Trip Start Sep 12, 2009
16Trip End Oct 03, 2009
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forgot to say the inside of the gaudi bldgs look like alice in wonderland meets the tardis
the land becomes more arid and dry in the interior
i have a rail pass but i still have to pay 10 euros for seat reservation
good job i looked up all the phrases on the internet so i just read them out
listening to catalan and folk music on the train
we get more latino music back home so hearing real spanish for the first time
not just flamenco but other styles
more arabic influence is evident and some celtic
catalan sounds more yugoslav than spanish which is odd
was able to find left luggage at zaragoza station as my worry was dragging my bags everywhere. my sleep timing is off and i took the 11am train as i was supposed to be on the 8am but woke up late... disorienting when u leave the station and these people dont speak english here...
found the algeferia palace.. as a muslim its hard to explain the shock to see something like this a medieval muslim structure.. and this isnt even muslim spain yet.. managed to find some arab shops so i ate donar kebab.. dont care if i get food poison i need the protein.. they were from indonesia so i told them about my trip last year
so zaragoza was a roman town ceaseraugusta so there are some roman ruins. then the arabs came in the 8th century and stayed for a while till the christians took it back.. aragon was one of the northern kingdoms after the arabs went into france but were pushed back by the franks.. you see more of the arab influence in other bldgs too.. dont know if they are original or copied in later periods... strange to think henry viii wife catherine of aragon is from this influence.
got the train onto madrid.. remember i said spanish people dont shut up.. try being in a carriage full of them... anyway, so all my timings are off and i get to madrid at 6pm so not much time before it gets dark... went to plaza mayor, the royal palace from the outside, and the egyptian temple which was saved due to the flooding of the aswan dam..
i thought i would be in spain proper as barcelona is in catalonia and they speak catalan and have their own identity.. madrid is more like london.. downstairs there is a bakery and a convienence store that has sandwiches. down the street is kurdistan restuarant.. so i wont starve.. gran via is like oxford street going in for miles... more police presence in the crowded areas for pickpockets.
some idiot passers by take crap pics and just zoom in on your face and ignore the background.. might as well goto a passport photo booth!
so tomorrow i take a day trip to toledo.. this was the medieval capital of muslim spain and a centre of intellectual learning and science.. hopefully i will get up on time as i have to do the rest of madrid in the rest of the day
i knew that gypsy woman would get a reaction from all of u
bye for now