International Travel

The final countdown

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling BUT it is so, so exhausting.  Especially when you’re already sick.

It’s been another crazy week. Friday night was an emotional night for me. I got together one final time with some of my favorite people within Catalonia.  We went to Marmelade for dinner where I had a delicious plate of duck fettuccine alfredo and a kickin’ bloody mary.  Following dinner we went out for a few drinks at an Irish bar called Cheers.  I didn’t want this night to end even though I was fighting this brutal cold.  My body was telling me to go to sleep but my heart would not let me. The group of 7 of us had many rounds and we were finally kicked out as the bar was closing… this meant we were forced to all go our separate ways, in the rain.  I cried frequently throughout the night. Sometimes you just have to remember that it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later. After a long emotional night, I went to bed as I had to catch my blabla car ride to Madrid at 9am.

I woke up and was still sick and miserable.  I hopped into my blabla car and it was a rather smooth 6.5 hour ride despite all my coughing and stuffy nose nonsense.  I found myself listening to Jason Aldean in my headphones as it reminds me of back home in Wisconsin.

Madrid pleasantly surprised me.  It’s unfortunate that I only spent 3 nights there.  It deserves about a week, for sure. Despite my sickness, I really enjoyed Madrid.  It definitely feels more European compared to Barcelona. When I first arrived, I checked into my hostel and met up with my Festival Foods/Whitewater friend, Breanna, as she was still in Madrid for a few more hours before needing to catch her flight.  We went to GramaRoots and had some tasty Venezuelan street food.  

The people also seemed more genuine in Madrid from my short experience.  My hostel was more like a hotel, which was nice in the sense that it was quiet so I could rest.  But, also somewhat unfortunate because it lacked a social scene. But it was fine. I used couchsurfing for the first time ever and met two great people!  Solo traveling is honestly so fun. You don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself!

The one thing in Madrid that did disappoint me was Retiro Park.  Retiro Park offers 350 acres of park space and this was one of the things I was looking forward to most!  It was closed the whole time I was there due to windy weather. The day before I came a child was killed due to a tree falling over on him from the wind. Dangerous and tragic.  I heard they are keeping the park closed until all 15,000 trees are cleared as safe. So, so disappointing and tragic! I guess it’s an excuse to come back to Madrid, yeah?

I had the most amazing breakfast on Tuesday morning at Hanso Cafe.  I ordered the “avocado egg benedict” with green tea. The avocado egg benedict was set on a bagel with avocado, bacon, egg, and the hollandaise sauce.  The whole appearance of it was beautiful, as well as delicious.  Best breakfast ever.

I’m back in Barcelona for a final 4 nights.  This means I have to do the last of my things on my Barcelona bucket list.  I went up to Tibidabo yesterday with Jenny, the other American that was living in my small town where I worked.  Tibidabo is set on top of the city with impeccable views. We spent a few hours up there, taking in the view. We drank sangria and ate patatas bravas one last time.  Later that night, I headed to the beach and watched the sunset even though the sun sets in the other direction. It was still pretty as the sky changed colors. Tomorrow is my final day and I think I’m going to go back to the beach to watch the sun rise over the Mediterranean.

It’s hard to believe that my final days in Spain are here.  Time flies, as we already knew. I’m doing my final rounds of Barcelona now.  In less than 48 hours I’ll be arriving into Edinburgh, and my time in Spain will have come to a close.

It will be hard to say goodbye.  Even though so much B.S. has happened.  It’s finally getting to be beautiful in Spain.  The weather is getting to be perfect, the people seem to be getting friendlier than ever here.  I’m sure I’ll be back here at some point in my life.



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