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Barcelona 1

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Barcelona SPAIN  A fascinating country. An engrossing history. And exotic in every sphere. The thrilling story of the Spanish Armada; the chivalric romances of the errant knight Don Quixote; the daredevilry of the brave Matadors in tackling the bulls continue to fascinate me. The Romans, the romantic Moors who ruled for almost 800 years, the swashbuckling Spaniards who demonstrated their prowess as conquerors, explorers, bullfighters, flamenco dancers, football players all seemed to be beckoning me to unravel the mysteries of this captivating land. Finally, in 2019, we chalked our visit to Spain. My traveling companion (my wife) is an ardent learner of Spanish, which proved to be a forte during our journey to Spain. Our adventure in Spain started with Barcelona.  We flew into this city from Frankfurt. Surprisingly Barcelona's El Prat International Airport (also known as BCN) wore an ordinary look, in unexpected contrast to the jazzy name and character of the pla

PORTUGAL

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  -the land of Francesinha and Pastel de Nata Lisbon’s Santa Apolonia Train Station is the city’s oldest station. Located in the historic district of Alfama, this simple and stately fa├žade stands close to the bank of the beautiful and serene river Tejo. The station is conveniently connected by public transport from Marques de Pombal, at the heart of Lisbon. From here the high-speed deluxe trains, adorned with bright colored curtains and carpets inside, take two and a half hours to Porto. Porto’s Campanha station. Porto alias Oporto. Sweet sounding names for a sweet city. Famous for sweet wine exclusively from the grapes of Duoro Valley. Grapes nurtured from the time of Jesus. Like Lisbon, Porto also seems to have been crafted out from the hilly terrains all around. Most of the old parts of both the Portuguese cities have a maze of steep and narrow cobbled streets, narrow roads, and connecting walkways of extremely steep gradients. Like in Lisbon, which is also known as the