Archive for May, 2008

Gibraltar

Am currently located in the British colony of Gibraltar. Its VERY expensive. Its all in British pounds. They have monkeys and a giant rock. I have seen and have photos of both.

The Alcohol is however, not expensive. I bought a quantity of Gin and Vodka for something very close to $12. I assure you there is more than $12AUD woth of Alcohol in my bag.

It is currently raining, which is VERY disapointing as I am supposed to be at the beach. Who do I pay to make the weather better?

Anyway, must dash. This message cost me £0.80. (POUNDS people, pounds)

Barbary apes philosophise their role in the world

Córdoba & Seville

Escaped Madrid by bus, which in Spain is like catching a plane, there are fancy tickets and special headsets and an onboard loo and everything, which is just as well as the ride was about 5 hours. We arrived in Córdoba on the first day of their town festival, which was incredibly lucky for us. We spent the afternoon strolling the narrow little streets and looking at old churches and the Cathederal-Mosque-Cathederal, which was really lovely. Then in the evening (Spanish afternoon goes from 5pm till 8pm) went to the town fair.

Cordoba Fair

There are rows and rows of marquees that house dance floors and tapas bars. The one we happened to settle in had the matriachs of their families dancing Flamenco in outgagiously colourful dresses, to what Im going to dub ‘Disco falmenco’. Was loud and crazy. We stopped for churros (Spanish doughnuts) which are my new favorite desert. Then fell into bed at about midnight which I understand is early even for school kids here.

We then trained to Seville. Wandered around getting a sense of the city. Then at night we caught a flamenco show which was stunning. Live gutarist and singer with a pair of very attractive Flamenco dancers swirling around and stamping their heels like crazy. It was fantastically moody one of the dances called for the female dancer to end the dance by stomping her feet and walking off the stage in a huff. Fantastic.

The group Im with is really diverse. theres an Retired couple from Adelade, a couple from New Zealand, a doctor from Brisbane, a teacher and an accountant from Sydney and accountant from the UK and a Nurse from Seattle. Im the youngest by a little bit.

Today I plan to visit a bullring, a few palaces and eat gelato.

Seville bullring

Madrid

The 12 hour flight to Amsterdam was surprisingly comfy; I was only conscious for about 4 hours of it. Passed out like a drunken baby 30 min after take off. Awoke and tried to watch Attonement, but we landed before I could finish it (will try finish it on the way back). Amsterdam is like the Aldi of airports; weird, disorganised and oddly lit. And thanks to their slow ass crazy passport control procedures I caught my flight by like 2 minutes. I did however avoid getting frisked, they were too busy frisking others to bother with me. That flight was less fun, stuck next to screaming pooping stinky baby. Gonna try and forget that one. I listened to the first few chapters of to Kill a Mockingbird to try and block it out.

Landed in Madrid this morning. Managed to catch a taxi to my hotel and check my bag and have spent the day wandering around the city. Madrid is so huge and so busy and the ammount of smoking that’s going on is unbelievable; I got off the plane and got smacked with the smell of it. It’s about 10 000 times scarier than Singapore(& not just cause of the smoking). On the taxi ride to the hotel I saw a police TANK… TANK!!! the police here have tanks. I have photos but no cord on my at the moment. Will download some tomorrow.

I’ve visited the Museo Thyssen-Bornemiza and Monet, Picasso, Miro and Mondriane send their regards, I spent over 3 hours there and I think even then I missed a few rooms. My feet are about to flake off. Tomorrow it´ll be the Museo del Prato. I walked there today after Thyssen but couldn´t face another 3+ hours of walking. After all the flying and the lack of English. I must confess that I have spent a great deal of my time in various Starbucks as it´s been raining on and off all day (The rain in Spain falls mainly on the Tess) and they’re conviently everywhere, have couches and the drinks are easy to order (Una tall cafe mocha por favor, Grasias).

My Spanish is TERRIBLE and the poor people Im talking to wait for me to finish what Im trying to say in Spanish smile politely and go ‘English?’. Gonna spend the evening eating weird junkfood, practiseing spanish and not walking.

Tall buildings, narrow lanes

Notes on Amsterdam

After 2 hours;

  • I spent 1 hour and 22 minutes in passport control.
  • The rest of my time in Amsterdam was spent walking very briskly from gate E22 to C7 (they’re no where near each other)
  • Schiphol airport is to Airports as Aldi is to supermarkets; Disorganised, oddly lit and full of queues.