The first time we visited Seviile, Spain a decade ago, we timed our visit with Semana Santa, a pre-Easter holy festival, which features the procession of pasos, floats made of lifelike wooden sculptures, sorrowful images and the grieving Virgin Mary. The floats, carried by worshipers draped in white cloaks and pointy hoods, sway gently as they're carried through the streets, giving off a creepy but magical aura. This time, we visited just before Christmas, when each city street was lit up with holiday lights.
We visited Formentera, the smallest of the Balearic Islands just off of Ibiza, only a few weeks ago. Despite not having any unallocated vacation days left, we missed it as soon as we left and decided to go back, to work remotely and take a full week to explore the island in a more low-key fashion than we usually do. Since we've already blogged about our last trip, we decide to write up a quick travel guide of our favorite beaches, restaurants and activities. Formentera is not for all-inclusive resort lovers - it does have perfect, soft, sandy beaches, but accessing them is more adventurous than easy. It doesn't have night clubs or party boats - go to Ibiza for that. However, if you are into a bohemian vibe, Caribbean waters with delicious seafood, Spanish and Italian cuisine - Formentera is the best summer destination in Europe.
Since moving to Europe, we've heard whispers about Formentera. Rumor had it, it was a hippie antidote to Ibiza, where Bob Dylan lived in a windmill in the 60s, where Bob Marley performed concerts and where pirates roamed before that, where the water is as bright and clear as the Maldives - a place where day-trippers come and go (emphasis on the go). It all sounded too good to be true. We decided to explore it ourselves, along with cousin Jake on his first trip abroad. Our love for the Balearic Islands is evident - as we got married in Majorca last year - so we eagerly hopped on a plane in Cologne, Germany and jetted to Ibiza - the jumping off point for our Formentera adventure.
Throughout our travels in Europe, we have developed a special connection with Spain. We first visited in 2008, starting in the north in San Sebastian and making our way south, hitting Barcelona, Valencia, Granada and Sevilla. After moving to Luxembourg, we continued our Spanish explorations every few months, and held our wedding in Majorca last summer. To continue getting to know the country more intimately, we jetted off for a 5-day weekend in the famed Costa del Sol.
One of our travel goals for 2018 is to explore major cities in Europe that have been on our to-do list for years, but we haven't had a chance to see yet. Continuing with our Spain theme from our most recent trip to Barcelona, we decided winter would be a great time to check out Madrid, where there are fewer crowds than in the summer but the weather is still sunny. On a Friday afternoon, we hopped on a direct flight from Lux and landed in Madrid by dinnertime.
After our crazy holiday travel schedule, we returned to cold and grey Luxembourg from Icelend and resumed our normal schedule. After three weeks of braving the chilly, wet weather, we decided to head to sunny Barcelona for a 5-day respite. We flew out of Luxembourg on a Wednesday afternoon, and arrived at our apartment in the Eixample district in the early evening.
We couldn't wait to return to Majorca for an action-packed five day adventure trip. Along with Erin's brother Mason, we started off the trip by checking out the capital city of Palma. After arriving at night, we dropped our bags and ventured out for tapas. Accompanied by cervezas and cava, we chowed down on some delicious octopus, shrimp and other small plates. We spent the night strolling around the city streets along with stylish crowds enjoying the summer night at sidewalk cafes. Compared to the Luxembourg folk, the stylish, attractive people made for fantastic people-watching. Around midnight we made it to the Palma Cathedral - with its massive stone footprint - one of the largest gothic churches in the world.
Fresh off the heels of our family trip to Italy, with barely enough time for our bodies to recover, we jetted westward to Majorca, a Mediterranean island off the coast of Spain. Thanks to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg's birthday, we took full advantage of the national holiday by spending 80 unforgettable hours on "The Island of the Calm." The flight from Luxembourg is just under two hours from our second home of Frankfurt Hahn Airport. We ditched the chilly rain and fog for the sunny, mountainous island surrounded by neon turquoise waters.
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