Evening train to Madrid!  I love trains at night! This follows a nice day in Madrid roaming around.  I think I forgot to mention that since Jerez (so in Ronda and Granada) only 2 smart women remain. And smart we are indeed, as we have been lost only once (mostly thanks to the smart woman who is not myself) and we seem to be making our busses and trains with time to spare.

In Granada today, we tried that age-old tradition of ordering wine and sampling free tapas at multiple locations. Well we did that at two but at the second one we were hungry and ordered lunch as well.  But it was getting close to the time when wd were going to go collect our bags from the hotel and get a taxi to the train station for our 5 hour ride to Madrid, so we thought it best to stuff ourselves with ham and bread and olive oil (that was me).

We just passed a Mercadona grocery store.  This is a chain of stores in Spain, and there was one near the apartment in Jerez that I frequented. I recommend thks store not only for their selection of soy products,  but also because they play their theme song in the store a lot, making for a cheery shopping experience.

I just walked all over Granada and now I’m pooped.  Got some great views of the Alhambra, which is a big castle. I’ll visit there tomorrow.

News Flash: just as I was writing the above my food came so I stopped writing and ate, and the food was Sooo good.  We were at an middle eastern restaurant and they served Halal meals,  which I don’t know much about, but in short means that Lindsie can eat.  I had lentil soup that was thick and full of olive oil; then there was chicken with a sause that included onions and raisins. Raisins! Imagine! It was all very delicious. I could even have dessert, which was a sesame/honey thing.

But back to what I was writing before.  I wasn’t going to write any more about Granada or the castle. I was going to mention a shop I forgot to mention that’s in Jerez. It was a deli, full of meat,  with large portions of pig wrapped up and hanging from the ceiling behind the counter.  Then the counter/deli case was full of hams and sausages. Then on the wall opposite the. deli case was a floor-to-ceiling selection of sherries and hard liquors. This store smelled really good.

My my daily routine in Jerez has been as follows: get up mildly hungoverm  eat breakfast of meat on bread, soy yogurt and a fruit; flamenco class; lunch; nap; snack; rest time; snack; shopping; show, drinking; bed.  Last week when there were more girls here there was more shopping. I also try to get to the imternet place either before siesta or after.  Siesta lasts from about 2 in the afternoon until 5 or 6. Siesta is the best thinv ever. It takes a bit of getting used to because we all want to keep doing stuff in the afternoon like shop. But nothing is open during siesta so we can’t.  I’ve taken the opportunity to practice my napping skills. Though I think if you are a Spanish person you would use the time to have a masskve lunch. We haven’t really gotten used to thag parg and everyone in the apartment tends to be famished right after siesta,  which would bw our Canadian dinnertime. However, restaurants tend to close their kitchens until 7 or 8 so there’s a bit of a problem for us. I’ve tended to snack all afternoon so that sort of solves the problem. 

I had to have a nap today. I was up late last night and I was cranky after class. But it was a lovely night and then also a lovely nap. We were at our new favorite restaurant in Jerez.  It’s called La Farola or The Lampost and it’s at C/Francos 10. The “C” there must be the abbreviation for Calle, which is street or road or thereabouts.  They are open from 19 until 00:15 but we were there until 01:30. I took a pamphlet from them because their hours aren’t posted anywhere handy on their storefront, so we didn’t know if we were there past closing. The guy working said it was ok, though. There’s a map on the pamphlet too,  but I shan’t try to describe that as the geography here includes a fourth dimension that is hard to explain (nevermind navigate).  I am familiar with Francos St, however,  because I have travelled it every day for the past 2 weeks on my way to classes. It starts at the Jerez Flamenco Centre and ends at a plaza with a church that has shrubbery growing on it.

I’ve spent the past few days dancing and resting and drinking and watching (spectacles). The day before yesterday the bunch of us went for a tasting at the Gonzales Byass sherry bodega. For 19 euros we got a tour of the place, four samples and tapas. Thank goodness for the tapas because the “samples” came in the form of four wine glasses of sherry right in front of us. Result: happy group. Result 2: I don’t think I like sherry- at least not four samples of it at the same time.

I could have met up with the Alma de Espania group who are here and doing a day trip to Cadiz today but I have not gone for the following reasons: my feet are sore, and I need to get groceries.  Stores aren’t open on Sundays and I’m out of food, particularly, breakfast food.  Also last night we were up late following some native Jerez-ians to a pena* and so no one has gotten up in time.

We are losing 3 of the 6 smart women who have been sharing the apartment here. Two are off to Ronda and Granada for the sights and shopping; one is back to Germany, where she lives.  However we have acquired a new roomie for the remainder of the time here: the new dynamic shall be 3 smart women and a guy.

*Pena- should have a swoosh over the N, so it’s pronounced “pen-ya”.  According to our Jerez-ian guides, it’s a small, intimate show, in this case, a singer. Also in this case, a few hundred people “intimately” packed into a small venue.

So here I am in Jerez de la Frontera, Andelucia, Spain, going to my first flameco class tomorrow.  If I happen to run across myself from 2 or so years ago and told me what I was up to, I’d be all “what the fuckitty-do is going on here, miss classy pants, and what the hell have you done to your hair???  It looks GREAT.”

We went grocery shopping tonight.  (There are five of us now,  the sixth joining us tomorrow at noon.)  I did ok reading the ingredients looking for “leche”. I found some vanilla soy milk and also some soy yogurt. I’m scared to try the soy yogurt just in case I missed something. I might be living on bread and meat for the next two weeks.

Madrid

We arrived in Madrid late due to mechanical problems at Heathrow. All so tired.  The hotel is nice.  The room has a living room and then a sliding door into the bedroom, which works out well for thlse of us (me) who don’t recover well from jetlag. I’ve sequestered myself in the outer room since I’m awake anyway.

There was red wine last night at the restaurant up the street from the hotel that we immediately recognised as an establishment used to tourists as the hostess took one look at us and gave us English menus.

I forgot how much it suuuuucks to fly to England.  8.5 hours this time and at 1.5 hours in I’m all Oh My God we’re not even close to Halfway There : HURRY UUUUUP! Luckily though I slept for a while, which is rather a coup for me. Usually I don’t sleep on transit.

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Please note the little boxes of raisins that came with my lunch. 

I’m going to miss a few places in Victoria while I’m out of the country.  The Thrifty foods by my house.  The dance studio. The library.  I don’t go to the library very often (I go to the downtown branch)  but I was there the other day returning a book before I left so I didn’t have to pay a fine and I appreciated how nice it is to be in a familiar place.

I was at my neighbourhood Thrifty foods this morning to pick up some candied ginger and again, I looked around, and noted that I wouldn’t be visiting for a few weeks and I was pleased to be breaking my routine for a little while.  But I’ll get back to it soon,  and then I’ll be pleased to get back to it.

I’ve spent the late afternoon today at the Vancouver airport.  We arrived 4.5 hours early for our flight.  This is entirely due to us taking the ferry over: always take an earlier ferry,  just in case.

I’m traveling with 3 other smart women, so that’s why my pronoun might occasionally switch.

I’m about to board my first plane: one to London, then the second to Madrid. I’m going to nest in and have a cozy overnight flight. I have a Chatelaine magazine to read and Melatonin. Good night.

I’ve had some extraordinary tea this afternoon.  Not that it was exceptional out of its little pouch and dipped in water.  It was only Earl Grey.  But it was so lovely drinking it and now I’m happytimes.  What I really want now is an English muffin with bacon, *and that’s all*.  I’ve been thinking about it all afternoon.  I also have to remember to phone in my prescription for pick-up , which I will do at Thrifty’s and at the same time I will purchase corn chips that I can eat with the guacamole I will make with the almost-too-ripe avocado I have on the counter.  Mmm.  Food.  I must be hungry or something, like, right now.