3 Cities in Spain You Need to Visit This Summer - United Hub

3 cities in Spain you need to visit this summer

By Matt Chernov , July 23, 2018

With its white-sand beaches, mouthwatering food, and rich cultural history, it's hard to imagine a more idyllic destination to visit this summer than Spain. Whether you're an art lover who's interested in exploring the masterworks of Picasso and Dalí, a parent looking to introduce their kids to the magic of Southern Europe, or you just want to relax on a sailboat as it drifts lazily along the sun-drenched coastline, you'll find exactly what you've been dreaming of in this Mediterranean paradise. To help you plan the perfect summer getaway, here are three cities in Spain that offer something special for everyone.

Arc de Triomph, Barcelona

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Barcelona

A city of exquisite contrasts, where avant-garde skyscrapers stand harmoniously alongside medieval monasteries, Barcelona offers visitors a European getaway unlike any other. From the cosmopolitan shopping district of Diagonal Mar to the ancient alleyways of the Gothic Quarter, this Mediterranean metropolis is in a category all by itself.

To instantly immerse yourself in the magic of Barcelona, a trip to the stunning Sagrada Família cathedral is essential. This wildly ornate Roman Catholic basilica, designed by legendary Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, is by far the most emblematic building in the city.

For a meal that captures Barcelona's true essence, take a culinary tour of La Boqueria, a massive public marketplace that dates back to 1217. Here you'll find gourmet butchers, farm fresh produce, an endless assortment of sweets and spices, and perfectly prepared dishes with a distinct Barcelonian flavor.

Though born in the southern province of Málaga, legendary artist Pablo Picasso is intimately associated with Barcelona, having painted many of his greatest works while living in the city. So naturally, the Museu Picasso is an important attraction that anyone who wants to understand Spanish art needs to visit at least once in their lifetime.

When you're ready to soak up the summer rays, head on over to beautiful Nova Icària Beach and settle back on a comfortable sun lounger. Surrounded by a variety of restaurants and bars, and equipped with several beach volleyball courts, it's an ideal spot for family and friends traveling in a group.

City view of Madrid

Madrid

Spain's vibrant capital has gone through countless changes over the past century, but its historic core remains thankfully intact. First-time visitors will marvel at Madrid's unique blend of old world charm and modern sophistication, which is best exemplified by the warm and welcoming residents who call the city their home.

Since food is central to Madrid's identity, indulge your appetite at La Carmencita, one of the city's oldest tapas restaurants. The expertly curated menu includes delicious calamari fritters, fresh razor clams in sherry and Madrilenean-style grilled anchovies. After that, make your way over to Ático 11, the cozy rooftop bar atop the Iberostar Las Letras Hotel, for an elegant cocktail with a view.

For anyone traveling with children, the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales is a delightful science museum filled with priceless meteorites, local fossils, rare minerals and several enormous dinosaur skeletons. And because soccer is an intrinsic part of Spanish culture, a tour of Madrid's incredible Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a must-visit attraction.

If exploring historic landmarks is what you're in the mood for, the fascinating Temple of Debod is perhaps the most unique ancient ruin in all of Spain. And finally, no trip to Madrid is complete without seeing Hieronymus Bosch's astonishing painting, "The Garden of Earthly Delights" on permanent display at the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Aerial view of Mallorca

Mallorca

Understandably famous for its gorgeous beaches and temperate climate, this colorful Spanish island has far more to offer than just blue water and clear skies. A haven for artists and writers throughout the decades, Mallorca is home to a remarkable collection of cultural and historic attractions that make it a splendid choice for both first-time and returning visitors.

The quickest way to acquaint yourself with the island's visual splendor is by taking a hike along the spectacular Torrent de Pareis, a natural box canyon that's one of Spain's most beautiful sights. This 3.1 mile trek involves several small climbs over moderate-sized rocks and boulders, so it's best attempted by physically fit hikers wearing appropriate climbing shoes.

For travelers with an interest in the country's prehistoric past, a tour of the Necropolis at Son Real – a collection of individual tombs and burial chambers dating back to the 7th century B.C. should definitely be on the itinerary. If peace and calm is what you're searching for, a relaxing stroll through the picturesque town of Pollença is a perfect way to experience Mallorca's restorative tranquility.

Since the island is renowned for its superb seafood, the Michelin-starred restaurant Es Fum comes highly recommended. When you make a reservation, be sure to ask for a table on the outdoor terrace. That way you'll enjoy a plate of smoked octopus and Gillardeau oysters while gazing at a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea. As the locals say, “Buen provecho!"

When you go

Once you've decided on the perfect Spanish getaway, book your tickets by visiting united.com or by using the convenient United app.

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Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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