PLEASE, MAMA, COME TO SPAIN: ADVENTURES IN SPAIN – PART 1

PLEASE MAMA COME TO SPAIN - ADVENTURES IN SPAIN PART 1

This past Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, I met Jesus. Yep, that’s right…Jesus!

Jesus from Barcelona bought me two shots of whiskey at a little jazz club on the corner of Calle Fernando Colon and Calle Pedro Lopez in Cordoba, Spain. He could barely speak English. I could barely speak Spanish. Yet, over the whisky and a lot of sign language, we became fast friends.

Yes! I got to be in Cordoba, Spain on a Good Friday courtesy of my now-rapidly dwindling savings account.

What put me in Cordoba, Spain on that early Good Friday morning?

My daughter, who has been studying in Spain, gave me a shout out to meet her in Madrid and travel through the South of Spain. “Pleeeeeezzz, Mama,” she said, (Okay, well, maybe that’s a little dramatic.) “Come to Spain!” And just like that, I said, “Yes!”

I then logged into my bank account. “Gulp!” I thought, “Okay, well this is not impossible.” Plus, I had just secured a roommate for a month, so I had a little something coming in. I booked the trip!

We plan the trip with the best towns in mind to visit during Spain’s Semana Santa, the week before Easter. It would be Andalucia’s Golden Triangle – Seville, Granada and Cordoba. We would meet in Madrid, end up in Jaen (my daughter’s current home), and travel the Triangle in between.

As I continue planning, it becomes clear to me that I am able to do this without spending too much. The airfare is much cheaper than the previous year; the lodging is much cheaper than I expect (even though it is a little inflated for the Semana Santa); and, even better, I learn, in most towns, the restaurants serve free tapas for every drink ordered. Eat for free?! Score! This trip is already proving it can be done on my bank account’s terms.

So I book 1 Loft in Madrid, 1 Hotel room in Seville, 1 Cave in Granada, and 1 Room-to-Stay-with-a-Family in Cordoba. Jaen, well, that’s home for my daughter. Room and board = Free.

Shockingly-good, there is even more great news for my bank account! The euro takes a dive and the dollar is close to the equivalent of the euro. Double-score + 1 sigh of relief! I am ready without worry to take this trip!

—————–

I get myself to Madrid, step into the airport, and am immediately overwhelmed by a convergence of scents – pork, perfume and vanilla chocolate lattes. Wow! If this is some sort of sign of what I have ahead of me, this trip is going to be amazing!!!

After reaching my get-off-the-subway stop, I drag my medium sized suitcase and computer case through the cobblestone streets and alleyways and into the La Latina barrio looking for that Loft. Despite my lack of sleep and very confused GPS on my text-machine, I finally find it. Heck Yeah! I’m in Madrid!

I learn from an English couple, who have just fared 7 days of pouring rain out of their 10-day Loft-stay, that we have unrelentingly beautiful warm weather in store for us. I can’t decide if they’re pleased for us or jealous. I stroll the streets while the Loft is being prepared for our stay, and I follow up the stroll with a 3 hour nap. When my daughter arrives, we greet each other with huge hugs and kisses and head out for 7 o’clock too-early-for-dinner drinks and tapas on the cheap – not too difficult to find. Our Spanish adventure begins!

We do the usual: Reina Sofia Museum, Plaza Mayor (one hundred billion times), Puerto del Sol/Kilometer Zero, backwards-row a boat on the lake at Parque del Retiro, Palacio Real de Madrid, Gran Via, and Mercado de San Miguel. We more than satisfy my walk-a-holic needs, take lots of selfies, eat and drink, drink and eat and stare at all the people in love while trying to figure out, “why do Spaniards wear coats in 75 degree weather?”

And then we discover Madrid’s Nightlife!

It’s typical in Madrid to stay out all night. All Night – All Ages! Dinner at 10. Drinks at 12. Bar at 1. Discotheque at 2. And we are lucky enough to be in Madrid on a Friday night. Our big plan that night – dinner at 9:30. That’s it. So far. So we meet up with Ramon, who lives in Madrid and is a friend of my daughter, for dinner at El Sur in the Lavapies barrio. As we eat through our Trip Advisor Top Ten Restaurant pick mediocre meal, we decide what to do next.

Our dinner plan evolves into a stroll over to Calle Huertas (the “happening” street) a violet martini, a jazz club, a discotheque, and a bar…

…and a gorgeous 30 something year old black man named Papai!

As we walk into the discotheque, immediately out of the woodwork pops out this gorgeous black man who sweeps me onto the dance floor. For me, the night begins! That man moves in a way that I can’t help but step up my moves to match. We dance. We grind. I have no shame. I am having a damn good time! In Madrid! When “Uptown Funk” plays, that kicks it up a notch for me and things get even spicier, sexier… fun. – (if you don’t know “Uptown Funk”, find it, play it, and it will make you move like no other.) – There is a lot of yelling back and forth in English and Spanish, trying to understand each other over the loud music. I learn he’s a Spaniard from Senegal. He learns I’m a Canadian in America. Past that, only a lot of hand language and body language…and body touching transpires. He throws out a few “Me likes”, a couple slaps on my butt, and steals a few kisses. Nice! I’m drawn to that behavior at first, however, quickly come to my senses, grab my daughter and her friend, and we get the heck out of there. My daughter and I can’t help but giggle while the baffled Papai runs after us as we fast-walk through that Calle Huertas crowd, dragging a confused Ramon along with us.

I feel like the hot mama of Madrid! Or a teenager! I can’t decide which.

We then duck into a bar crowded with so many people that shoulder-dancing is the only option to move to the beat of the awesome music that is playing. I lose track of time, however, after a couple drinks and tired shoulders, I look at my text-machine and it’s 4 am. We have to head home. There is more of this City we still need to see.

Next stop: Seville
Transportation: High speed train

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Ciao for now!

k

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