Page 2 of Awilliams Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid April 19th 2010

Monday, April 19 As we were checking out the next morning, guess who came to see us off? You guessed it! The angry Spanish lady. While we were giving the keys to her husband, she dropped what she was doing to come yell at us again, except this time we were being accused of "dos horas" of water usage. We just walked away, as PJ kept saying "claro" to her inane babbling. We met Cyntia and Payardo at the airport. PJ's flight back to Murcia was that afternoon. And Cyntia and I wanted to see the Ryanair people. There were rumors. Lots of rumors. That Ryanair was organizing extra buses for stranded customers. That the French government was sending trains to bring back the French, despite the strike. Unfortunately, none of these whispers were true. ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid April 18th 2010

Sunday, April 18 Cyntia and I woke early to continue doing research. We were on the computer until we had to check out at 11:00am. We then found an internet cafe and continued searching. Could we rebook our flight for free? Could we take a train? Could we take a bus? We must have looked up every possible way to get from here to there, and we decided that the train would be our best bet. We went to the station, and it was PACKED with people. We took a number in the line, and since there were 75 people in front of us, we knew it would be a we went and had lunch (do you have to ask what we had? Tapas!). So back in line, there were only 20 or so ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid April 17th 2010

Saturday, April 17 We arrived in Madrid and it was raining. Rain. Rain. It seemed to be everywhere these days! At the station we met Payardo, Cyntia's mom's cousin. He took us to El Corte Ingles for breakfast which was a lovely treat! Corte Ingles, for those who don't know, is a big deal in Spain. It's a huge department store, and usually there are several in a large city. Inside they have EVERYTHING: seven floor department store with clothes, super market, bakery, post office, travel agency, tailor, bank, and more! For breakfast I ordered a tortita, which sounded interesting, but it was a pancake with a fried egg and some ham on top. Afterwards, Payardo took us to our hostel where Cyntia and I dropped our stuff off. Because PJ had booked everything later ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa April 16th 2010

Friday, April 16 We took the morning bus from Lagos to Lisbon (that's "Lisboa" in Bortugesh). It was still rainy with some stray droplets coming down. Within four hours we went from the very southern-most shore of Portugal to the central region (and capital!). We left our luggage at the train station and then set out to explore the city for the day! That night we were taking a train to Madrid, so we had about 10 hours to kill. We took the metro into what seemed to be a nice area. As we strolled, we got more and more into the historic core of Lisbon, which was so cute! The streets and narrow, winding, and cobbled. And there are yellow trams everywhere that run up and down the hilly roads. The houses were pained ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos April 15th 2010

Thursday, April 15 I woke up when a shaft of light hit my face. Could it be? Sunshine? I hopped out of bed and threw open the shutter. Yes! It was sunny! I roused my companions and got ready. We stopped at the town bakery on the way (which was delicious) and went to the closest beach. I got down to my bathing suit and took in some sun, while the other two went into the water (which was cold, I know, because I put my toe in). All of the sudden, I heard this breathing beside me. I turned my head and this dog had just plopped down next to me like we were buds or something. He was panting in my face. I got up and looked around to see if there was ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos April 14th 2010

Wednesday, April 14 We rose before the sun so that we would make our 7:30am bus to Lagos. We thought it was a six hour ride (from 7:30--1:30), but when we neared the Portuguese border our phones said there was a time change, so it was actually a seven hour ride. It was pleasant, though. It was rainy outside, and I watched as the landscape rolled past us, changing slowly. Gone were the dry, semi-arid hills of southern Spain. Portugal was green and wet, with yellow flowers everywhere. Portugal was also the first time in Europe that someone checked my passport. They stopped the bus and a man came around to all of us. Upon seeing Cyntia and I's French visas he was quiet for a very long time. He started speaking in Portuguese to ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville April 13th 2010

Tuesday, April 13 The night bus from Murcia to Seville. Eight hours of driving, driving, driving. Though I thought I'd be able to sleep, I couldn't. So I sat with PJ. Fifty kilometers outside of Seville (at around 5am in the morning) our bus broke down, and we pulled over at a 24hr rest stop cafe. I decided I was already up, so since there was no use in sleeping, I ate a little and had a Cola Cow, the brand of instant (not so good) hot chocolate served in Spain. After about an hour, our replacement bus arrived. We deliriously got on and watched as the sun rose during the last hour or so of the drive in Seville. From the bus station, it was a short walk to our hostel. We dropped our things ... read more

Europe » Spain » Region of Murcia » Murcia April 12th 2010

Monday, April 12 I slept a long time, but to my disappointment, my appetite still wasn't right. "I'm never drinking again..." I mumbled over and over whenever anyone asked me how I felt. The other Amigos de Vacanzia! went out to go shopping, but I stayed in and tried to sleep a little more. That afternoon, they went to the beach and Cyntia came with me to help me find something to eat (because, after all, I hadn't been able to eat anything substantial in about 36 hours). We found a bar that served tomato soup and I was so proud of myself when I knocked it all out! I immediately started feeling better. We had done laundry the night before, and we laid our things out in the sun to dry hoping it wouldn't ... read more

Europe » Spain » Region of Murcia » Murcia April 11th 2010

Sunday, April 11 Have you ever woken up and felt dead? That's how I felt after the previous night's debauchery. I knew I was awake, but felt like I counted more with those in the crypt of Murcia's cathedral than with the living. Oy vey! My head hurt, but more than anything my stomach was churning. It was noon, and Lola was getting us up because this afternoon we were supposed to drive to her family's restaurant and eat paella--a traditional Spanish rice and seafood dish. Rejane and I slowly got ready. Cyntia seemed to have bounced back incredibly well, though. The guys came to pick us up in Pierre-Jean's car. After five minutes in the backseat, I told Rejane I though I might need to throw up. Pierre-Jean is known for his liberal application ... read more

Europe » Spain » Region of Murcia » Murcia April 10th 2010

Saturday, April 10 Happy Birthday to Cyntia! Not only was it Cyntia's special day--it was also the Sardine Celebration in Murcia! So we all went downtown and walked around. We visited the cathedral--which interestingly enough, follows no traditional architectural plan (I think it's very Spanish of them...). We also visited a convent called Santa Clara la Real, which was a mixture of Christian and Muslim architecture--it was so beautiful! We wove through the crowds and found a tapas bar for all 13 of us. Tapas are a very traditional Spanish meal option where you order little appetizers and share them. We ordered a bunch of plates and passed them around. We also ordered sangrias and beers for everyone (very Spanish of us!). We had all kinds of tapas and they were all delicious! My favorite ... read more

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