal deserve their own trip.
I would want to dedicate weeks to this region; not just days.
And, to help make my point, I've gathered some of the posts about Spain and Portugal that are responsible for finally getting me interested in this part of Europe:
Spain could be a perfect weekend break, according to the Globetrotter Girls, but I still want to spend more time there than just 2 or 3 days.
Kate names Sevilla as the most beautiful city in Spain and wins me over with her photos.
Not that I really needed them, but these 5 Reasons to Go to Southern Spain have me more than convinced.
This list of 13 Reasons to Fall in Love with Costa Brava, Spain has swayed me to add this coastal region to my must-visit list, too.
And the Spanish Pyrenees? YES, PLEASE!
I also want to get lost in the details and gorgeous architecture of the Alhambra in Granada.
Liz lists her 10 Favorite Underrated Cities in Spain, adding even MORE locations to my list of places I'd like to explore.
There are even eco-friendly (and very cool) things to do/see all around Spain.
These Postcards from Northern Portugal inspired me to want to visit Porto and explore the Douro Valley, even though I don't drink wine.
This post about The Day I Ran with the Bulls in Pamplona still helps me feel the excitement of this famous festival — and makes me want to experience it for myself.
La Tomatina — the world's biggest food fight — is also appealing to me simply because of its sheer craziness.
And who doesn't want to play with flames at Las Fallas: Spain's Festival of Fire?
So, yes, I DO really want to visit Spain and Portugal now.
It just won't be on this trip.
Do YOU have any places to recommend in either Spain or Portugal (or any relevant links to share)? Tell me in the comments!
*Note: This post was written by me but brought to you by a third party.