Right. I am not the kind of person that storms into a shop when she saw a sign that says 70% off the latest items. Please. I’m not a girl.
But little bubbles formed at the corner of my mouth when I saw 70% off round way ticket to Frankfurt.
That’s how I resigned from my job and backpacked for 4 months around Europe in 2008.
The thing was, I didn’t know anyone in Frankfurt but I had a friend studying in Cologne. That’s 3 hours away. She skipped her master’s class to pick me up. World class friend, she is.
I stayed with her for about 6 weeks before deciding to go to Barcelona. I have another friend there and was supposed to give him a souvenir from Malaysia.
Who would have thought that I ended up flying to Bordeaux? It should be serious offence, my friend’s indifference towards the names of the places in Europe while going through the list of the destinations displayed on Germanwings site.
So I flew to a place I did not plan to go. Big deal. I’ll just take a train to Irún (France-Spain border) and later a bus to Barcelona. Problem solved.
In the meantime, I got to enjoy Bordeaux.
I loved the cathedrals. So Gothic and beautiful and scary 🙂
Can you believe that this was the court house? That’s mindbogglingly awesome!
And the fountain looked a tad scary too. Maybe this angle is better.
Amazing! It looked so majestic. How do I build these things in my garden?
I finally got to Barcelona a week later and spent quality time getting to know the city before visiting Madrid again. It’s so different than the Madrid I knew in 2005.
There were less tourist. More beggars. More misery. The crisis had started.
I went to my favourite place; Plaza Mayor, but it had lost its charm.
The city was different. The were a lot of anger, hostility and rudeness. I wonder if the attitude was always there or situation forced them out. I always thought Madrid was home but I changed my mind after an old lady told me to ‘go back to my country‘ and how she hates Colombians.
That was uncalled for but if she truly met one, the Colombian would not let that get away unpunished, so I behaved.
Next stop: Seville.
I loved the people; kind, generous and a bit mischievous. Of all Spain, I love the southern accent the most. The drawl, the little breath they make when they pronounce S and T side by side on the same syllable, the lack of personal space, the food, the songs, etc. I love Andalucía!
The only complain I have is the lack of grass. That would be all.
I had several stops more before falling in love with Santander. I wish I could park my yacht carelessly too.
Or maybe cheaper ones over there.
Santander is by far one of my favourite Spanish cities after Bilbao and all the cities in the south. Sorry Madrid. You are no longer on the list.
With a bit of miracle, I secured a ticket to Edinburgh.
In less than 2 hours, the train left me at the Newcastle train station, where a friend waited for me. I wished I could stay longer in Edinburgh. The hills made me fertile. OK. The men jumpstarted my hormones. Man, I sounded like I’m a full swing female were-wolf.
Maybe it’s something in the accent or something malicious spreading in the air. Very fishy, I know.
It’s nice to finally see tufts of green grass again.
The park was nice. It’s clean, people having civilized conversation and playing with their dogs. Sanity. It’s all I need for a while.
What do you think a great host would do?
They’d bring you do Alnwick Castle, of course. If you’re a true Potterhead, then this information would not need explanation.
This gentleman’s name was Harry Hotspur. Kinda get you thinking of another famous Harry, doesn’t it?
You can do a lot of stuff. Like archery or like me, target practicing. You know…in case the muggles found this place. It’s unfair to fight them with magic.
I heard the heir of the castle is a single man. Quite young for my taste but I think I can live with that.
This little cottage was situated just outside the gates of Alnwick Castle. The owners weren’t there when we sneaked up their rose bushes.
Oh, this is it. Life.
I think it would be my greatest achievement, if I could own a little cottage like this in any part of Europe.
How long is this bloody crisis anyway?