All tagged offbeat

I honestly believe there is no better way to experience a culture than through its food, and always try to stop by a local market when traveling. The Mercado San Pedro is a local market in Cusco and basically has everything you would need. The market is big, the length of about 3 blocks, and a block wide, and packed with vendors. It has aisles upon aisles of fruit, vegetables, food stalls, food products, pastries, juices, herbs, textiles, and all sorts of other stuff.

Cusco, Peru - Things to do while falling in love with the city

We spent a few days in Cusco acclimatizing before our Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. I absolutely LOVED the city – the ancient Inca capital is steeped in history and culture, and is filled to the brim with Inca and Spanish history, churches, beautiful architecture, artisanal markets, local Peruvian culture, and fantastic restaurants and bars. Yes, it is also filled with tourists who use it as a base before exploring the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, but it is a truly breathtaking experience. The city is nestled in the mountains and has spectacular views all around. There are many ways to explore the city and many things to see and do.

Every once in a way, you have a “once in a lifetime” experience that no amount of pictures or words can do justice. For us, it was experiencing the “Feria de Abril” (The April Fair) in Seville, Spain.

The Feria is held for a week in April each year, starting two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week. During this time, all of Seville clears out and people head to the fairgrounds, packing into rows and rows of “casetas” (tents). The women are decked out in traditional flamenco dresses, the men are dapper in suits, and the children look absolutely adorable - everyone fitting right on the cover of a fashion magazine.

Did you know that the “cava capital” of the world is literally less than an hour away from Barcelona? Considering the amount of cava I have consumed, I’m embarrassed to say I had no idea either!  Cava is literally the “champagne of Spain”, and makes for easy drinking, bubbles when you need them, and an economical alternative to champagne.

As soon I found out about the Penedes region though Jessica, it was instantly added to our Spain itinerary. However, I had a hard time finding information online about planning a day trip to the region and visiting a few producers without going through an organized tour. So here’s what you need to know, if you are interested in quick day trip outside Barcelona for a glass (or many) of cava.