Crossing Spain

January 26, 2020

My weekend trip through France ended on a Sunday evening in a calm parking lot at the outskirts of Barcelona.

Parking lot near Barcelona

The area was perfect to spend a couple of days in Barcelona.

Area around the parking lot

It was quiet and sunny while I was working during the day,

Quiet and sunny working environment

yet close enough to reach the city center in 15 minutes by bike to meet friends and go to concerts in the evenings.

Rockabilly concert in Barcelona

I really liked Barcelona. Although I was mostly working during the week, I was able to meet a few co-workers and friends living in the area of Barcelona. When I didn’t meet someone for lunch, I often walked up the hill behind the parking lot that offered a nice view over the city.

View over Barcelona

During the weekends, there was more time to go out with my friends :beers: or cycle along the coast.

Cycling along the coast

We also tried to go surfing in Masnou. Unfortunately, the waves weren’t as high as forecasted, so we just ended up spending a relaxed evening at the coast.

Surfing in Masnou

Approaching Madrid

After spending two sunny weeks with my friends in Barcelona, I left the Catalan capital on a Saturday morning headed to Madrid to visit more friends. Probably attracted by the striking name of the coastal town, I stopped in Peñíscola for a lunch break and refueling.

Sign of Peñíscola

The old fortified seaport looked really nice.

View from the fort of Peñíscola

I spent a little time exploring its narrow alleys,

Narrow alley in Peñíscola

before hitting the road again headed to Valencia.

Highway to Valencia

The scenery on my way to Valencia was very monotonous: ugly hotel complexes along the coast to the left,

hotel complexes along the coast

and orange plantations to the right.

orange plantations along the coast

I didn’t feel like spending much more time in this area and wanted to see my friends in Madrid. Although the weather didn’t look great, I left Valencia behind and drove right into the rugged mountain chains of the Sistema Ibérico.

Driving into the Sistema Ibérico

It was slightly snowing when I arrived on a mountain near Cuenca 1080 meters above sea level. The lights of Cuenca created a mysterious atmosphere.

Mysterious atmosphere on a mountain near Cuenca

I had a nice view over the canon and the city when I woke up the next day.

View over Cuenca

Cuenca seemed like a nice city. Several buildings were built right next to the rim of the canon.

View over Cuenca

As the weather was cold and rainy, I didn’t spent much time in Cuenca and drove towards Madrid after breakfast.

Visiting Madrid

It was great to visit Madrid with a van again. I parked my van in parking lots at Casa de Campo like I did more than two years ago. Everything felt familiar.

Parking lot at Casa de Campo

Although it was raining most of the time, I spent a great week with all my friends from Madrid that I haven’t seen for awhile. Good times! :beers: :tada:

Leaving the Spanish mainland

I enjoyed the time in Madrid a lot, but the weather wasn’t joyful at all. So, I left the Spanish capital headed south to the Atlantic ocean.

Driving out of Madrid in the rain

Expect for a short stop at a gas station I spent a whole day driving from Madrid to Huelva where the weather wasn’t much better.

Harbor of Huelva in the rain

I found a calm parking lot in front of the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Park where I ordered a ferry ticket to Lanzarote, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.

parking lot in front of the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Park

I boarded the ferry in the next morning.

Harbor of Huelva in the rain

I was ready for Spain’s sunny islands located in the West of Africa! :sunny: :palm_tree: :volcano:

Sunset over the Atlantic ocean