I have just back home after a long and fulfilling holiday from a majestic country called Spain that is a truly beautiful and diverse country located in the southwest of Europe. My friend and I had actually not taken any break off from our work for more than a couple of months so we decided to take a long break and what better place to take a time off than Spain!
I have always loved travelling to different parts of the world and my first travel toSpainactually took me for a surprise for the country is so diverse when it comes to the geography and culture, giving plethora of options to offer to tourists. From lush greens, hilly areas, snowy mountains in the Northern region of the country to lovely beaches especially white sand ones in the Southern and Western parts of the country there is a lot more that the country has to offer than what meets the eye.
Though long but the journey from our home country toSpainwas worth enjoying. We were dead tired and wanted to overcome the jet-lag, so we decided to spend our first day in the hotel itself feeling the lovely weather and breathing in the fresh air ofSpain. What I liked in particular about this place is that it has many atriums overhead that are common sight while passing any street. The very next day we decided to begin our journey by travelling toMadrid, the capital city ofSpain. The city has a number of interesting museums that include Meseo del Prado and Reina Sofia that I would like to include in the must see places in the capital city. The display of the artifacts and also the wonderful architecture of these museums surely made my day.
Thereafter we headed to the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, which is not only a lovely and a peaceful place to be in the heart of the city but the places houses almost 30,000 plants and flowers and 1500 trees as was told to us by our tourist guide, for it wasn’t of course possible for me humanly to make a count of them. The garden as of now has three sections, two green houses and a herbarium. Of all the three I loved the herbarium and spent much of my time there. I wanted to get a feel of the street life there, so I suggested my friend that we cover the distance to our hotel room by foot. I loved walking down the narrow winding streets and I was particularly fascinated by the different designs of doors there, I could count more than a dozen of them.
I wanted to have a quick tour of the entire city of Madrid, so the very next day we booked tickets for the Madrid City Tour Bus. What was extremely exciting about his travel was that we could get off and on whenever we wished to and we toured Plaza del Soul and the Cookie Monster (where I took many pictures with a costumed Mickey Mouse and it took me back to my childhood days), SabatiniGardens, statue of Alphonso 6th ofCastile and thePradoMuseum.
The trip to the Valley of the Fallen was our next travel destination. As soon as we reached the place the first thing to be seen is the spectacular 492 foot tall cross which has the distinction that it is seen at least 20 miles away. The building has an underground crypt that has been acknowledged as a basilica. I was too anxious to enter the basilica so I hurried down to it. On the entrance itself one is bordered by two large metal statues of angels with a long arched crypt that has been tunneled out with some wonderful work of paintings, sculptures and tapestries done on the walls.
The visit to the Cantabrian Mountain Range was the next to follow which runs from Pyrennes to Glacia. The journey itself to this place was awesome for we came across many lovely fields of sugar beets. The River Nervion and its gushing waters is a wonderful sight to see and the valley has some wonderful parks, wide avenues and picturesque beauty. Later in the evening of the same day we made friends with the local people there and spent a quiet time along with them on the banks of this river under a full moon light. It was a sight worth seeing and the moon light made the water seem like a silver lining studded with diamond crystals.
After these visits it was time for some fun and adventure, so we decided to go toSan Sebastianwhich is also known as thePearlof theCaribbean.MountUrgulland Monte Igueldo are two mountain peaks present in this part of the country that bookend the city. My friend isn’t too enthusiastic when it comes to trekking so I decided to go along with others who can just give away anything for a couple of hours of trek. Although I didn’t attempt to reach to the peak but I managed to cover a considerable distance from where I could have a birds eye of the city making it one of my most memorable trekking experiences.
The next day we decided to relax and give some dose of vitamin D to our skin and hence we went to Costa del Sol beaches, the beaches inBarcelona,Valenciaand the shell shaped La Concha Beach. It was an amazing experience as we played volley ball and dived into the beaches to feel the sun rays falling on my skin making it altogether a pleasing experience. Of all the three beaches I likedCosta del Solbeach, the most and made sure that I visit this place twice to take some lovely pictures and etch these memories in my mind forever.
In the concluding week of our trip we visited the central mainland of the country which I found to be a totally different place from the rest of Spain in terms of the fact that it is more quite and traditional with the landscape laced with wide plains, fortresses, Roman Churches, austere cities and the famous windmills that are present in the story of don Quijote. The cities that we visited and enjoyed every bit of our stay there includeAvila,Segovia,Toledo,CuencaandSalamanca.
Although I hadn’t penned down the isles of Balearic and Canary on my ‘Where to Go’ list, but we had a couple of days to spare as before the day of our scheduled departure, so we decided to visit these isles. The breathtaking beauty of these isles is beyond to be expressed in words but can be experienced only in first person. Of the two isles, Canary island is a home to four of the thirteen national parks ofSpainand it was an amazing experience to watch Black-bellied Sand grouse, Red billed Chough, La Palma Chaffinch and Houbara Bustard but I couldn’t get my eyes on the recently rediscovered yet critically endangered three endemic species of lizards there.
There are some countries which make you feel at home and this is exactly being inSpainmeant like. The warm hospitality of the people there coupled with the ease of movement from one part of the country to the other makes it a tourist friendly destination and the one that I would surely like to make another visit to in near future to break the monotony of my work.