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A Week in Barcelona and Madrid

Author: soliteyah (More Trip Reviews by soliteyah)
Date of Trip: June 2003

Not so hurray: I woke up the next morning feeling like absolute crap. Clearly I wasn't just dying of the heat but had actually picked up some sort of bug (headache, sore muscles, chills/hot flashes, legs weighing 10 tons each, etc.). But who knew when I'd visit Spain again, so I pushed on with a day trip to Segovia, a historic town famous for its huge Roman aqueduct. I crawled through the day by stopping to rest on pretty much every bench I saw, and then lying down for about an hour and a half outside the Alcazar -- a fairy-tale-looking fortress. I liked the aqueduct and the Alcazar, and the narrow streets of the old town were gorgeous, but I had no energy or enthusiasm whatsoever.

Back at the hostel in Madrid, I flopped on my bed and tried to work up the energy to go out to a pharmacy and get some aspirin. Luckily for me, an Australian girl who'd just checked in gave me some ibuprofin, which perked me up considerably.

The next day I went with her to Toledo, which is a lovely, historic town with both Spanish (Roman?) and Moorish influences. The cathedral was absolutely breathtaking inside -- incredibly ornate. We spent a lot of time just wandering the narrow, hilly streets and browsing some of the prettiest tourist shops I've ever seen. (I am not a shopper at all, but even I was impressed.) I ended up buying a handpainted wooden fan.

Back at the hostel, we were amused at our new dormmates -- a group of 13- and 14-year-old girls from Austria that were in Madrid on a school trip. They were eager to practice their Spanish (and their English -- made me feel like a bumbling, monolingual American!) and were generally much better roommates than the noisy Brits from the first few nights, though their whispering did keep me awake for a while -- felt a bit like I was sitting in on a slumber party.

The next morning it was back to Glasgow. I was glad to be back but eager to return someday to Spain, perhaps in the spring or fall when the temperatures would be a bit more bearable. Next up? Seville, Granada, perhaps a few places along the coast. Someday...

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