Hello! Libby here!
I was lucky enough to spend the later part of Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain, which was an incredible experience. My first stop was Madrid, where I got to see many of the traditional processions that happen during this week. I also had the chance to visit many of the Catholic churches in the area, which were all decorated for the season.
I planned on exploring the city by foot, so I walked to all the neat places around there; my favorite was the Egyptian temple ruins that were in the area. They were brought over by Spanish officials in partnership with Egyptian officials to help preserve the Egyptian culture and share it with other parts of the world. They had taken this temple down brick by brick, shipped it over to Spain, and rebuilt the temple on a little lake. It was a real treat to be in Madrid for a bit!
After Madrid I took a trip to the Spanish island of Palma de Mallorca, which is just a little island off the southern coast of Spain. This destination was purely for relaxation. During my time in England, I have missed the sun a lot. This island guaranteed a lot of warmth and sun! :)
I spent Easter morning on Palma de Mallorca and got a little treat Easter morning as well! During my general walk around the island, I was heading to the Palma Cathedral for noon service. Unfortunately, this service was only open to members of the church, by which I was confused, so I continued on. There were lots of people congregating outside of the Cathedral so I figured there was something going on; maybe it was going to be another procession. But after an hour of waiting, a brigade of black cars pulled up and out came the Spanish royal family! They said a quick hello to the crowd, waved at us, and then hurried into the Cathedral for their Easter service! I was excited to get a chance to see them, making this my third royal encounter!
I was able to go in and explore the Cathedral the next morning, which was absolutely gorgeous. They call it the church of the sea and light. (The sea because it is built on the sea and light because there were over 60 stained glass windows in the church, including a giant one right in the middle!) The rest of my trip in Palma I spent relaxing on the beach. It was a nice way to relax after an intense week of traveling before.
I certainly enjoyed my time in Spain!
Coming soon, an update about my next couple of stops: Milan, Budapest, Vienna, and Prague.