Monthly Archives: July 2012

Snapshots – Madrid

Madrid, Spain

Palacio Real 01

Palacio Real desde el Campo del Moro

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…and in the sunshine.

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Plaza de Cibeles a la izquierda, El Rastro a la derecha

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Palacio de Cristal en el Parque del Retiro

Templo de Debod 03

Templo de Debod

Mercado de San Miguel 01   Puerta del Sol 01

Mercado de San Miguel y Puerta del Sol

Chambao at La Riviera 03

Chambao en La Riviera

Atlético de Madrid 02

Primera Division Liga España, Atlético de Madrid vs. Bilbao
Estadio Vicente Calderón, 21 de marzo

Vallecas flamenco 03   Vallecas flamenco 04

Flamenco en Vallecas

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My “surprise” farewell fiesta with Antonio Nosolotapas, with some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. Eres bueno, Antonio 😉

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I was practically a permanent fixture that I should’ve been given an asset life and taken depreciation on. Yes, this is an accounting joke. Ashamed, I am.

Caños y cañas

Los Caños de Meca, Spain

IMG_5758_Playa de la Laja

Playa de la Laja

One of my closest friends, Tracy, came out to visit me and we set out on an adventure of pure stationary-ness. It almost became too strenuous to walk from the beach back to our hotel, a five minute walk away. As if we weren’t exposed to enough salt, we devoured a bag of sunflower seeds (salted, of course) and assorted snacks that in no way could’ve come from nature and washed everything down with a giant bottle of Aquarius. Then, we went back to napping on our beach towels.

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We somehow managed to make the long, tiring journey to la Jaima Meccarola and quenched the throats that our journey parched with refreshing fermented beverages. Feel bad for us yet? The ocean had our undivided attention…until our glasses ran dry.

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A view of el Faro de Trafalgar

Travel tip: To get here without a car (particularly in the summertime when buses are actually running and frequent), we first took a train from Madrid to Cádiz, then took a bus from Cádiz to los Caños de Meca which was about a 1.5 hr trip one way. The cost of the bus for a roundtrip was a little over 12 EUR, and the bus station is located right next to the train station in Cádiz. We pre-purchased our tickets on the website for convenience and in case the bus became full (otherwise, you can purchase them at the station or, if my memory serves me correctly, on the bus). For the hotel, we stayed at Hotel Madreselva which I highly recommend. It’s very clean with a beautiful courtyard and a pool and is a very short walk from the beach

Ronda

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We took a break from the beach and went inland for some history. Walking around carefree, we passed by the bullring and peaked in through slightly opened gates (the poor man’s version of a tour), and then became entranced with the surrounding landscape and the river gorge El Tajo that was split across by el Puente Nuevo. Simply amazing.

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Puente Nuevo, a beautiful bridge that loses (or maybe gains) some of its wonder when you realize that prisoners were thrown off of it in centuries past.

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One old man told us where to get an amazing view of the Puente Nuevo. After we thanked him, he demanded that we give him a euro. Tough economic times? I think so.

Travel tip: We took a bus back to Cádiz from los Caños de Meca, then took a bus from Cádiz to Ronda (using the same website mentioned above). A trip to Ronda cost a little over 17 EUR and was about a 3.5 hr trip one way. Yes, a good portion of our trip was spent on a bus or train but, when neither of us could drive (or drive manual), it was worth it. We both also loved the bus rides through the Spanish landscapes. Paradise for a daydreamer. For the hotel, we stayed at Hotel Colón which was clean, simple and great for location (close to the bus station and to the city center).

Almería

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For the last stop of our trip, we went to go visit my good friend Teba with whom I worked in Madrid and who spent most of her childhood in Almería. It was a full, fun house – Teba and her boyfriend Diego, her sister Lidia and her boyfriend, their two dogs Lola and Jared, their cat Asia…and us two Americans. We went to Las Negras (pictured above, pronounced s-less in Andaluz) which is a black sand beach with volcanic origins and, after a nice paella lunch along the shore, drifted into a nice siesta. Ahh, perfection.

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We drove to el arrecife de Las Sirenas and visited the lighthouse and, before Tracy and I needed to catch our train back to Madrid, made one last beach stop…

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…to el Cabo de Gata. On the edge of the photo is Jared, the happiest and friendliest dog to have ever existed. He tried to make friends with Asia (the cat) and followed her relentlessly throughout the house despite the cat’s annoyance. If he couldn’t fit into a little nook where the cat went, he sat patiently outside it with an expression of oblivious happiness, tongue sticking out and tail wagging. I was thoroughly amused by this situation.

Travel tip: We took a bus from Ronda to Málaga – about a 2 hr trip and 11 EUR one way, then a bus from Málaga to Almería – about a 3.5 hr trip and 17 EUR one way. In other words, if you can drive manual, please…rent a car. We caught the train back to Madrid.