Spain highlights

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The 8-day long trip to three different cities in Spain was my longest travel experience in Europe, so far, especially by myself. Madrid, Barcelona, and Zaragoza. I only got to stay two and a half days in each city, which really wasn't much. The weather was hot, but fortunately not too hot. Apparently it was way cooler than was normal, which was lucky for me. It still averaged 35 degrees the whole week, which at first was unbearable for me, having never experienced that kind of heat much before, but I got used to it after a while. You learn to adapt quickly when you're travelling :)

Parque del buen retiro, Madrid.

Madrid was awesome for its free tour during which I learnt a lot about the history of Spain and its central capital city. Since it was the first city on my itinerary, I think I was more eager in seeing everything as well. I made some new Spanish and Latin American friends here, sipping cool tintos and trying out new tapas.

Casa Batllo, Barcelona.

Barcelona has amazing architecture. Oh my goodness, they are awe striking. Casa Batllo, Parc Guell, with its curvy walls all around, amazing colours.. I didn't get to compare the FC Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu stadium with FC Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium (Camp Nou was more expensive than Santiago B, and too expensive for me to visit both), but I did go see an orchestra concert in the Palau de Musica Catalunya. I loved the old Barcelona with its maze little streets, so easy to wander around aimlessly, until you actually want to get out, but can't find the way out. Everyone has warned me about pick pockets in Spain, and in Barcelona in particular. Luckily I didn't get anything stolen from me, but I did see an attempted act by the Nord bus station around midnight. The lone guy must have been inexperienced, though, because he got scared when the lady started yelling at him to leave her stuff alone, and he almost tripped over several times in his haste to get away before the other guys in the area started chasing him down the road.

Pilar Cathedral, Zaragoza.

Zaragoza was much smaller in comparison than the other two biggest Spanish cities, but it provided a nice change for me to see a different side of the Spanish life culture. It was still quite touristy in the central area, where there are so many churches, practically next to each other. I could also spot some pilgrims, with their big backpacks and walking boots.

Spain is so lovely; I think it may be one of my favourite European countries ! It helped that I could kind of understand their language. I certainly improved a lot in my conversational Spanish skills, though still very very basic. I mean, I could have a whole meal with a Spanish person by myself, which meant a lot to me. I've certainly met a lot of interesting people during my week; a truck driver who wanted to buy me clothes, a surfing paediatric male nurse,.. I was definitely glad to come back to Paris, but I had lots of fun in Spain, and wouldn't mind going back soon. Hasta luego :)

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