Blog número uno-
11 days of go go traveling w a big tour group have come to an end and I'm transitioning from nice hotels, three meals a day at sit down restaurants and guided tours to hostels, bread and salami in my bag and aimless wandering around trying desperately to blend in as a local rather than a pack of American tourists.
So part one of EB's adventures in Spain have come to an end. The tour was awesome, so jam packed with so much detail and information, and so I'm gonna start blogging about part two which is my independent adventures.
I give the tour an A+ with highlights being the ability to share with my family all the spots along the northern coast - which resembled a mix between Ireland or New Zealand- very lush, green, windy and rainy in some spots. Reminded me of SF. Santiago de compostela was surreal- very emotional for me - and I'm so so proud of Abby my friend who will walk into that town after trekking by foot for over 530 miles! It was my favorite city thus far.
The family left yesterday early in the am - sad to see them go but ready for some solo time- the boys - my brothers- were calling me the lone wolf. I like to blend in rather than stick out.
I spent my first solo day in Madrid doing exactly what I was wanting- wandering around aimlessly. Plans to go to the famous Prado or Reina Sofia were scrapped- I got sucked into the absolute awesomeness of El Retiro Park. Hanging out like a spaniard, I sat for hours overlooking the lake in the middle of the gardens next to a bunch of Spanish guys who were singing their hearts out with guitars - all to make a 20 or 50 cent piece. An hour in the park turned into watching the sun go down and so therefore it was my highlight. Imagine Central Park during the height of fall and times it's beauty by 20 and you have this lovely park. I didn't want to leave.
I spent my last night with two women from our trip as they had extended their stay in Madrid. One is 79-Joe from Carmel and her sister in law Dodi- who is 84. No joke it was one of the better dinners I had here - they are hilarious ladies married and divorced a couple times, living life to the fullest, and never letting their age get the best of them. Case in point - they walked me by all the Ukrainian prostitutes doing their thing- on the way back to their hotel. They thought i would get a kick of it - seeing the local flavor. I'll miss them those two gals and I will forever aspire to live life to the fullest as they certainly do. It reminded me of how I would be at 79/80 with some of my gal pals ie Jensie, Ali G... Totally our type!
So now I'm en route to Seville via the high speed train. the landscapes have already changed. More desert-like and warmer thank god. Put the scarves away and welcome back sandals to my life.
I have two days here - looking to see the cathedral, the alcazar, maybe take in some flamenco and continue on the tapas and sangria tour inevitable on every Spanish town. I have two weeks from today- trying to suck in every moment. Onwards I go!