I am now back from my wonderful 10 days in Spain. It was a trip to remember.... I am one who loves to take in all her environment: the people, the smells, the tastes, all the moments.
Day 1: was quit stressful and frustrating. The Houston to Paris flight was enjoyable even though I was packed tightly with the rest of my fellow sardines. Then things quickly changed when I missed my connection flight to Madrid due to the long lines going through customs and security. Trying to keep a smile on I proceeded to the booking counter to get on the next flight. As I was smiling to all that passed by me I was shocked that not one returned a smile (which I always understood a smile as the international peace and hello sign). Not a big deal now off to board the plane in Madrid. Anxious passengers began to shove their way through and quickly cut in line when one wasn't looking. I thought to myself this would not happen in the US, what is the big rush and quite bumping into me! Europeans don't really recognize what personal space is. They don't seem to mind being crammed close to one another. Once landing in Madrid I found out that I had missed my connection to Seville by about 30 minutes and the next flight wasn't until 10:45pm over 6 hours later. At this point I was struggling to keep a happy face. The local airline required me to purchase a new standby ticket since my delay was not account of their airline. Landing in Seville at 1am I was incredibly thankful to see my dad's familiar face there to greet me with a big hug.
Observations: Allow at least 2.5 hours between international connecting flights due to terminal distances and security. Europeans at the airport tend to be unfriendly and self-centered. Nothing like a big hug to close the end of a frustrating day.
Day 2-10: Amazing! The next day was much different. Walking around the small cobblestone streets had such history. Windows full of flowers and private court yards full of plants and trees. People sitting outside at the local cafes enjoying the local beer and tapas. The delicious aromas of papa frit and olive oil and the sound of laughter fills the streets. Many popular dishes included local Iberian ham sandwiches, paella, fried seafood and croquettes. There were many royal palaces throughout the region with a Moorish influence as well as many cathedrals. I was shocked and in awe of the detail on the buildings and palaces. The ceilings were each uniquely decorated with different materials such as porcelain tile, wood, gold, marble and stucco type material. The outdoor community plazas and gardens were just breath taking. With most people live in small apartments, so these precious gardens give people a place to relax, walk their dogs and enjoy the fresh air. Most people walk or ride their bikes to get around old town Seville. There is a rush of people through out the day except for their afternoon nap at 3pm. Dinner doesn't start until about 9pm so many people enjoy a few drinks and little tapas which are smaller than our appetisers. Their rich culture was inspiring. I did go see a Flamenco dancing show which is full of passion and flair. My father describes the men as peacocks who love to strut their stuff, which was very apparent in this dance. Bull fighting is something that is a big part of Spain's history and culture, which I chose not to experience due to the treatment of the bull. Most times the bull is killed at the end of the show with spears. I probably walked about 4-6 miles each day and took over 600 photos!
I hope to upload the photos of my travels this week. I need to sort through them and share with you the best ones. Even though I had an amazing trip I am happy to be home. I missed my love so much. He helped make this trip possible and I am so very grateful. Thank you to my friends and family for their prayers. I never once felt like I was in danger exploring the city by myself during the day.