Spain On the Road Again, Part 13 – Madrid and the End of the Road Reply

On Road AgainMario, Gwyneth, Mark and Claudia end their epic Spanish road trip in Madrid with a busy schedule for the last day. First there’s a visit to the new Madrid Barajas airport extension, a mile-long building designed  in a joint effort by Brit Richard Rogers and Spaniard, Antonio Lamela. Then Mario and Gwyneth are off to the Escorial for a quick drive-by commentary, then a stop at the Duchess of Alba’s house, the Palacio de Liria, which is also a formidable art museum open to public visits. Lunch with Ferran Adriá, the world’s most famous chef, is a ten-course tasting menu on the rooftop terrace of the Casino Club, a meal in which “nothing is what it seems,” though it’s all surprising and delicious.

Mario and Gwyneth squeeze in a quick appearance as cheer leaders at a Real Madrid soccer match in Real Madrid’s hallowed Santiago Bernabeo stadium.The series concludes with a friendly, fun, intramural cookoff where everybody wins. More…

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Spain… On the Road Again–Part 6 Reply

On Road AgainA Michael Stipe Surprise in Catalunya

Claudia takes Gwyneth for a nighttime drive through her hometown of Barcelona. Gwyneth does a celebrity appearance and then the two ladies sneak off to the gourmet department of a Barcelona department store to stock up on snacks for the next leg of their journey.

The next morning, Mario and Gwyneth dive into Spanish bubbly in the cellars at the Segura Viudas winery. Meanwhile, Mark and Claudia take to the seas to enjoy some of the most sought-after shellfish in the Mediterranean and later to a fish auction that has all the excitement of a Major League game.

Back in wine country, Mario and Gwyneth grill a vegetarian Catalan feast. Later, Mario shocks Gwyneth when they pick up an unlikely hitchhiker, Michael Stipe, the REM lead singer. More…

Spain… On the Road Again–Part 5 Reply

Basking in Spanish Wine and Cuisine in the Basque Country

On Road AgainGwyneth and Mario greet the day at the astonishing Marqués de Riscal Hotel with a behind the scenes vineyard tour which includes a sublime bottle of 1958 vintage wine opened by breaking the neck of the bottle with red hot tongs. Mark joins Gwyneth for some vine-side grilling of fresh Rioja vegetables where they learn a valuable barbecue tip: to revive the waning coals, sprinkle salt on them. Both Mario and Gwyneth head home for the weekend, and Mark and Claudia set out for San Sebastián with the glee of two school kids playing hooky. More…