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Roon the Globe Nadia's trip around the world in 365 days :)

Hola España!

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 21 April 2011 | Views [515] | Comments [2]

Time for an update on my ultimate mission halfway across the world to Spain! I arrived last Monday afternoon, feeling surprisingly alive and excited to see Mariano once again. Unfortunately the jetlag eventually kicked in and it took me a couple of days to get back to normal sleeping patterns. However it didn´t stop me from having my first adventures in the city. 


First stop was a wee tour of the neighbourhood where Mariano lives, called Arganzuela which is south of the city centre and only around 4 Metro stops to the main parts of the city. It´s a more residential area with some local shops, bars and restaurants. I got to see the social centre, called La Traba, which they have developed in the area for local people to make use of. I had heard alot about it but i was very impressed to see it in real life, it´s a massive converted warehouse which used to be a bus station. They have created areas inside including an indoor BMX ramp park, a gym which is mainly used for boxing at the moment. A massive area for parties and concerts which holds over 1000 people, some separate meeting rooms and a rooftop terrace with barbeque. Not to forget the music studio where i got to go and watch some of the local hiphop MCs practice for a gig they have coming up! Pretty amazing what you can create from nothing, and little money. I´ll get some photos up of La Traba very soon :)

It didn´t take long before i had my first taste of the Spanish bars where you can order a beer (called a caña) and you get free tapas..and in this specific bar you could order any extra tapas for 1 euro. Oh my God i am in food heaven here, and after 6 months scrimping around Australia where you can´t buy a meal for less than $10..the feeling of being able to go out and eat a meal for 2 people with a beer aswell for only 10 euros is like a dream come true! (and not to mention the food is 100 times better than Australia aswell haha).

Last week i also managed to do a bit of super quick sight seeing during the afternoons, i went to Puerta del Sol, a nice market nearby, Palacio Real (which was my favourite without a doubt) and seen a little part of Retiro park which i´ll be going back to see the rest of this week hopefully. There´s lots of great architecture and seems like lots of nice wee bars and restaurants.


I´ve been trying my best to study some Spanish for at least an hour everyday, it´s been alot harder than i imagined to understand people as they speak so fast. But i feel i am getting there slowly, and having my own personal tutor helps alot. I just need to start practicing more and get over the shyness of getting things wrong all the time but i know it´s do-able cos i done it when i was in France.

On Friday last week we were up bright and early to take the bus to Sevilla which takes around 6 hours. When we eventually arrived in the afternoon it wasn´t as hot as i was expecting thankfully cos i had leggings on and would have been sweating! Mariano had a course from Friday until Sunday which lasted all day (and night) and they only got about 6 hours sleep a night so it was quite intense. So i had the days to myself to float around the city. We were staying just outside the city centre with a girl from the course so i just had to take the Metro for a few stops and was in the main part of the city. Sevilla is such a beautiful city, very old and traditional. I love how they have kept it in this way and there are hardly any traces of ugly modern skyscrapers like you see in cities normally. Even all of the modern shops don´t look like that from far away until you get up close and see the signs in the windows. They have horses and carriages everywhere and there are orange trees growing at the side of the roads, stunning!

It was also quite a good (or bad depending on how you look at it) week to visit as it´s Semana Santa (Holy Week) and there are alot of things going on to celebrate this in a city. I had no idea how strong the Catholic faith was in Spain so it was interesting to see, although just a bit busy for my likings! I took some photos of the strange processions they have going on where they carry statues of Jesus and wear scary looking hat/mask type things.

Apart from that i just had a nice time wandering around the wee streets, and managed to satisfy my H&M fix after being away from Europe for so long, it was overdue. I managed not to go to mental and just bought a pair of shorts (since i only had one pair!) and a shirt cos i´m always conscious that i need to fit things back in my bag again.

Yesterday we headed back home to Madrid and after such a hectic weekend i´ve just had a quiet day with a bit of studying and cooking. The weather was a bit cloudy today aswell so didn´t feel i was missing that much outside so i´ll hopefully go out for some more sightseeing tomorrow once it brightens up again!

Overall i was a bit apprehensive as to whether i had made the right decision to come over to Spain bang in the middle of my round the world trip. I never imagined myself travelling halfway round the world for someone, but here i am and i´m very glad i have done so because it´s been amazing so far :) Life is too short to let distance and money get in the way..

Comments

1

Aww, so sweet. Am glad you're having such a great time. Very frustrating though that you're so close but we don't get to see you till July. It's roasting here too at the moment, bit like Spain but without out the tapas....just Greggs! X

  Auntie Claire Apr 22, 2011 1:11 AM

2

Aww Nadia thats soo lovely, it looks n sounds great. Really happy for you, no doubt me n papa will be visiting madrid sometime in the future - you can be our tour guide! he he :)xxx

  Mum Apr 22, 2011 7:31 PM

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