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Andrea is a contributing writer to The Hudsucker when she’s not rescuing stray cats or working as a graphic designer for an advertising agency way less glamorous than the ones in Mad Men. She loves pizza a lot. Follow her on Twitter as @pizzzaa.

Spain: Sun! Tapas! Summer Wine!

I took a little trip around Europe with my family this past July to visit my sister who’s studying in Switzerland. We decided to start in Madrid and then go by train to Barcelona, then Paris and then Geneva. Spain is wonderful, lots of history, great beaches and amazing food. I went on my own back in 2012 and it was great coming back with my family this year.

I’m a big fan of art and history so I really enjoyed Madrid with its old crooked streets and famous museums. I took the Sandeman free walking tour where they took us around the old part of town while our guide told us creepy medieval tales about the city—I definitely recommend it. Barcelona is quite different, you have the beach right by the city and people definitely have more of a party vibe—it’s cool—but party loving tourists can get a little loud and obnoxious. Barcelona away from the heavy tourist areas was definitely more chill and to my liking.

Spain is foodie paradise so expect to leave a couple pounds heavier. As a big food lover, I really love the idea of tapas. Tapas are basically little portions of food you can have at any Spanish bar with your drink. In other places of the world when you go to a bar often the most you can eat are old pretzels but oh no, not in Spain! Here you get delicious fried seafood, little plates of paella or montaditos, which are finger sized sandwiches of various combinations of cheeses, seafood, ham, chorizos and who knows what else; at the official montaditos bar you can choose between over 100 types of sandwiches. While you’re at the bar order tinto de verano (summer wine), it’s red wine mixed with soda and lemon. It’s totally refreshing, delicious and before you know it you had 3 and you’re afraid to get up.

The following are pictures from Madrid, the nearby town of Alcala and Barcelona. I’d love to go back someday and explore more of the country.

All photographs were taken by Andrea Lozano unless otherwise stated.

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