Spain and Morocco

El Micalet, Valencia La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca Spice Souq, Marrakech This way to Fes! Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Valencia Barcelona Casablanca Marrakech Fes Casablanca Madrid

I am excited and nervous at once. It is my first time crossing the Atlantic and my first time traveling to a foreign land. Of course, I've visited Canada several times, but it just doesn't seem like a foreign country to me. In some sense Canada represents what America could be: it's clean, there's little crime, and its people seem content. Hell, even an urban liquor store in Canada gives off a happy vibe, unlike the dirty, rundown equivalent in the U.S. with its barred windows and bulletproof glass.

But, one thing Canada lacks is excitement—it is very boring. Its citizens cannot take full blame, for they number only 30 million. There are about as many people in California or in the State of New York as there are in the entirety of Canada, the second-largest country in the world. The culture lacks critical mass.

Now, I have the opportunity to visit Spain, a mere fraction of the size of Canada but with over 40 million people. Oh, they also have a rich history dating back to Roman times and beyond.

I am traveling to attend a meeting of the International Planetarium Society in Valencia, Spain. The conference will last the better part of a week, then I have set aside another three weeks to be a tourist.

My friend, Pram, was already traveling in Europe so we arranged to meet in Valencia and spend the balance of time after the conference on tour. We discussed some of the possibilities, including Barcelona, southern Spain, Morocco, and Ibiza. We seemed to find common ground with Barcelona, Madrid, and Morocco. So, I made a hotel reservation in Barcelona and Pram made arrangements for Madrid and decided to meet in Valencia.