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The original “plan” was to leave Madrid and head south for Seville. (I was thinking I might need a haircut and beard trim by then, anyway.) Then, from out of nowhere, the phrase “Basque Separatists” popped into my head. After a couple days in a restive Catalonia, I was in the mood to be among some more troublemakers in the Basque capital of Bilbao.
These are examples of my travel goals:
So far I have two objectives for the Spain part of my trip. I’ve done a ton of background reading for this leg, including Michener’s exhaustive and exhausting Iberia, Zoellner’s chapter on the AVE high-speed train from Barcelona to Madrid in his wonderfully researched Train, Jack Hitt’s mostly enjoyable memoir of his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon and Cervantes’s Don Quixote. I’ve also digested a stomach churning account of the Spanish Inquisition, and browsed several other weighty tomes. After all this, here’s what I’ve come up to do in Spain: I want to find a good bowl of paella and an English edition of Jan Morris’s Spain. That’s it, you say? Bear with me, though. (I know that’s bearing a lot.)