Friday 16 May 2008


so, after a total of 26 hours of bus travel, over 20 metro trips, and a lot of rain, i'm back.

- minus a pair of holey shoes which finally died their death in a bin in Madrid's bus station and plus a pair of those trousers with the stupidly low crotch so they look like a skirt. Why? I like the colour... and they are comfy... although not sure that the fine people of Oxford would be ready for them just yet, so maybe i'll save them for Ibiza.

well, i'm back in Badajoz but not in my own bed just yet... as the owners of my flat and some english visitors and currently inhabiting "my" piso!

I had a really great week away, was just 'spot on' as they say. Best bits... getting to hang out and know better 2 very inspiring friends of mine - Kasia and Annah - both of them relaxing to be with, supporters of good healthy food (score!) and whose lives challenge me in many ways. In their honesty, ambition, willingness to learn and openess to the world and people around them. *Thanks!*

It was also great to be able to see Bruce, Helen, Katie, Matt... and to meet friends of friends. A privilege.

Other good bits:

climbing the spires of the Sagrada Familia for the view of Barcelona

that one bit of sun as i walked down from the Sagrada to the beach. although it was not hot. but that did not stop the tourist reddening themselves on the imported sand. (do you sense a i-am-superior-to-tourists-because-i-live-in-Spain attitude expressing itself??)

thick dark spicy hot chocolate in Annah's favourite cafe

climbing Montjuic for another beautiful view of the city at sunset

general walking through the streets of Barcelona. It's SO different to the side of Spain i have been living in the past few months. Some would say its because it ISN'T Spain. Fair point? As many of the people i met said, it's the kind of city where anyone can find a place, anyone can make it home. Every corner you turn has something new and creative to show, the cafes and bars actually make you want to enter with their colours and smells and decoration, and every person you pass speaks a different language. I like it.

It's a shame i didn't get to see more of Madrid, but the rain prevented much street-wondering. What i DID get to see and enjoy muchly was the San Isidro celebrations in el parque Retiro, where they put on a show of fireworks over the lake accompanied to classical music (Handel i think). I say see... i mean the second half. The first half was more a mixture of projections and fountains on the water. The combination of seemingly the whole city and my lack in height somewhat hindered the view. Fortunately the fireworks were bigger so everyone could see them.

And as i stood there, head tipped back, music and crackles and bang filling my ears, maize snacks and a snickers bar filling my mouth, and eyes wide taking in the most beautiful fireworks i've ever seen... i thought:

this is a good way to finish.

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