Life is short they say, and there is so much to see, do, eat, experience. I’ve travelled all over the Iberian Peninsula and many of its islands but still have an ample Bucket List or Travel Wish List (thanks for the inspiration Traveling Canucks).
Here are a few of my top destination desires in Spain.
1. Island Time
While many other Scoop experts have been to the Canary Islands, I have not! After reading the Wild Junket description of Playa Papagayo on Lanzarote, I decided to put the island, and the beach, on my list.
2. Happy Place Continued
I went to Formentera a few years ago. It’s my favorite Spanish (Catalan?) island so far. Maybe my trip to Lanzarote will change this, but for now it’s one of my ‘happy places’; you know, one of those places you think of when they tell you to be ‘at peace’ in yoga class. Yeah…
Anyway, a goal of mine is to live on Formentera for at least a month, the whole summer would be even better. Ideally I’d like to stay at Riu La Mola Hotel, but I’m not that picky! I would have a Vespa. It would be light blue. I’d bring the Blog Dog with me.
3. Magic Bus
Do you see me? I’m in a camper bus/van cruising Southern Spain in June. The windows are rolled down and I’m a bit tan, sun-kissed if you will. My Magic Bus Road Trip begins in Barcelona following the Mediterranean south through Tarragona, Valencia, bypassing the masses looking for cheap Benidorm holidays and heading towards Alicante’s Cabo de Gata instead. Then on towards Malaga, Marbella, Tarifa and Cádiz. I might keep going into Portugal. Depends on how I am feeling. Now I just need gas prices to go back to normal (or would the bus be hybrid?) and of course, the bus….
4. Craving the Classics
Surprise! I’ve not been to Toledo or Córdoba, which is some sort of Spanish sin I’m sure. I think I’ll check these destinations off my Bucket List pretty soon. A room at Valdepalacios would certainly inspire me to book a train to Toledo right quick. In the meantime Liz has juicy scoop on Córdoba, where she once lived, and Erin over at Tortuga Viajera wrote up Toledo. Which one should I see first?
5. I Taste Red Berries and…Woody Tones?
Another Bucket List item that I plan to make a reality ASAP is wine touring/tasting in La Rioja. I’ve been to Navarra and the Basque Country, and really all around Rioja, but never actually to the region, and more importantly, to the vineyards. Planning to make it happen this year. Lushes that we are, Nancy also had Rioja on her Bucket List! Where do we want to stay? You guessed it…
6. Not the Same Camino
Everyone knows about the Camino de Santiago, which I did with my friend T a few years ago. Awesome, very worth it, do it! But now I’m moving on to other trails in Spain, specifically one in my neck of the woods. The Way of Saint James also crosses a good bit of Catalonia, from Sant Pere de Rodes to Alcarràs. I’d love to do it, and this time I’ll be wearing better walking shoes and have the right size pack!
7. Natrual Mystic
Cabo de Gata is a multi-day stopover on my Magic Bus Road Trip, but just in case the bus doesn’t come through, I’m putting this renowned Natural Park on my must-see list. I’d like to camp there, and hike and swim in the Med. The beaches of Cabo de Gata are said to be some of the country’s best.
8. Teacher’s Pet
I love to learn, though I’m not sure I loved school (more of an authority issue than learning issue). So, I’ll put a few learning experiences on my Bucket List. I’d like to learn to SURF, take a Spanish COOKING class, learn basic FLAMENCO, master SAILING, figure out SCUBA DIVING on the Costa Brava, and become fluent in CATALAN & SPANISH. I speak Spanish well, but if I wrote this same post in Spanish there would be a few errors. Learning a language takes a lifetime as Kayley and Will have pointed out on many occasions.
9. Nurture The Queen Within Me
Nancy had this one on her list too, so maybe she and I can go together (hide the wine!). I’ve reviewed hundreds of hotels and B&Bs but have never stayed at a Parador. Why? I don’t know. I feel somehow incomplete. I’ve eaten at several, and even visited a few just to check out the grounds, as most Paradores are in historically significant buildings like castles and monasteries and ridiculously fabulous villas. There are many Paradores all over Spain, and some are better than others. I am most interested in ancient Paradores with a history as opposed to the newer ones. A few I’d like to sample? The 4-star in Toledo (two birds with one stone, crossing off Bucket List number 4, too); the 4-star on La Gomera, one of the smallest Spanish islands; and any of the new Paradores set to open this 2012.
I suppose this list could go on and on. I haven’t even mentioned taking a cruise, participating in the wine harvest or making it to Extremadura. What’s on your Spain Bucket List? Do you share any of my dreams?