The Amazing Race – my way

29Aug04

Originally written on August 29, 2004 

Hola!!! 🙂 

This is going to be a longer email as I have some time to kill and would like to give you an update on my so far holiday. I´ll try to break the email into different subtopics to make it easier for me. 

Greetings from Spain!!! 🙂 

>Getting there 

It´s been now a week that we left Toronto. Our flight was a bit nerve-wreaking because the airplane to London was delayed for 40 min!!! Some jerk hadn´t board the plane, and the captain had waited for him. 😮 Usually I wouldn´t mind such a situation, but we were short on time and worried that we would miss our plane to Madrid. To make the story short, we arrived 1 hour late to Gatwick, and I had only 30 min to pass the customs, get the bags (Skyservice does not do luggage transfer!!!) and check-in at the other desk. There was some serious running on the airport, and if we had arrived 2 min later at the check-in desk, we would miss the flight. It felt like being on the Amazing Race. I´m very confidant now that I would win in that game!!! If I only could apply for it … 😉 

>Madrid 

Madrid is much more than I ever thought it could be. Both of us were pleasantly surprised and decided to stay one extra day. It´s very walkable and there is a lot to see. I´m not going to bore you with tourist attractions we´ve been to because I want to write more about the lifestyle. 

Plaza Mayor, Madrid

Spaniards are very friendly and helpful. I shouldn´t forget mentioning that most of them are very good looking, or as one American guy described Spanish girls ‘it hurts my eyes looking at them’. lol… What I´ve liked the most is the warmness and affection that they express towards each other. Everyone is hugging, kissing, holding hands … (Don´t read this as some naughty statement.) 

Two greatest things that have happened in last 7 days were clubbing and a soccer match. We went to see Real Madrid playing a friendly game against Wisla from Krakow. NOW that was something to remember. I bought my Zidane jersey :D, got the second best tickets for the game, and we went to the stadium. For the first 15 min I had goosebumps because I couldn´t believe I was watching a Real Madrid match. 

Beckham about to kick the ball, with Figo and Zidane in the backdrop

EVERYBODY was there: Carlos, Beckham, Figo, Ronaldo and ZIDANE of course. 🙂 It was simply mind blowing to be present over there and hear people cheering and clapping each time Real would strike for a goal. Without any doubt Madrid won – 3:1. 🙂

Going-out in Spain is a ritual which of course has to be followed. Around 11pm is dinner time (Spaniards eat a lot of cheese and ham), then one goes for a drink around 1am and hit a club by 2am or so. Most nightclubs open around 12am or later and stay open until 7-8am. The entrance fee usually includes one or two drinks. The first club we went to was Palacio de Gaviria. That was the best club I´ve ever been to because a huge 18th century palace was turned into a nightclub. Only in Europe can people waste freaking palaces and transform them into discos. The club as every other palace had frescoes, stuccoes, huge paintings and mirrors on the wall. There was no difference between it and a royal palace with the exception that smoking was allowed, go-go dancers were everywhere, and instead of Strauss´s waltz, the upstream dance music was blasting. Furthermore, Canadian DJ have a thing or two to learn from Spaniards because they are not able to make good mixes. Funny thing was that no matter what stream of music was played, eventually it would turn into something with Latin beats. I definitely didn´t mind that. lol…

The second club was El Kapital, the largest in Madrid, with 7 floors, and something for everyone. On each floor different type of music was played. One floor was a lounge area where one could chill out and watch movies. Yet on the another one, beds were laid on the side so one could relax and watch onto the dance floor a couple of stores below. The owner had built in sound-proof glass walls which made the entire club wicked. The entrance fee for this club was a hefty price, €15.00, but something like that was expected because waiters and bouncers wore tuxedos. 

We went to El Kapital on Friday night, stayed until 5am, got back to the hostel at 5.30am, had a nap of one hour, and then went directly to the main train station to catch a high speed train to Seville. Every since then I´ve slowed down with partying until we land in Palma in a couple of days. 🙂 I´ve always wanted to go out and party till the dawn which exactly happened. As we were leaving Madrid, sun was coming out on the horizon. 

 >Seville 

Until Tuesday, we will be in Seville, and from there we have been making day trips to other cities in Andalusia. Andalusia province is a land of contrast. On one side there is dry, arid land and opposite to it are cities full with palm and citrus trees, and fountains. Temperature reaches up to 43C (that´s how much it was yesterday), but it is bearable because humidity is low. These are the type of summer I´m used to – hot and dry. 

Giralda, Sevilla

At the end, there is one more thing I have to mention … sangria. This will either cost me my head or the wallet (I hope it´s not going to be both ..lol…). Sangria is a traditional Spanish drink – a fruit punch with wine, and I cannot get enough of it. Usually one has to buy a pitcher of 1.5L, so if it is only two of us, we have to drink it all because I truly believe food or drinks shouldn´t be wasted. lol… A friendly advise for everyone, don´t drink when it´s 35C outside. We were in Toledo, a city that requires a lot of hiking due to the geographical position, and let´s just say that after a lunch and lot of sangria suddenly visiting a church became funny to me. Yet again, sangria + heat is no good. 😛 

San Juan de los Reyes, Toledo

This would be all for now. I hope I haven´t bored you. Spain has turned out to be more than I could imagine. Forget about Cuba or the Caribbean, none of them know have to party. After all, fiesta did started in mother España.The best thing of it all is that I feel wonderful and rejuvenated (I´m typing this without having a drop of sangria lol…) and I wish that some of you had come with me for this journey. It´s much more than you would ever imagine it to be. After all, we´ve got only one life to live. 

Adios!!!

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