we are on the plane throughout. oh yes it does take that long...
3 dec tue (md)
a day of orientation. we put up at the hostal americano close to the station of sol. 2 rooms... dad and mum, sis and i. jet lag. we all turn in by late afternoon (which is really the next morning in sg).
4 dec wed (md)
we visit the museo nacional, centro de arte reina sofia near atocha station. bored the parents to tears... and me to muscleaches. but it was fine... (really!) architectural art holds a certain appeal for me but it's installation art for the sis. gaudi, picasso, dali etc. etc. and all that guernica and stuff don't register much in a pea brain, see?
5 dec thu (md)
an hour of train to toledo, south of md. braved the winds and roamed the streets. bought myself a really nice tiled coaster with don quixote painted on it. 2,40EU... that makes approx. S$4.25...
6 dec fri (md)
it's a religious holiday period this weekend. everybody's getting outta town. the youngsters come out to party. after much difficulty we secure a room for 4 in hostal valencia close to the station of callao... (which is really only a few steps from sol). walked the streets and park. was very pissed with sis at one point of time... shan't elab. hmph.
7 dec sat (md)
2-hour train journey to segovia, i-dunno-where of md. the aqueduct--enormous stone arches--supposedly used to transport water, i-dunno-how, is proof of roman rule. i know this is gonna sound like it's straight out of some dumb travel guide, but you look past all that stone into the distance and the view is stunning, indescript... (yeah i know there's no such word... it serves to signify the wonder, see?)
8 dec sun (md)
we took the metro to, and walked moncloa... some supposedly "rich" residential area... ah, where the prime minister stays or something. to the sis' delight, entry to the museo de america is free today... and the remainder of us trudge in wearily. it hosts american art and artefacts etc. here... snore. then we proceed up this 26-storey tower i imagine is called the torre de madrid (tower of madrid) where the view isn't exactly fantastic but the entrance charge can send one into fits. the real highlight of the day is watching this black-and-white film, "hotel imperial". it's silent and a pianist plays the music in a tiny theatre. english words flash on the screen occasionally, and there are spanish subtitles... english isn't usually the norm here, and we are happy. this lasts about an hour and a half... it's an old, sappy and ridiculous love story during war time between the russians and the austrians. ah... art... this was a fruitful, gladful(!) day.
9 dec mon (md)
we slept in after a hectic yesterday, then dragged our lazy selves from the warm embrace of our kind beds to roam the streets. el corte ingles, this big departmental store is something like metro in sg, only bigger, better. i catch the sister's flu... muscleache, throbbing head, lethargy, fever... i feel sorry for myself 'cos no one else does. sob. hotel valencia's bathwater sucks 'cos it turns icy-cold in the middle of my baths. i curse and swear to myself... i wish myself back, or in zurich, where all will be fine in the astor hotel. we dine again at chinese restaurant no. 1 (cheng du or something). the owner's so familiar with us by now she serves us free wine. i am too full of ulcers to appreciate that, nor the food, nor the sangria (fruit wine) the sister ordered.
10 dec tue (md)
since no one takes notice of my illness as opposed to the sister's, it's a hurry for myself to get well so i can "support" myself. i recover almost totally in the night. today it's a 3-hour train ride to cuenca, i-dunno-where outta madrid. it's 4 deg. celc. there and we take long walks around town and uphill. i am glad i am well now... the parents find themselves coming down with the sister's virus... now they know.
11 dec wed (md)
this is our last full day. we walk the streets (again, again!) for last minute shopping. in fact, we never really shopped before... nor now... there's simply nothing of special meaning or whatsoever to buy in madrid argh! i get a classical cd for myself, and one for zhenqi. i don't even know if she likes it haha. the sister is a colossal spender... so is my mum.
12 dec thu (md)
we wake at 5 so everybody will have time to bathe. the room is simply too cramped for 4. we board the plane. madrid to zurich, zurich to singapore.
13 dec fri (sg)
we are home, and i am back. my journal is full of travel-rubbish and complaints of the dumb kid behind me in the plane. i am really hungry, constantly. plane food sucks.