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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Spain – Part IV – Toledo, Segovia, Madrid, Valencia, Sitges & Barcelona – Gracias por todo

SPAIN | Tuesday, 13 November 2012 | Views [1887] | Comments [1]

Destination – Spain – Part IV – Toledo, Segovia, Madrid, Valencia, Sitges & Barcelona – Gracias por todo

We arrive in Toledo at night and after struggling a bit, we find our hotel, the nice Abaceria Hotel and retire for the day. The next morning we walk to the old town and stroll around soaking up the unique Muslim/Jewish/Christian mix you can only find in Toledo. The luminosity of the autumn sky is an added bonus and we even kind of forget how cold it is, another gorgeous historical place under our belt.  Next morning it is the 14th of November and there are anti-austerity protests and the first ever international general strike, happening in several countries in Europe, including Spain, so we don’t really know what to expect.  We head off to Segovia again under a gorgeous pale blue sky and really enjoy sightseeing in this amazing city.  We see the imposing cathedral, the Jewish quarter, the fantastic aqueduct and walk around the pretty lanes with cobbled streets.  We seal the deal with an unforgettable lunch experience at the world famous (over 100 year old) restaurant Meson de Candido where we even received a “certificate of attendance” after having a great meal, entrée: judiones (fava bean stew), main: cochinillo (woodfired oven roasted suckling pig) and a celestial homemade dessert, all washed down with a lovely local red wine.  What a day!  Now, off to Madrid, checking in at the Ibis Hotel Mosteles in the outskirts and chill to get ready to see the sights tomorrow.  The next day we walk our way around Madrid through Montaditos & Bocaditos (wonderful tiny or medium baguette filled with wonderful “Jamon Iberico”, cured ham Spanish style) and finish the day feasting our eyes on what is arguably the best art collection in Europe at the Prado Museum, awesome!   

Now for a long drive from Madrid to Valencia where we check in at the Ibis Hotel Bonaire, in the outskirts, so we don’t need to drive into another big city at rush hour.  We have no high expectations of Valencia but we thought we should check it out as we are heading back to Barcelona. Well, for the first time in a long time, the weather doesn’t cooperate and we kind of get stuck with the rain.  No worries, we just found out there is a massive shopping centre with absolutely everything and loads of outlet shops next door and head off in an attempt to make our bags much heavier and more colourful. Valencia sightseeing will have to wait for better weather, maybe next time.  Next morning, another long drive ahead as we head to Sitges, a beach resort near Barcelona.  On the road, we stop for a bocadillo y café con leche and afterwards we are stopped by a police car with three traffic policemen. They say we overtook a truck on the road on a solid line. We get a 200 euro fine but get 50% off (tourist discount???), so we need to pay 100 euro otherwise they impound the car as we have no fixed address in Spain.  It hurts our pockets a bit but we have to pay, the guys are nice and even try to speak a bit of English and give us an electronic receipt and off we go, definitely not the end of the world.  

Sitges has a reputation for being arguably the gayest beachside resort in Spain, so, it must be fun! We check in at the very gay Los Globos Hotel and are welcomed by “Gary” the enormous and very cute Labrador in residence, go out for a pizza and retire for the day.  Next morning, after an excellent gay breakfast, we go out sightseeing, walk around the beach and the old town, have a beautiful lunch and overall just enjoy another glorious sunny autumn day, what a lovely place.

Next morning we go back to amazing Barcelona and return the car to Hertz Airport. After a month driving around Portugal and Spain, it was hard to say goodbye to our little car, we had a great time and an unforgettable road trip. Got to see fantastic places, eat awesome food and drink divine wines. We really love the kind, friendly people and the history and architecture of both countries, looking forward to coming back for more soon.  Carless, we catch the subway and check in at the very central Hostal Barcelona Centro.  Time for a bit of housekeeping before boarding our cruise ship back home in four days. As usual, Barcelona rocks, the food, the shopping, the wine, the tapas, the people, the whole vibe, even breakfast is special in Barcelona. This place is amazing. So, we shop, we eat, we drink, we walk around looking at nothing specifically and everything at once, what a great city.  Even the economic crisis which can be felt everywhere else in Spain, is invisible in downtown Barcelona.

Our four days go extremely fast and suddenly it is time to board our cruise ship back to Brazil.  It is the end of our 2 & ½ year fantastic journey around the world, covering 35 countries, unforgettable cities and sights, an amazing array of food and drinks, unbelievable means of transportation, indescribable experiences as well as the wonderful people we met along the way. We thought we would be nostalgic and even a bit sad but strangely enough we are overcome by a subdued excitement for what is to come, seeing friends and family and yet again starting all over from scratch, definitely not the first time for us. Also a huge thanks to everyone who was somehow part of it and helped to make our adventure extra special, instant friends, you know who you are.  Last but not least an extra special thank you to our faithful squirrels Nettie (our netbook) and Cam (our little GE camera) who have been with us from the beginning, soldiering on through heatstroke and snow, brilliantly registering all the magic happening around us, proving that you can never be too small to get the job done.

 

Comments

1

Hi Paul & Luiza, We have been checking out your blog and we must say that we are very impressed. It's really great.

We have particularly been following your posts about Segovia as we visited there too. We have even written a guide, which you can check out here: http://hitchhikershandbook.com/country-guides/spain-2/segovia/. We would love your feedback and any tips, information, advice that you might have would be warmly appreciated.

Keep up the good work!

Ania & Jon

  hitchhikershandbook Oct 7, 2013 3:00 AM

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