Haggard - Day 65 - Cairo
Looking in the mirror one morning a few days ago Lauren made a comment on her appearance. Looking in the mirror the night we arrived to Cairo I was immediately reminded of the comment, and how her descriptor- "haggard," seemed to fit me a bit better. Of course my first thought was to take a photo out our lastest hostel window. 
Ironically, our attitude anything but matches our appearance. Egypt is phenomenal, and in only our first three days we've met and spent time with so many really incredible people. The food is great, the price is right, and there's not a more historically touristy destination around. We can't help but participate even though we normally avoid a lot of the biggest tourist hot spots. Days and weeks of quick travel, long travel, soap shampoo, and unwashed clothes are no longer a concern. With so much to do here and so many people to see that's not even important, though a nice shower and real shampoo felt pretty good tonight. Now I have to get to bed since it's nearly 4 am and we have an early morning to venture out exploring Alexandria today. 
We made a last second diversion from the city of Sousse to Monastir when we saw it was not cheap to stay in Sousse. We made it a few days later thanks to couchsurfing.org, but until then we were happy to find a nice beach town with an ever-flowing coastal breeze moving in off the ocean. The water was clear and the town as welcoming as the beach umbrellas in the pictures below would indicate. 

Our new roommate in Houmt Souk on the island of Djerba, in Tunisia. 
Here are a few very nautically-themed photos from Barcelona last week. 
So many cats in Morocco, not as many in Tunis, but they're still everywhere. We'll see how the rest of the country is.
Yes, we detoured from North Africa on a RyanAir flight to spend a little time in Barcelona before Tunisia and Egypt. We found some fun stuff and here's where I tell you about it. This isn't a comprehensive list of the "Best of Barcelona" by any stretch, it's more of a "best we did that I happened to take pictures of on my phone" of Barcelona. Regardless, if you're headed to Barcelona these things are worth your time to check out. If you happen to have more money than us, which is very likely the case, you should check out spottedbylocals.com as well, this is an incredibly handy guide, yes written by locals, for things to do in many European cities. I would love to do a tour sampling food based on the recommendations on this guide, from my limited experience on this trip it's invaluable. Oh and it's free, so you can afford this guide even if you're also on a super budget :D

Pim Pam Burguer (& Pim Plam Plats)

If you've heard me talk or email about Pim Pam you'll know how excited I am. If you've ever talked to me you'll know I never shut up. I'll try to be brief. Pim Pam makes an incredible burger. We were looking for burgers, not our normal food quest but this day that's all that would suffice. We expected mediocre and found several candidates that looked pretty tasty- but we persevered. Tired and hungry, we peered down yet another alley and the sky opened up revealing the canopy above Pim Pam. There's also a Pim Pam around the corner that serves the same exact burgers and a selection of various other foods that look so delicious I want to try them all. Maybe I'll move to Barcelona. Most people come to Barcelona see the Sagrada Familia, which won't even be finished until 2026 at the earliest. Pim Pam wasn't designed by Gaudí, but it's finished now and tasting the burgers will certainly bring you closer to spiritual fulfillment. 
Now, a recipe:
Nothing's better when traveling than some wine, especially if you're "thinking España." That's not really always true, maybe, but it sounds nice. Here's a recipe for Tinto de Verano, which translates to Red Wine of Summer. 
1.) Get some cheap red wine, find bottles for less than €1 in the supermercat.
2.) Also get some lemon soda, Fanta Citron or Schweppes makes a delicious Citron too. 
3.) Mix them to taste and add ice. 

Café de les Delícies
This café is located La Raval, very close to the most touristy spot on La Rambla. It's a really cool looking place that feels really fun to hang out in. Their espresso is great, they make great drinks, and have some delicious muffins and pastries. It's also way less chaotic, cheaper than La Rambla, and just a very quick walk away. 

Lomography Barcelona
If you like lomography.com sure you'd want to check this out, it's a fun place. But... there are probably plenty of lomography shops that are just as cool. I didn't buy any cameras due to the ton of stuff I'm already carrying, but I really would have liked to. I almost bought another camera in Bristol and here I once again resisted the temptation. Best of Barcelona? We'll say best lomography shop in Barcelona for sure!
Last but not least - Tossa
This visit was from a recommendation on spottedbylocals, and a great find. It's a tapas bar (I believe it's pronounced "tapas") in the Eixample neighborhood, near the Sagrada Familia. Their tapas are really reasonably priced, their beer and espresso are cheap, and the food is top quality. Surprisingly good. Nice terrace seating shaded by trees and umbrellas make it a perfect place to kill a few hours after siesta. I didn't have a picture, I was too busy enjoying delicious food and beer. And coffee. And orange cake. 
I went out this morning to get some mineral water and lemonade to accompany the bread and apricot jam at the hostel, and found this little kitty who was getting meat with his breakfast.
     After a few more-hectic-than-necessary travel days that Lauren may choose to elaborate on we're both really happy to be in Tunisia. Not an original stop on our albeit rough itinerary, a little extra time and some encouraging words from the 904 lb. Lonely Planet guide we're carrying around got us both pretty excited for Tunisia for a lot of reasons. To defend the guidebook, which is actually quite handy despite my bashing it once previously on this blog, we are also carrying a Kindle which we probably just could have downloaded the book onto. Anyway, we've met some great people so far and are very optimistic about exploring this incredibly diverse country as our first full day here winds down. As may be expected, there is a lot of heat here. Even worse, there's not a lot of air moving in the place we're staying. Fortunately winding down from a couple long travel days makes sleep pretty easy despite the heat. 
     The second African country on our trip, Tunisia sits westernized and welcoming between it's bordering neighbors, Algeria and Libya. And despite their current situations that prevent us from traveling to either, at least not with the amount of planning we did for this trip, our experiences with locals so far have affirmed both of our wishes to see both of these much larger countries. 
     Three weeks and a camera in Tunisia, I have some ideas. We're looking forward to getting out and meeting more people to bring their exciting recent history to some people who may be unfamiliar with the conflict in the region, and for those who know what's been happening over here, to bring a bit of the feeling that text on a newspaper or web source doesn't convey.