Archive for travel

A few hours in Madrid

Madrid Barajas Airport

Thirty six hours after leaving San Diego, we arrived in Madrid. I was immediately impressed by the architecture of the Madrid Barajas Airport. I’m not sure if the lack of sleep from two red-eye flights had anything to do with the euphoria I was feeling on my way to the baggage claim, but I was fascinated nonetheless.

Hector and Gracielita

Our hosts for the 24 hour stay in Madrid were relocated Peruvians Graciela, Hector and their little girl Gracielita. It was my first time meeting them; Rosario met Hector and Graciela in Perú four years ago. They’ve moved to Madrid in search of a “better life” as the saying goes. I typed out “American Dream” and then deleted it because I suppose it couldn’t be accurate since they are in Spain . . . but it’s basically the same ambition.

When we arrived at their flat, Graciela offered us the famous Spanish jamón serrano with cheese on triangles of white sandwich bread. It’s a good thing my understanding of “authenticity” is already well warped, because a Mexican and U.S. American served a traditional Spanish food on white bread by Peruvians would otherwise seem strange. I ate my serving and Rosario’s as well (she hadn’t warmed up to the idea of eating raw pig yet).

Graciela describes the scene for Rosario on camera

People Watching 3, Metro

We took a nap to recover a bit from the jetlag and then headed downtown for a tour. The urban train system was much cleaner than the NYC metro we used 12 hours earlier. We wandered around and took a few pictures. The central downtown area was beautiful. It’s no coincidence the architecture reminded us of older cities in México; many of these buildings could have been built by the same people at the same time in México.

Downtown Madrid

We left the next morning on route to Elche.

World Trade Center almost 5 years after the fall

On our initial flight to from San Diego to Madrid, we had a 12 hour layover in NYC. We took a brief nap in Central Park (brief because the ground was wet and the bench wasn’t very comfortable), wandered down Wall Street, and stopped to take a look at the World Trade Center site.

World Trade Center

From the Burger King window overlooking the World Trade Center site
June 9, 2006

On September 8, 2001, I was here at the World Trade Center wandering around much like the tourist I was on the day I shot the above image. I sat below the towers watching some free concerts between the Winter Garden and the water (off screen to the left of the image). I distinctly remember looking up at the towers and thinking I should take a picture. I remember being impressed by their height, but they’re otherwise pretty boring to look at, so I passed on the shot. After all, I had just passed 10 postcard vendors and knew the towers weren’t going anywhere.

Time flies when you’re ________ing

a) Vacation: A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation
b) Adventure: An undertaking or enterprise of a questionable or hazardous nature
c) Travel: To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey
d) All of the above

Yes, time flies when you’re all of the aboving, sliced at about 50% travel, 35% adventure, and 15% vacation. We were pretty busy just getting from one place to the next, we averaged about 36 hours in each city. It was definitely a buffet tour. But a good buffet where the food is fresh.

I shot about 1,500 digital photos (almost 10Gb) which is kind of ridiculous when you consider that would be about 60 rolls of conventional film. I have a lot of sorting to do, but I should start posting this weekend. I’ll also be writing around the most memorable events as I get through the photos. So stay tuned…

* * * * * * *

I spent today fixing the flat tire that greeted me when I got home. It was a slow leak, which had plenty of time to deflate. I put on the spare tire and drove down to the gas station to find the leak, added a little air, and slowly rotated the tire while running water over it. Sure enough, some kind of cardboard staple was lodged in the tread. I picked up a puncture patch kit (easier than patching a bike tire) and fixed the flat in the parking lot. See Dad, I did learn a thing or too.

Vacation in Spain, Germany, Italy

European Tour 2006

We’ll be out and about on our first trip to Europe! Rosario and I will be visiting some friends in Spain, going to a World Cup game, and otherwise running around like good old fashioned tourists. I’m not sure if I’ll get around to posting anything during the trip, but at least you can check the calendar and see where in the world we are.

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