Spain Trip - Travel to Madrid and Seville

Day 1 and 2ish
June 21 and 22
Friday and Saturday

Preparing for a trip when you have children who are going with you is exhausting. Preparing for a trip when some are staying at home and some are going is even more exhausting.

When we boarded our flight 5:40am Friday morning I did breathe a little sigh of relief. I made it through the hoops of planning for everyone, packing, going through security without being flagged for having a metal crotch (happened the last time I went to the airport but it seems I have been cured of that rare affliction) and now I could sit back and do absolutely nothing - except struggle to find a comfortable position on a plane - which let’s face it - is next to impossible to accomplish in any shape or form. I don’t care what size of a person you are or how malleable your body is; it just isn’t going to happen. I had a wrestling match with my backpack in the hopes of stowing it under the seat and then inevitably I had to retrieve something from it which meant a match of tug of war and me beginning to sweat in the clothes I would be wearing for the next 24 hours. So that is always pretty fun. Fun for me, the person next to me who is getting jabbed by my bony elbows, and the person in front of me who must feel like I am trying to turn their seat that reclines 2 inches into a mechanical bucking bull.

At any rate, we had smooth quiet flights and long uneventful layovers in two cities before reaching our final destination which was Madrid Spain.

In Madrid we found our luggage and then changed into something less grubby and stinky and tried to pretend like we wanted to see the city and not just climb into a bed because although it was 9:30 am Madrid time, our bodies were telling us it was actually 3:30am which meant that I was running on 3 hours of sleep for the last 24 hours! (And still am- as evidenced by one sentence which is an entire paragraph long)

Loading 80 people, most of them teenagers, onto two buses went rather seamlessly so off we went to the city square. Brick streets, wrought-iron balconies, majestic grand buildings, brilliantly colored fresh food, and hundreds of people welcomed our arrival. We were led by our guide, Andrea through the narrow city streets. To stand still and let the world buzz by was an exhilarating experience. Anywhere you turned the view was different. The people were different. The smells wafting from the market and tapas were different. It seemed you could look left and then right and have two different centuries encompassing you based on the buildings at your sides. Big cities are so full of culture and rich with stories. Madrid was no different.

We were granted a few history lessons, shown the oldest, longest-running restaurant in the world, directed toward lunch prospects and then treated to churros dipped in thick hot chocolate from one of the most famous establishments that serves this delicious dessert.

We chose to go to the market. We are getting closer to having a market like this one in downtown Grand Rapids but we have a ways to go. Each stand was something new and exciting. The pieces of food displayed were the living menu and I couldn’t help but snap pictures of just about every booth because I would never be able to try them all! In the end, I had a bite-sized kind of ham with arugula and mozzarella and some octopus on a skewer with veggies. So delicious!

After our bellies were full we were brought to the train station where we dutifully filed in like ducklings following their mama and waited to be told which platform to go to. Gone were all of the former thoughts of how dirty the floor may be and most of our group ended up curled in a fetal position sound asleep until they were forced to join the march once more.

The train ride was smooth and fast. We passed beautiful fields of sunflowers and buildings that we dubbed as castles. The landscape was less green and more brown-yellow then I had imagined with many olive trees spattered along the way. When I boarded the train I was wide awake and congratulated myself at having such amazing stamina when those 25 years younger were barely dragging their knuckles off the floor. It wasn't long before I joined them, however. I tried to keep my eyes open but it was like my lids gained 50 pounds and I just couldn’t lift them or focus my eyes. So I gave into sleep.

Our ride took us to Seville. Upon disembarking we were welcomed to hell because of the heat. (the actual greeting from our tour guide!)  It didn’t feel bad today with a nice breeze and bright sun so they may want to come up with a new kind of welcome for visitors...

We arrived at our first hotel, was handed a key and told to meet in 30 minutes to eat dinner at 8pm. A rushed shower helped me feel a little more human and the food topped off the day.

Now it is off to bed to try to sleep through the night when two days ago at this time I was only partway through my day! We are being serenaded by a local rock concert currently. Welcome to Sevilla!
We made it to New York

New York from the plane

New York sunrise

In the Madrid airport

In our first bus

Our fantastic tour guide - Andrea

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

So many people in Madrid!!

Touring in Madrid

Crazy tourists

My handsome men

In Madrid

Oh the food!!!!











Churros!

Madrid Train Station

Madrid Train Station

In the train

View from the train as we sped along

Waiting for our train

In our first hotel
My suitcase day one

In GRR airport before our 5:45am flight

In Detroit during our layover

Breakfast!

We met up in New York


Next stop- Madrid!

My suitcase by the time it reached Madrid

Sophia and Emily

Madrid

In the market in Madrid


One of our fearless leaders!  Sra Showers!

Exhaustion in the train station





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