Monday, October 18, 2010

When in Spain you should be prepared for:

  • Spending more on coffee than you ever thought possible because it tastes so much better there!  Even the coffee from a machine is better than most cups in The States!  
  • Nothing is to go- so sit down and enjoy yourself!  
  • Bring a packet of tissues where ever you go, TRUST ME!  
  • Not everyone takes a siesta - apparently that's for the really young and really old!  
  • Yet, when it is siesta time, the streets are quiet and it's a fantastic time to take a walk!

So we arrived at our hostel and by the looks of it I could survive on a collection of items from friends - they're so resourceful with their extra toothbrush, deodorant and soap!  :)

While the girls went to seek out some place to eat I had to take a nap - which may have been my demise but it felt so good!  Parisian blinds are the best for naps!  I slept for a few hours and then swapped with the other girls and took my turn running other errands with Jackie!  She had to get her suitcase from her friend's place that she stayed with the night before.  I met a few girls living in Spain that were from California, what a fun life I imagined them having.

Before you knew it, it was time to eat again and so we ate a little something and met Jackie's friends for a drink at one of the bars in their neighborhood.  The streets of Madrid were a fantastic adventure for me; I loved how they were so much different than Chicago's - but of course Chicago is most likely 1000 years younger than Madrid and had some great city planners on their side.  I love Europe's street name plates placed high on building corners and if they changed the street name the new one was just above the old one!  Our first night out was an experience - Spaniards keep their drink cost low by providing the bare essentials in their establishments.  No toilet seat, no bathroom tissue!  Hence my above mention of bringing tissues and while you're at it, hand sanitizer where ever you go!

The next morning - still luggage-less - we woke up and ate breakfast and made a few stern phone calls to the baggage claim.  They assured me my bag arrived last night but just NOT in time for the ONE guy who makes all the luggage deliveries!  If I thought I wasn't in Kansas then I was delusional!  Spaniards are a bunch of passionate but not-so-urgent people!  They weren't really concerned that I was about to embark upon day 3 of the same clothes!  So instead of waiting around for them to casually deliver my bags, I took it upon myself to head to the airport to fetch the bag - there it was all sorts of dirty and waiting with all my pretty things inside!  We had a busy day ahead of us so after getting my bag we headed straight to the train station to buy tickets to Segovia which by train is only a half hour north of Madrid and SO, SO, SO worth the day trip!

We arrived in the middle of no where and figured out we had to take a bus into town - a whopping euro got us into town - that is one of the things I most enjoyed about Europe, their public transportation is wonderful to use and so reasonable! 

We arrived to see the Roman aqueduct with far away glimpses of a castle tower - how fairytale-esque!
We took some photos, visited some shops, listened to some street performers, and eventually made it to a square to enjoy our first glass of SANGRIA!!!
This guy was fun to listen to and watch.
A beautiful church in Segovia, I promise even though the little girls looks like she's avoiding a UFO attack, there were no signs of martians!
We did a lot of this - sitting and enjoying the day!
I don't know why some of my photos look grainy.  I promise they aren't!

Then after our drinks were drank we ventured to the castle to take a tour!   But first we happened to run into quite a few street performers!  I thoroughly enjoyed watching them work - especially this guy below pitching his photos!
This guy was playing a violin via his puppet?  and a little girls was enthralled with him!
We made it to the castle!

We walked through the castle then we trudged to the top of the tower - 150plus steps to the top!  Ugh!
 The sun dial in the courtyard.
Knight in shinning armor!
A very pretty garden
Gorgeous View - almost looks like a painting!
We made it to the top to see this view!  Segovia was magnificent!
Darn shadows...
Being totally appropriate with Carlos III!
We encountered this drum show with what looked to be high school aged kids performing in the streets with this fun leader making signs and signals to begin a new formation or dance.  

I believe this among other unusual sightings were a part of the Hay Festival (a festival of conversation, literature and world class music!) that was taking place the weekend we visited.
Walking back toward the aqueduct and on our way back to Madrid.

After spending our time in Madrid and visiting Segovia we ventured north into La Rioja - another providence of Spain.  We checked out Vitoria first before we made our way to Haro, where Jackie had been an AuPair for nearly 6 months!  

So excited to be on a 3 hour train ride!
What do you know - another festival.  We came upon Vitoria's Medieval Festival.
Scary dragon and its keeper! AHHH!
Their faire may be a little more accurate than American medieval fests with their foul and fur hanging for you to buy!
You know those cool 3D chalk paintings you see in your email every so often and think how cool they are - we saw one in Vitoria's square!  It was really neat in person!  The drawing was literally 75 feet long!

 Sergio did us the honor and took a couple of silly photos for us!

Finally we took a bus ride to Haro where we were able to meet Jackie's family and get well aquainted with her town!  We even took Blanca, the 4 year-old to the Circus!

You will just have to wait and see how the circus went - it was quite the experience!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Camille!!! I love this! The crazy thing is I'm actually living and playing in Haro until April 2011! The tiniest little city and it's so cool to hear about someone I know visiting! What a small small world! Hope you enjoyed your little piece of Spain and all is well, ciao!
    Jenn Todd