Wednesday, April 23, 2014

There's Always A Story- Spring Break 2014

Spring break is here... 3 major Spanish cities and a mini tour around Northern Morocco, pinch me it's perfect... except when I remember I am me and nothing is ever perfect. So here is the story of this vacation and the string of bad luck events that seem to follow me every once in while. (This be may a bit long but hopefully entertaining... lol)

Spring Break kicked off with a bang, a long nap and no urge to pack left me thinking I was going waste Saturday away, but in the end I made it on time and was off to Madrid. My lovely friend who I was staying with had made some plans with a potential boo so I was left to make some quick impromptu plans, but luckily that worked out for the best, and I got to hang out with 8 awesome Madrid Players who happened to be free. Random nights of laughs started everything right...

Sunday was also awesome because I got to go have Indian food with my friend, take a walk around Madrid, FINALLY after being in Spain almost 3 years I went inside the Prado Museum, and got to enjoy a great Diego concert with my friend Parisa who has converted me into a total groupie, but that's okay because we had lots of fun watching the concert and I left some girls with their jaws dropped when I could sing along to pretty much EVERY song :P

Monday came and I got up early to catch my 11am bus to Córdoba, waiting at the metro station it said 2 minutes til the next train when I arrived (perfect!). After 2 minutes had passed the screen went blank, and no train had come (Insert Panic). After a bit the next train shows up and I´m off, after making a transfer and arriving at the bus station I ran up the stairs and made it by just a hair. 

On the bus ride over in between listening to music and playing Candy Crush I got an email from a company I was hoping to hear from about a job, and it wasn't a congratulatory email, it was a we may have space later so hopefully we can send you a happier email soon (Gee, thanks!)

Bummed out about trying to reorganize some of my future plans we stopped at the rest stop between Madrid and Córdoba I ate my cookies and got on the bus when it was time to go. We were on our way for about 10 minutes before I realized I had forgotten my jacket at the bus station. I was super bummed out because
I use this to try to feel better when I do something dumb
my mom had given me that jacket because it looked like one my sister had, and I tend to get overly sad when I do stupid things like that because as a kid I was always kinda careless about things, so now as an adult when it happens I just feel like my life is so not together. I texted my mom and she told me not to worry she got it for $8 and she'd find me a new one. Now I just had to go on the rest of the trip with no jacket....

Córdoba was nice, I had booked a massage and session at the Arabic Baths (awesome!) On the way back it took me 20 minutes to get to my hostel because of the Holy Week processions. I get to my room get all freshened up and I notice there aren't any sheet on my bed... actually there none of the beds have sheets. I figure this is what I get for paying into a cheap hostel and kind of just call asleep on top of the comforter. Later around one in the morning a group of girls came into the room and were laughing about having to go in and ask for sheets. Only this hostel would put a sign in the corner of the reception where no one would see it saying "Please ask for sheets"... later I got my sheets too.
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos

The next day I wanted to go to the Mosque/Cathedral but the opening ours for visitors due to Holy Week activities was from 8-9am so I missed it and the next day it opened at 11 and my bus was leaving at 12 and it was too close to try to risk it. So I went to Córdoba and didn´t get to see one of the most important sites... no big deal -_- I just headed on over to the main castle and spent the afternoon in the gardens. It was very beautiful but it also made me realize that traveling alone isn´t something I really like. It's great to see things but then you´re left with this urge to comment on it and when you turn to say it to someone no one is there, it was a bit sad, and of course Selfies just aren't the same in beautiful places, and since I'm such a shy person I couldn't muster up the courage to ask a stranger to take a picture of me to get the right one.... oh well!

I left Córdoba and made my way to Sevilla. It was a major coincidence that I found one of my coworkers who was going from Jaén to Sevilla on the SAME bus. It was a nice ride, despite some people arguing over seats because their's was stolen. Once in Sevilla I parted ways with my coworker and I set off to my hostel where my friend was waiting for me. Granted I pretty much NEVER really look up where my hotel (my bad) unless I know I have to take a bus or something but when I know I'm going to take a taxi, my urge is not to bother. Well when I got to Sevilla I gave the driver the address got in the taxi and we were on our way. Being Semana Santa there were a billion and one processions going on, and so many streets were cut off, and there tons of people. After driving around for a while, the driver stopped and told me it was impossible for him to make it up to the front door due to the processions so he'd stop me there and all I had to do was walk down to the end of the street. I paid him the 15 euro fair that was there I got my suit case from the trunk and I pulled out my phone to see down the end of which street he was talking about in the busy intersection he left me at. I plug in the address into Google Maps... loading walking directions... 32 MINUTE WALK!
Pretty much me this whole trip....
Source: Google

After I already paid this fool 15 euros, with my suitcase I had to go though all of the processions with people dressed in black KKK robes, parents pround of their kid walking barefoot through the street holding a candle, people as desperate as me to get through the crowds, finding other routes, getting re routed on my GPS trying to understand it was sending me because I haven't really used it before, getting weird looks because I had a large bright pink suitcase in the middle of this religious tradition, get stressed because it was hot and I was getting tired of draggin my my heavy suitcase, and trying to get over my anger over the whole situation. Close to an hour later I made it to my hostel, made my bed with the sheets they gave me (yay I got sheets this time), and went to have lunch with my friend since really all I'd eaten was a few cookies on the bus. We took the after noon easy and had dinner that pretty much gave me a flat fanta from a two liter bottle, tomorrow surely had to be a better day. 

Thursday came and we got up and were ready to take over the city, but unfortunately Holy Week already did that for us so when we went to the famous Catedral and Giralda of Sevilla, visitors allowed due to Semana Santa activities, so that's great after almost 3 years in Spain and not visiting two important cities, when I finally do make it over to see them, I can´t see what everyone says you HAVE to see there... just my luck. So instead of going into the Cathedral we went to 100Montaditos and had a tinto de verano and planned out the rest of the time we had in Sevilla. It was super hot so we went for a bit of a rest back at the hostel, and set out for Plaza de España that evening. It was beautiful! On the way back we got caught in yet another procession for a good half an hour of weaving through people, waiting, taking pictures, and all that jazz. At least it lead us to a pretty good chinese place, who forgot to bring us drinks but no big deal.

The next day was the day we were off to Morocco! I was really excited for this trip because it meant checking off another continent from my travel list, and it was a planned excursion so the pressure of what are we doing, how are we getting there and everything was taken care of. It was nice to just show up and enjoy. Our first hotel was on the beach so after dinner my friend and
some other girls we met at our table decided to go down to see the water. We were collecting shells when a pair of what seemed like teenagers tried cat calling us shouting out "Sevilla sevilla Sevilla" and "omg... hello USA".

Day 2 in Morocco was nice we went to the Blue city of Chefchaouene walked through the mountain town got a talk about how they made the fabrics and saw the actual loom. Our moroccan old man tour guide said i didn't look American I looked like him (ok?) We bartered for some things, I got some scarves and we were back to our hotel in Tangier. We were going to go out dancing, but dinner didn't sit well with me so it was just a quiet evening in the hotel for me, oh well... Our last day came and we got to ride camels (one of the scariest moments of my life!), walk around Tetouan and do a bit more haggling, and end the trip having lunch in an Arabic Palace. Now it was time for the long trek back home!

The two girls we had met on the trip didn't have a place to stay for the night, so I gave them the name of our hostel and she called to see if there was availability. A while later she came back and said they had availability the problem was that they didn't check people in after 11, and since our ferry was later we weren't going to get back to Sevilla until almost 1am. So in a panic i called the hostel and tried to reason with them that we'd be quiet entering our shared dorm, that we needed a place to stay and that I had already
made the reservation, and it's not my fault our ferry was late. The man wouldn't budge and only offered me a much higher price private room, which wasn't worth it because my friend was leaving at 6am. So in the end we cancelled the reservation (thankfully he didn't charge me for it since it was a short notice cancellation) and we slept (or didn't sleep) in the bus station, in the cold (with no jacket remember), just laughing with my friend because our Winter Break vacation ended the exact same way in the Barcelona bus station.

I waited for my bus which I thought was at 9am but it was at 9:45, got the the bus and started on my journey to Caceres then finally back to Navalmoral. When I got to the bus station around 3:30pm it started pouring rain, and since I had no jacket or umbrella I waited another half hour til I was able to get home. Finally arrived to my humble abode where I tossed my purse onto my bed and my Aquafina water bottle exploded soaking the bed and reaching my precious laptop! (Oh no!!) I rushed to save it dried it wit a towel and tried to see what happened. No response. My world was coming to an end, so I just left my laptop on my desk to dry and went into an exhausted emotional coma for the next few hours. Around 11pm I woke up and gave it another go and MIRACLE it turned on and it's been pretty okay ever since *fingers crossed*

Well it's not the first time I say my bad luck is impressive, but this really is up there on the list. It was a good vacation overall and I'm ready to keep movin' on up! 

Thanks for reading !!