Six weeks ago I boarded a flight to Málaga and have since have travelled throughout more of Spain than I have England. I’m pretty sure that my feet have finally stopped hurting now which I’ve been waiting to happen for a while now.
It’s been probably nine months since I thought about going on a small Europe trip, and over the space of time I expanded the’small’ to ‘ridiculously long.’ I’ve worked ridiculous hours so that I can travel for as long as I can/want to and have even worked with at least 20 stitches on/in my hand. All of that has been worth it, just for this leg of the trip alone and I can’t see what is left to unfold over the next few months.
There’s quite a few highlights from the past six weeks. Seeing the Barcelona match at Camp Nou was one, eating until I can manage no more in San Sebastian (which is an impressive amount of food for me to do), the Seville tapas tour and visiting the Taylor’s port factory in Porto.
Over the next three weeks or so I have a fair bit planned but not yet booked. Hopefully, I’ll manage to take part in a cooking class and I’m seriously hoping for weather that is a lot better. I’m not too sure whether or not I’ll be able to top Spain, but I’ll certainly give it a shot.
On Monday, I arrived in Valencia for Las Fallas festival. I didn’t really get up to much apart from having a quick look around the city and had some lunch/dinner. Once again, I had a bit of a death trap of a top bunk. Tuesday, I went on a tour around the city based on the festival, and it seems like it is based on the concept of burning the problems from the past year and starting on a clean slate. The tour also went into detail about the costs of the Styrofoam sculptures, some around the €200,000 mark, the outfits worn and the events over the week. After, I went into the main square to watch the daytime fireworks, then spent the rest of the day walking around the city, finding a lot of the fallas.
I definitely had one of those ‘less than one hour to get out of bed, packed and on the train to Barcelona God-help-me’ mornings. Somehow, I managed with 20 minutes to spare and six hours later I arrived in Barcelona.
To get to the north of Spain, I had to return to Lisbon and catch a night train that took 12.5 hours – in total, it took around 20 hours from one hostel to another. I have no idea how people get a decent nights sleep on a train as I felt as though I was trying to fall asleep on a roller coaster.
What made me laugh on the way here was that whilst I was living in London my biggest concerns would be whether or not I could find matching shoes and be on time for work, whether or not my cut fingers would need stitching back together and whether or not to bother getting a Sainsburys meal deal for lunch. This time on my way to Spain, I faced the slightly bigger problem of will I wake up in Spain or France and I thought that it was a bit of a non-issue.
To get to Madrid there was a 4.5 hour bus journey to face, which actually wasn’t as soul destroying as it may sound. The hostel was easy to find, I checked in and was given some recommendations for things to do and places to eat, so naturally, I went to get some food.
I found a nice tapas bar where I ordered grilled goats cheese and some salt cod fritters – both were delicious. I found it quite amusing that the waiter told me to order two dishes instead of three because it was too much. I listened to him and thought that it was cute that he thought that because he quite obviously underestimated how much I can eat especially when I was as hungry as I was. I skipped an artichoke dish, but I could’ve eaten it.
After a 3.5 hour journey over three different buses, I arrived in Granada on Thursday. It’s the first hostel I’ve stayed in on this trip that I haven’t gotten lost or had to turn around and go back somewhere, which I was amazed by as it’s been the one that’s been the biggest pain in the arse to get to.
On Sunday I arrived in Seville. I wasn’t in the best of moods as my sense of navigation wasn’t up to scratch, resulting in me carrying my backpack that weighs the same as a small child for an extra 20 minutes. Whilst I was checking in, I was notified that there was a free dinner at 9pm, but it couldn’t wait as the only thing I had eaten since breakfast was a kit kat, so I popped to burger king for my first dinner, then had a risotto for my second dinner. Continue reading →
I had another early start on Thursday to catch the train from Malaga to Ronda, and it seems as though for the time being that I have also left the nice weather behind too. I walked so much during my time in Malaga that I was pretty sore, plus there was no safe way out of the top bunk in the hostel apart from hoping for the best, so the amount of bruises I had from climbing in and out of bed didn’t really help.
On Monday I had a 4am start to catch a flight to Málaga. I had not been out of bed before 8 in over three months but made it to the airport.
Once I arrived and checked into the hostel, I went for a walk up the Alcazaba which had a pretty good view from the top. I also had a look through the market which is quite impressive; the food does stand out a lot more than in English markets. To end the day I visited the Picasso museum, there were more paintings in there than I had expected and was quite interesting.