Category Archives: Europe 2014

Olé! Madrid, we are here.

After a long delay on our flight from Philly to Madrid, we are safely in Spain, waiting for our high-speed train to Sevilla. We are exhausted from lack of sleep and looking forward to a short nap on the train.


The Madrid airport is expansive and industrial, filled with vast, airy cathedral-like spaces, high ceilings supported by giant metal struts and pierced with windows. I was impressed with layout: Arriving flights deplane on an upper level, while departing flights board below. As a result, traffic is pretty much one direction. Genius! Also, the air conditioning vents were ‘disguised’ as sculptural structures with holes at the top to distribute air. (See the photo in my next post.)

More to come when we arrive in Sevilla.  

Olé! Madrid, we are here.

After a long delay on our flight from Philly to Madrid, we are safely in Spain, waiting for our high-speed train to Sevilla. We are exhausted from lack of sleep and looking forward to a short nap on the train.


The Madrid airport is expansive and industrial, filled with vast, airy cathedral-like spaces, high ceilings supported by giant metal struts and pierced with windows. I was impressed with layout: Arriving flights deplane on an upper level, while departing flights board below. As a result, traffic is pretty much one direction. Genius! Also, the air conditioning vents were ‘disguised’ as sculptural structures with holes at the top to distribute air. (See the photo in my next post.)

More to come when we arrive in Sevilla.  

Quiet Anticipation

Laura and I are excited and grateful to be embarking on our third trip to Europe together. This time, we are celebrating the marriage of our longtime friend to a Spanish man in what I expect to be a rather traditional Spanish wedding. This is the first stop in our journey – five days in Seville, just North of the Straits of Gibraltar. (So close to Africa! But it just can’t happen on this trip.) Of course, we’re taking advantage of the opportunity to spend three days in Lisbon, Portugal, as well. 

This is also our third trip with backpacks as our only luggage, so we have surely honed our packing skills. The first year, my pack weighed 29 lbs, while this year it weighs 21 lbs, about 30% less. 
I also learned from the past and started packing earlier. I have been fully packed for nearly 48 hours, far different from the first year when I was packing the night before our flight. As a result, this evening before our transatlantic flight is quiet and stress-free. (I can’t believe we are soon going to be SITTING DOWN IN THE SKY as we hurtle toward the Iberian Peninsula!)
I’m so excited to have my immediate family and close friends together in Europe. I dare say it’s a very rare thing to have so many loved ones with you on another continent. We expect to spend a lot more time enjoying the company and the surroundings, rather than rushing around to see everything we can. Even still, we will try to post all the cultural lessons, historical sights, and natural wonders we stumble across in all the places we go.
Thanks for joining us!