By leaving Barcelona for Madrid, I left behind the beaches briefly (where it took me a week to get a sunburn! I was expecting to burn much much earlier..) for some stereotypical Spanish culture. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia (a very independent province), and as such has a culture all its own. However, Barcelona is also a huge tourist destination. Their culture may be a bit hidden to make way for attractions that bring in visitors. Or at least, that's my take on it.
When I decided on this European trip, I had no clue on where I wanted to go besides Barcelona. In fact, I still don't. I'm just wandering. Adventuring. And not knowing where I wanted to go, I purchased a Eurail Global Pass with continuous travel. In hindsight, I should have just gotten a regional pass or some such. I'm starting to think that I needlessly wasted money as I could easily spend all three weeks in Spain. In fact, it's quite possible that I might.
Now, to be completely honest, Madrid just didn't do it for me. I was quite sick on the day that I got there and am thinking that the heat is finally getting to me. Being Canadian, I'm not used to these Mediterranean temperatures at all. I can fully understand the theory behind the Spanish siestas now.
It could also be because that fact that I'm alone is sinking in. Sure, I've met some great people while being away, but in all actuality I am completely by myself yet surrounded by people all the time. I guess it was inevitable, but a bit of a melancholy mood struck me in Madrid and that could have easily played a part in my mediocre feelings toward the Spanish capital.
So after two uneventful days in Madrid, I found myself back on a train to Barcelona. I think I may have ruined Spain for myself by starting off in Barcelona, but I don't mind. I could easily spend the rest of my trip in this city, learning more of the place seeing more of the sights. Or taking it easy and hanging out on the beach. It's possible.
I'm following my tracks. And you should follow yours too, wherever they may lead you.