Since its going to be a while for my photos of my tour to come up and also the detailed posts in my travel blog about the trip, I wanted to write down the travel notes when they are fresh in my mind as I usually do. So here it goes.
Dates : 29-March-2014 to 13-April-2014
Total members in the trip : 4 (2 non vegetarian male and 2 vegetarian female, this description is important actually)
Places visited (in order of visit): Madrid,Toledo,Segovia, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Barcelona, Tossa De Mar
- First time doing an international trip with friends and it was fun because it was planned by one person and we had a detailed itinerary of where we would go and what we would probably do (not that we adhered to every line of it, we did improvise on the spot 😉 )
- The trip started off with heavy duty walking and stuff and it required more stamina and it slowed down at the end to a 2 day vacation on the beach (and it was just lovely) . I lost an inch and had to poke a hole in my belt to hold my pant and so I ain’t complaining. I think I should walk more to reduce weight. Simple and effective 🙂
- First time in all of my trips I really had a difficult time being a Vegetarian. At least I had company this time. Spain has to learn one thing for sure. Tuna is not a vegetable. In all the menu’s in every place, there will be sections like Carne (meat), Pescado (Fish) but when it comes to something vegetarian you have Huevo (Egg) and Atun (Tuna) in it , every goddamn place. Every time we remotely order anything that looked like a little vegetarian we have to accompany it with the line ‘sin huevo , sin atun’ (no egg, no tuna). Egg , I can understand. Tuna? Really ? Last time I checked, it was a fish. And Fish doesn’t get any place in a Vegetal Bocadillo (vegetable sandwich). Please make that change. If there is no such petition, I would like to create one. All I could eat there were the postres (pastries) and tortilla de espanol (spanish tortilla which included potato and egg – yes I had egg in that form) and vegetal paella (rice with vegetables) and combine that with the walking , no wonder I lost an inch.
- Public transport was very good. We used the Metro to the maximum extent and even buses where we could. We had booked a car (and I was supposed to drive), but after seeing the public transport and the flexibility of it, we cancelled the car rental so as to save money and instead made use of Metro and Taxi. In fact in some places, since we were four in number, taxi proved to be cheaper. Metro is very good. Even the inter city trains are awesome. (And my friends were happy that they got rid of my driving)
- Agreed that we roamed in the more touristy places, but still, we used to come late after dinner at around 11 – 11.30 and even then we could find quite a few people and shops open (except for in Tossa De Mar where they closed all shops except restaurants by 6 pm) and we felt safe too.
- Since we were 4 in number with 2 male and 2 female , everyone automatically assumed that we were two couples. That is a common misconception, so I can understand that. But one funny thing happened though. In Barcelona, in the hotel we stayed, as usual they gave us two rooms assuming we were a couple , even though we had booked it with 2 twin beds, and it was OK the first day because the room was already made and the beds were together. When the housekeeping found out that the women and men are grouped in each room, the bed in our (women’s) room was still attached, but the beds in the guy’s room was set apart so far from each other that we could fit in another bed in between 😉 We don’t know why someone did that, but we couldn’t help laughing at it.
- We did face some difficult with speaking Spanish, and in fact I am the only one in the group who knows the least amount of Spanish, but we did manage it and as and when the time went by , it became better. We did still have issues when someone spoke very fast, but overall the people were happy that we tried (and ‘we’ doesn’t include me at all)
- Expecting a cold weather, I had taken my very heavy jerkin and except for Madrid, that jerkin itself became a liability. Because not only it was heavy and added to my luggage of camera and lenses, I had to carry this too, it was totally of no use when I just needed a light one. And I had packed very less in order to reduce the travel luggage.
- As usual my choice of shoes sucked and this one which I had got after my Wayanad Trip caused more trouble with my fractured leg (causing it to swell after the first two days) that I had to borrow a shoe from my friend and I sort of own it now.
- Since I was the photographer of the group, I looked more like a tourist when the rest was happily walked around like they belonged there 😉 but since I got my photographs with me, I am more than happy with it.
- I sort of got asked out on a date and I panicked – The only sad thing that happened in this trip, because I wasn’t sure how to react because it was the least expected thing in my life. I am not going into the details but wanted to let that out.
- I was praying daily that I should not get sick or hurt through out the trip and I am back home safe. Especially in the Monteserrat where we had to walk to a view point, I was really scared because a) of heights b) of the steep climb and the walk down where my chances of getting hurt was high but thankfully I stopped after a point because I was sure after that point it will be too steep for me and I was right. I came back with out a scratch. Yay! for me 🙂 and Thanks for the God.
- I lost count of the number of Cathedrals that we visited.
- I exhausted my 32 GB, 16 GB, 4 GB cards and since I forgot to get my USB cable for the camera, I had to buy another 16 GB card and used up half of it too 🙂
- I know and I can understand enough Spanish now than I was able to when I first landed in Spain. Another week, I would have been very comfortable to even talk.
- Saw Indians only in Madrid , Barcelona and Seville. And that too not that many.
- Lots of people playing music and performing statue in the squares (and I happen to love Squares because of the way it allows people to get together and relax in the evenings) in all the cities we visited.
- I think I could go on and on and this itself would become an entry for the travel blog, so I am going to stop now and rest will dealt in detail in my travel blog.
I absolutely loved this trip and with the company I had , it was even more enjoyable. Thanks to my friends for making it a memorable one and Spain, I really really loved visiting you. Thank you for some wonderful memories.