Last weekend in Spain...*sniff*

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Well, this is it boys and last few days in Spain! Andrea came down for the weekend from London, I got to introduce her to a few of the sights and sounds of Madrid. The weekend consisted of lots of walking and chatting, picnic & siesta in Retiro, shopping the Rastro, drinks in Plaza Mayor, party-crashing at 2:30am, good food (like churros of course!) and saying goodbye to friends...

Thanks to Cristina and Juan for letting me stay at their place for the weekend, it is always nicer to stay with friends! And for those of you I meant to see, but ran out of time, my apologies. Come and see me in Canada!! Or hopefully I will return soon...

Many people have asked what it is about Spain I love so much, in some ways it is hard to put in to words. It is the only country I have visited on this trip that really grabbed me, and made me want to stay. I feel at home, even though I am far from home. So what it is specifically? In no particular order: the people. Friendly, funny, proud, passionate, people who aren't afraid to say what they mean, the honesty of it all. The weather: it's Spain, 'nuff said. The clock: everything operates a bit later, and a bit more flexible. Being "late" is a relative term! Dinner is after 10 pm, and some clubs don't even open till 3 am. Getting home at 6 or 7 in the morning after a night out is not uncommon. The food: regional varieties, lots of seafood, fresh ingredients, new tastes and smells, and lots of wine! I'm working my way up to the olives though ;) The culture: Madrid is exceptionally social, people are always out having dinner or drinks with friends, hanging out in the Plazas, watching football games, going to the disco, whatever. You can always find something to do! The rich history, landscape, fiestas, buildings, quaint towns, arts...the list goes on and on. And finally: the language. Being completely surrounded by Spanish for months you can't help but learn it, and fall in love with it!

Basically, there isn't much about Spain I don't like! Even things that bother me at home don't seem to raise the same ire...things like people knocking into you by accident and not home it seems rude, but we apologize constantly for everything! In Spain personal space isn't such an issue, and to find yourself packed in the metro like a sardine is just a regular day. And there isn't the obsessive need to be polite all the time, when really you just want to poke someone in the eye!

I won't say adios "goodbye", but instead hasta luego "until later", because I will definitely be back! To all the amazing people I have met while here, muchisimas gracias por todos...I hope to see you again soon :)
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