Sad to say that today was our last day in Madrid, let alone Spain. And although I’d like to say I went out with a bang it was definately more of a wimper since I went to bed at 11:00 (which is like 8:00 according to Spanish nightlife). However, the morning started out with an incredible tour of McCann Madrid. I cried like 4 times and I’m not exaggerating. Our presenters pulled out all the stops and showed their A game work, which included Cancer Research commercials and mother’s day promos that pulled my heartstrings so much I think I wailed once. After stifling a case of the hiccups we hopped the Metro and hit up Plaza de España. For dinner, our fearless leaders treated us to dinner at the local bakery and deli. It was a fantastic way to end our trip and I couldn’t have spent it with better people. Adios España!
Finally, the post you’ve all been waiting for: Madrid (with pictures). Although I’ve been sleeping on this cellophane and cardboard bed for two nights now I have yet to really explore Madrid so today was the day. After a MiNdBlOwInG tour of BBDO Madrid, we went back to the hotel grabbed our cameras and our appetites and headed out to lunch. After a yummy burger we jumped on a “hop-on-hop-off” tour bus and saw the sights in Madrid. I struck out on shopping for clothes again so I comforted myself with pastries.
Today was our third and final day trip. Only an hour bus ride from Madrid, Toledo is by far one of my most favorite cities. We drove around a bit on the bus to get a good view of the city. Afterwards we dismounted the bus and had a guided tour of the city and its Cathedral, Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. Then it was off to lunch and a bit of shopping before getting back on the bus.
This morning we headed to the train station and said fair well to the world’s most bipolar wifi. We had been told to arrive early because of the “open bag security searches” at the station. So we show up to find that the “security” was equivalent to waving a bag of Spanish Twizzlers over your closed suitcase before boarding the train. Needless to say, we were really early. But the train ride was gorgeous and super scenic so I would . After we settled into our hotel that CHARGES FOR WIFI (so yeah I take back all the mean things I say about the Seville hotel), a small group of us grabbed lunch, shopped and found pastries. So today was a success.
Our most leisurely day in Seville began with a bus ride to the city’s center where we went shopping near the Cathedral. We tried to avoid major chains so we could get to the local boutiques. There appeared to be a number of first communions happening so the courtyard was flooded with little girls in white dresses. After a day of hitting the streets we went to a genuine Spanish soccer game (Seville F.C. vs. Valencia). It was a great way to experience the culture and learn new Spanish curse words. Seville won, so I’ll take credit for that.
Once again we hopped a small bus to the scenic town of Cordoba. I was told we would be visiting a mosque so I wore long appropriate garb and what do you know? It was a mosque that has since been turned into a church and it was super hot outside. I looked real nice by the end of the day. But we met our tour guide, Juan, and went to the Jewish neighborhood and then the Mosque/church. We had cheap tapas, did a little shopping and headed back to Sevilla.
Our second day in Seville started with my usual breakfast of multipul donuts. Then a small group of us hopped the 22 bus to downtown Seville. It was the feast day of Saint Fernando, the patron saint of Seville so everyone was out in their best outfits. I visited the Cathedral of Seville which happens to be the world’s biggest cathedral, fun fact. Then there was a short toddle down the Plaza de España. Tapas then gelato then tapas then more gelato. We did a little poking around in shops but many were closed for the holiday. Then it was off for Lacy’s birthday dinner and exploring Seville!
We arrived in Sevilla today, just a short 2 hour bus ride from Málaga. Once we dumped our things we explored the local area which is not exactly in the center of Sevilla. Actually it’s a 20 minute bus ride from the city center. Later that night we went to a flamengo show courtesy of the University of Nebraska Lincoln. I don’t know what I wanted to steal more: the fabulous dresses or the male dancer with a starting resemblance to Ryan Lochte. Then after dawdling for a few minutes after the show to accidentally “run in” to Ryan, we went back to the hotel for a quick bite to eat for Lacy’s birthday!
Let me start out this post with a word to the wise. Charge. Your. Camera. Battery. I thought that 2/3 full would sustain me and I was wrong so I’m very sad to say I don’t have as many pictures of the Alhambra in Granada Spain as I would like. However I was wide awake for our two hour bus ride from Málaga to Granada so got some countryside shots. After a 3 and a half hour tour we went into the city center and tapa hopped (grabbing 1 or 2 tapas at different restaurants). Then it was back to the bus for another little tiger snooze!
The first morning in Málaga started with a delicious breakfast and was followed by the longest walk of my life. We walked about 10 blocks (that wasn’t the long part) to Gibralfaro Castle and then walked around the walls (that was the long part). With my student I.D., I got in for €0.60 and then I chased a cat and got separated from my group. Then I was reunited and we headed down to the beach. The sun soon disappeared and so we headed back toward the end of the afternoon. We had a fabulous dinner with the whole group and socialized with other tourists. Off to Granada tomorrow!