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Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where in the World Was Eric D. Goodman?

In Spain!

I’ve been offline and out of touch for a couple weeks as I spent about nine days on siesta in Barcelona and Madrid. Each city was wonderful in its own way. From what I experienced, Barcelona had a more Medeterranian feel, and Madrid seemed much more European. They balanced one another well.

Other than a quick night in Barajas (a suburb of Madrid), we started in Barcelona. In Montjuic, we climbed from the National Palace (and the art museum inside that featured Europe’s most complete collection of frescos) to the castle (which reminded me a lot of an older—but more recently active—version of Baltimore’s own Fort McHenry), and the Olympic stadium.

In Barcelona’s Old Town, we enjoyed the Gothic Quarter with the Barcelona Cathedral, Town Hall, and Casa de l’Ardiaca. We strolled along Las Rambles and took a trip through the Picasso Museum. And we got a taste of Gaudi’s surreal architecture and art in Palau Guell.

In the neighborhood where our B & B was, Eixample, we marveled at more of Gaudi’s masterworks: Sagrada Familia (the most unusual cathedral I have ever seen—in a good way), Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, and a bit further afield, Park Guell.

Then it was back to Madrid. We stayed about a two minute walk from the soul of Spain: Puerta del Sol. The Royal Palace, the Communications Palace, City Hall, the Metropolis Building, a private viewing of San Miguel Basilica, walks through Plaza de Cibeles, and two of the three flagship museums: Thyssen Bornemisza and Museo del Prado.

One of the personal highlights to the visit was my reading from Tracks at J and J Books and Coffee. It was a great place to get to know the local ex-pat community, consisting of people from all over: America, Ireland, England, Scotland, and even some Spanish natives who spoke English. During my reading, the crowded bar listened so attentively, during dramatic pauses you could hear a beer tap drip. (I read behind the bar.)

In the shadow of all these great sights, some of the best times were taking breakfast of Spanish coffee and sandwiches at a stand-up café, or enjoying tapas and wine in Plaza Mayor, or a snifters of Spanish brandy at a local bar in Puerta del Sol.

In fact, I hadn’t planned on it, but I’m inspired to take up some travel writing again. I decided to write down some thoughts on my trip over the weekend, and I’m already twenty pages into a armchair travel story. If I could sit in a Gaudi-designed office with a cup of Café con Leche or some 1886 brandy, I may be able to finish it.

Take a look at Gaudi’s Wiki page and check out some of the images toward the later years of his career:

Enjoy a sip of 1886:

Or some Café con Leche:

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