New Years in Madrid, Trips to Valencia and Barcelona
01.01.2010 - 04.01.2010
After waking up at 4am to see my mom off to the U.S., Matt and I headed to Madrid to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain’s capital. Upon arriving in Madrid, we raced to the city’s main plaza with only minutes to spare before fireworks and champagne bottles erupted amongst cries of ¡Feliz año Nuevo!
The next morning, we groggily made our way onto a train headed to Valencia, a coastal city known for its oranges and paella. While we only had one day in Valencia and did not care to seek out any oranges or paella, we did enjoy it’s free fine arts museum and made it to the top of the main cathedral’s bell tower, treating us with a beautiful view of the city and the mountains which surround it.
We were soon back on another train, this time headed up the coast towards Barcelona. You’ll notice that there are no pictures from Barcelona. This is because while in Barcelona, we ran into a few bumps along the road and consequently did not see anything in Barcelona other than the area around our strange “hostel” which ended up being an extra bedroom in the apartment of the friend of a man who owned six chihuahuas and worked at the actual hostel that we booked.
By far the biggest disappointment about our time in Barcelona came when we went to an internet café to check the time of the F.C. Barcelona game later that evening. F. C. Barcelona is one of the best club football teams in the world, and we had made the trip to Barcelona primarily in order to attend this game which we had purchased tickets for weeks in advance. That said, you can imagine our frustration when we went to the team’s webpage and were greeted with the final score of that very game- which had been played the night before (apparently, Spanish soccer game times and even dates are always subject to change?). So, after I denounced my support for F.C. Barcelona and became an instant fan of their rival, Real Madrid, we both uttered a few palabras fuertes and decided we’d have to move on and enjoy the city without the game.
After spending over three hours and 20 Euros doing one load of laundry later that afternoon, we were more than ready to have at least one positive experience in Barcelona before we would fly out early the following morning. However, as we were heading out to dinner, we double-checked how we would get to Barcelona’s airport in the morning, and were less than pleased to find out that the budget airline we were flying actually left from a different airport in a city about an hour and a half outside of Barcelona.
Knowing we wouldn’t be able to catch a train early enough in the morning to make our flight, we unenthusiastically packed up and headed to the train station. Fortunately, we caught the last train to the city where the airport was located and eventually set up camp on the floor of the main terminal, resolved to spending the night in the airport. As we spent the evening in front of check-in desk number 28 and reflected on the sub par day we had had in Barcelona, we decided to chalk Barcelona up to a bust and realized that we couldn’t complain because we were headed to Italy in the morning.