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Saturday, May 14, 2011

My dad comes to Spain! (Madrid and Sevilla)

So I accidentally sent my camera cord back with my Dad and my sd card doesn't fit into my laptop sd card reader so I thought I wasn't going to be able to post pictures... but GOOD NEWS! A lady in my hostel had a mini card reader so I can now download my 600-some photos from my camera onto my computer. You guys are so lucky.

Saying goodbye one last time from the bus window!
Last Thursday afternoon (May 5th) I said goodbye to Lola and Caceres. Lola and a few friends that still hadn’t left Caceres came to the bus station to say goodbye to me and two other girls who were taking the same bus to Madrid that I was. It was hard saying goodbye even though in the back of my mind I knew I would be coming back on June 1st for the day with my mom, sister and brother to introduce them to Caceres and to Lola. I dragged my large suitcase and carried my backpack, purse, and an extra large bag full of crap around the metro and up 3 flights of stairs to get to my hostel  (before I found out they had a hidden elevator.) Then Alex (one of the girls who had taken the same bus as I did) walked over to my hostel from her hostel and we met up with two other friends who had taken a later bus that were going to sleep at the airport since they had flights the next morning. We met halfway between downtown and the airport, went out for an hour to hang out one last time and then said our goodbyes. By the time I got back to my hostel, it was 1:30 am; I took a quick shower, got about 4 hours of sleep, and went to go pick up Dad and Jeannie (a family friend) at the airport! Thus began some pretty great adventures.

I greeted my Dad and Jeannie with hugs and Kinder Bueno bars and then we went to go find our hotel. (It’s weird to write ‘hotel’ instead of ‘hostel.’) We spent the morning touring the Palacio Real and the afternoon touring The Prado Museum. It was great to finally see more of Madrid other than the bus station, the metro, and the airport! We had some dry, overcooked paella for dinner and then went to the most amazing bakery ever. My Godparents recommended this bakery that they found when they were in Madrid. So Dad, Jeannie and I went there as well. We all split a chocolate pastry and then walked back to our hotel after walking around the Puerte del Sol area.

On the train to Sevilla!
On Saturday, we woke up early and headed to Sevilla! We took the AVE speed train which was pretty neat, especially since we rode first class. (I've never been in first class before so it was exciting.) We had already eaten breakfast at our hotel, but apparently you get free breakfast on first class AVE trains? So we had two big breakfasts that day! Also, Dad and I found out that we happened to be reading the same book! Like father like daughter, right?

Jeannie and I showing off the flowers in our hair at the Flamenco

When we got to Sevilla, we had to take a taxi to the other side of town where our hotel was. After checking in, we went back to the city center to see the biggest gothic cathedral in the world and the Alcazar (or as my dad kept calling it, the “Alcatraz.”) This was also the day where I found my dream wedding dress (just thought I’d add that minor detail.) That night, we went to a flamenco show dinner, which was fabulous. It was a little on the expensive side, but that didn’t matter because we ended up not even paying for it! We made reservations through our hotel and the receptionist said that we would pay at the show. Then everyone walked out at the end and no one paid so we assumed the receptionist was mistaken and it would show up on our hotel bill... but that didn’t happen either. 

At the Feria!
The following day, we decided to spend at the Feria de Sevilla (Sevilla’s annual fair.) We were told to take bus #24 or something like that until the end so we did. We got off the bus after it had went around the roundabout and we saw a bunch of cars and a bunch of tents so we thought that had to be it. We walked around for a while and were rather disappointed. We had read that there was going to be food and crafts and such and all there was was clothes and other crap that people were selling. The only type of food that was being sold was olives. So I asked a lady on the street where the food was and she was confused and said there was a grocery store right behind us but it was Sunday so it was closed. I said “no, the food of the Feria” and she was like “ohhh, this isn’t the Feria… this is the Sunday market!” So after we pieced everything together, we figured out that we got on the bus at the wrong side of the road and went to the opposite end of that bus line. When we finally reached the Feria (which was much better than the Sunday market), we had some delicious food at one of the thousands of “eateries”, paid a euro to pee, and walked around for a couple of hours. On our way home, we stopped by a bakery then sat on a bench and did some ‘people-watching.’ For dinner, I introduced Dad and Jeannie to tapas… we ordered about 5 different kinds of tapas then Dad and I got ice cream and Jeannie bought a Kinder Bueno bar for dessert.

Feria de Sevilla
This wraps up our time in Madrid and Sevilla! The next day (Monday, May 9th) we took a train to the southern coast of Spain… Malaga to be exact. We hardly ever spent any time in Malaga, though. Instead, we rented a car and did a lot of driving to other parts of southern Spain (and even took a day trip to Morocco!) My adventures with my dad and Jeannie get even better from here on out… but you’ll have to wait for my next post to read about them!

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