18.05.2016 - 18.05.2016 30 °C
Hello again readers and thank you once again for sharing my travel experiences.
Boy has it been a whirlwind, we're 9 days into our 17 day journey and it actually feels like I've been in vacation for an eternity. After leaving Madrid we've had the chance to drop into Cordoba are almost done our 4 day stop over in Sevilla which is in the south of Spain.
First off I did promise a review of Madrid which I'll go over. In retrospect Madrid was a great city to orient ourselves to Spain, a bit torusity for my taste but a great city nonetheless. We had the chance to explore art museums which were cool to stroll around but I'm definitely more a fan of the modern installation type art of the Sofie versus the Catholic inspired classics of the Prado. The stadium trip was the definite highlight of the trip. I love to play sports but watching sporting events (aside from the Raptors kicking ass this year which ive been able to tune into thanks to the semi decent wifi in Spain at 3 am) isn't my thing. But even just playing soccer and never having watched a Real Madrid game i was in total awe of the actual stadium and the AV component as you strolled through the leagues championship history.
In terms of day trips the ride to Toledo was only an hour and the views from Toledo make it all Worthwhile, once inside the actual town I found the exhibits to be less amazing especially considering the future sights we had to visit. If you have the time i would also recommend Segovia which is an hour and a half away and the aqueduct is actually a pretty cool sight to see. Madrid itself was in the midst of the San Isidro festival and along with our amazing new friends from Australia (shout out to Susan our new med student colleague from Melbourne) we were instantly networked with people around the world sharing the love for travel. The spurs fan from France, the Bolivian born software engineer working in Milan, the American tv loving Mexican, our friend in the NGO from Calgary and finally the two Argentinan woman who knew not a word of English but we're still great to party with.
As we took the Socibus to the south this was definitely my kind of flavour. We left the strictly Catholic inspired Spaniard architecture for a more fusion flavour between the Moorish and Catholics for a really eloquently flavoured style. In Cordoba which is a small city on the way to Seville, yanbo was enjoying some escarot as we finally got to baste in some nice 30 degree sunshine and enjoy the views of lavender trees and oranges hanging off branches. Definitely a game changer from the lovely rain we had gotten accustomed to. The Mezquita in Cordoba did not disappoint and was absolutely massive. It was quite a sight to see the Christan chapel built right within the Mosque still adhering to its original infrastructure. The mosque with its horizontal walls and arched ceilings creating a feeling of closeness in contrast the the sheer vastness and exquisite design of the Cathedral almost flaunting it's character.
Seville has been a sort of fusion between the two cities with a dynamic church setup with strong Moorish influences and a plethora of food options. Tapas are finally starting to make sense. We've transitioned to large breakfasts and lunches (Spain literally has some of the greatest thin crust pizza I have had in my entire life ) and return back to the hostel in an attempt to avoid the blistering sun for a siesta. We then recover around 10 pm and regain composure to grab a little bite around various tapa bars around town.
Zindigi Na Milegi Debora has a few major scenes which I had desired to play out during my own little adventure. Although the bull run or tomatina likely won't make the cut I did have the opportunity to witness a local Flamenco performance! Coming from a bhangra background I really didn't expect much from this dance known as the Flamenco, it wasn't even closely related to what I listen to on Spotify... As we strolled into the bar at 10 pm Yanbo had somehow snagged seats behind the performing stage and we were quickly introduced to three male individuals. Person numero 1 was the amazing guitarist, person 2 was our gifted vocalist and person 3 remained a mystery. The guitarist and vocalist immediate warmed the crowd and dropped me into a trance with musical styles reimincing of qawali music I often heard through my father's playlist or through bollywood movies. The second act comprised of our mystery 3rd gentleman with the beard and curly hair starting a beat by clapping his hands which I was frustratingly (being a percussionist in the past) unable to pick up, it was so unique and raw I had no idea what the rhythm was. Seconds later the performer hopped on the stage and in a tap dance like fashion began to literally rock the stage with a series of spin moves and toe stomping (tap dancing on steroids as I like to refer to it) in liaison with the vocalist and guitarist in perfect unison. For those thst are in the area I highly recommend la carboneria for some amazing performances that will leave you satisfied of your Seville experiences!!!
The Alcazar of Seville was another awe inspiring monument telling of Spain's rich (literally things adored in gold) history. Strolling through its majestic gardens I was taking in the cool architecture of the landscape and Royal quarters. As any brown person there's a few things that get us excited right away; butter chicken, drum beats, spicy foods, anything designed with paisley (ambiyan) and of course peacocks. Naturally as I was strolling through these gardens I came face to face with a male peacock in all its glory and my excitement level went through the roof as I felt I had transported to my mother land (weird considering how I hadn't even been there in 18 years, are peacocks in India even a thing???!) despite this, I paraded around the peacock adoring in selfies and appreciating the really cool bird.
As we near the midway point of the trip I can definitely say I am cathedraled out but do look forward to the trip to the coastline and waters of Valencia and Barcelona where we reunite with two of our classmates Haroun and Mike!
Stay tuned Chicos!