Home > Travel > A Spanish Sojourn: Part II – Seduced by Spain, redux.

A Spanish Sojourn: Part II – Seduced by Spain, redux.

I would have hated to go back to normal life right after the high of the Camino.. but the wife, in her usual efficient way,  had started working on itineraries for a Spain+Lisbon holiday, post-Camino. V was originally very enthu to join the walk too, but some deadlines at work proved to be a real bummer.  Anyway, so I was super thrilled to be heading back to Madrid from Santiago to join her &  A1/A2 there, and spend another 10 days in this enchanting part of the world.

We gave up on using travel  agencies for our holidays many years ago – much prefer the flexibility of exploring and discovering places on our own, instead of the ‘This is the Louvre, you have 2 hours  to see what’s inside before the coach leaves for a special Indianlunch” kind of tours.  Madrid was still cold and rainy, but we spent a nice day walking around the city admiring thearchitecture and the lovely gardens. Also got A1/A2 to come to the Museo del Prado, which has a very extensive Goya collection.  While he didn’t make too much of an impression on them, their interest was kept alive with a few familiar Greek characters that they saw in some of the paintings there (muchos gracias Rick Rordian, for all those Percy Jackson novels).

The wife was keen on getting Lisbon in the itinerary, given that we probably wouldn’t be coming back to this part of the world for a long time. A warm and friendly city… we spent lovely evenings in the Bairro Alto area,  strolled in theby-lanes around Belem –  pretty much the western-most tip of Europe,   sauntered along the Prado Commercio square with the strong sea-breeze hitting our faces . Also spent half a day at the nice Lisbon Oceanarium, A-A had a great time there.

You can try as hard as you want, but it’s impossible to not fall totally, totally in love with Seville. One of those places where I really wish I could come and live for a long period of time  – Ubud in Bali, San Francisco and Prague are the other places on this list.  You are transported back in time as you explore the stunning Cathedral, get serenaded by the street musicians, take-in the magnificence of the Alcazar, the breathtaking beauty of  the Plaza de Espanya square, wine and dine at the lovely restaurants and cafes that spill on to the streets, little trinket shops.. magical, absolutely magical. One night, as we sat in this small theatre for a Flamenco performance, we overheard this American couple behind us saying that this is their 3rd Flamenco show of their six-week holiday in Seville. Six week holiday! In Seville! Someday, someday…

I’m not much of a party-all-night kind of person and also am blissfully ignorant of club football, so wasn’t sure what to expect from Barcelona. It turned out to be an utterly fascinating city. Ofcourse, the night life is all that you’ve read and heard about, and more.  La Rambla and the many adjoining lanes can cater to probably any kind of preference  – and I really do mean that in every sense of the word that you can imagine 🙂 .  What I didn’t know is that there is also so much of history and atmosphere to the city. We did a walking tour with this fantastic outfit called Discover Walks  (highly recommended if you are in Barcelona, or in any of the other cities that they are in –  ebullient, knowledgeable guides, and entirely tip-supported). The history of the city’s Gothic architecture, Gaudi  & the Sagrada Familia, the spectacular views of the city from the steps outside the MNAC.. there is much on offer, and it leaves one with the feeling of wanting to stay more.

 

We stayed at Novotel everywhere during our holiday, and it turned out that they have a large Xbox/Kinect area in their hotel lobby (or at least in their Spain /Lisbon properties). This was a real bonus, because it gave us the leverage to leave A1/A2 back at the hotel for a couple of hours a few times when we  wanted to go for the flamenco show, or to get a taste of the Barcelona nightlife,  visit an art gallery, stuff like that. They were only too happy to be in the hotel with their gaming consoles once in a while, or be in the room reading, or just have an early night.

 

 

Outside of that, it was great to be with my 3 best friends. We now treat the boys pretty much as adults, in the sense that we don’t have a separate tone for conversations with them or when they’re around, if you know what I mean. We end up just like when we’re out with our other friends. Of course, they don’t understand everything that’s said, explanations are due at times.. and we did have a couple of interesting conversations this time 🙂

 

What I really cherish in our holidays is that we just.. hang out, y’know. And it’s awesome, man. Totally awesome.

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Categories: Travel
  1. Palu
    May 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Amazing recap!!! Felt like I was reading a novel!! I loved the part where u mentioned your 3 best friends!!

    • May 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks, palu! The 3 best friends loved that part too! 🙂

  2. Siju
    May 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Love the flow…keep walking…and writing! Siju

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