Great streetart in Valencia and time to say "Hasta luego" in Madrid

After the meditation center I went by blablacar from Malaga to Valencia. There I was stunned by the great street art. They have literally art in every corner.

I took a lot of photos of the street art in Valencia, rent a great bicycle due to a guy in my hostel and explored the city. I also had a short panic moment in Valencia...

My last days in Spain I spent in Madrid before I flew back to Dublin for a stopover before I took the flight to Toronto in Canada. I went to Madrid by blablacar and missed the final Germany vs Argentina due to I got stuck in a traffic jam. But I could at least enjoy a beautiful sunset on my way to Madrid and had time for some reflection.
In Madrid I didn't feel safe the first days... But after a few days I understood how to carry properly my handbag ;-). There I met a Canadian guy and could tell him that I go to his country next week. In addition I got to know to very funny Spanish guys who took me with them and I had a pretty funny night...
Getting creative in Valencia during waiting for the blablacar to Madrid...
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An artistic city and panic moment...

My complete tour de Espana. I did around 2.480 km. 
That should be possible in one day. Why I mention that? Wait for my post about Canada... ;-).
My first impression of Valencia was: Wow!

Valencia was very different from all the other places I saw so far in Spain. In Valencia was a lot of art in every corner, sportive and beautiful Spanish people who were running through the park and used the outdoor fitness equipment... That I found in a way a bit strange because I had the feeling it sets people under pressure to look perfect.

I mean everyone in the park looked well-trained and perfect... I just ate my Simpsons look alike doughnut and enjoyed watching the work outing guys :-).

Even Valencia is quite a big city there are a lot of green and silent places for relaxing. That is something what I really appreciate now.

"A guy walks into..."
...the living room in the hostel and asked: "Who would like to rent a great bike for a small price?" "Me!" What a great coincidence! Actually I planned to rent a bike because the distances to walk through the city were quite long.

There you go! See some of my impressions during my tour de Valencia.
Lets start!
 Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. Funny that I met later at my stopover in Dublin a guy who's father is an architect and helped building this bridge... The story is coming soon...
Posing in front of a artistic background. Still sun tanned. 
I will watch that pic during winter time ;-)
There you are! I liked this graffiti a lot and...
...this as well. I found this cute little fellow in a door case in the entrance of a shop.
This creative interpretation of Audrey Hepburn I found in a pub at the bathroom door.
With the palm tree in the background it gives this picture an interesting touch.
Time for a break and a nice doughnut and watching the work outing people :-)
Panic moment!!!
Well, I have to admit that I thought Canada was quite far away - which is true. Actually it was just one week before I would fly...

Time to check out the email from my agency which I got a month before... Plenty of time! Ups... There were somethings to manage... also to print out some things.

Actually I got really in panic and saw myself sitting at the airport and the officer wouldn't let me in, all money for the flight was wasted etc. etc.. I blamed myself for being too relaxed the whole time... But of course that didn't change anything.

OK! Take a deep breath and check the email and write down what you have to print out and look here for a stationary.

Well done! I found out that everything was actually fine apart from some information I had to provide to my agency. I also found a stationary to print my paper work and ... I was happy!

Hmmm, happy in Spain... Canada is so huge and has lots of regulations... By blablacar to come from one place to another will be quite difficult. Also in Spain I could be like I am... and I want to learn Spanish... OK, I was getting nervous and was not sure if I really want to go to Canada...

But how funny it would be to meet someone in Spain from Canada and say: "Hey! I go there next Monday!"
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My last destination: Madrid

I went to Madrid by blablacar during the final Germany vs Argentina. Madrid was quite different for me as well. First in a negative way... The first lesson I learnt there was "watch your handbag!". I did a walking tour and a girl had an injury on her arm because she got robbed... OK... Also in the streets I could see a lot of poor souls with drug and/or alcohol addiction. 

But of course Madrid has also very beautiful places like a huge park: Parque de Retiro. Moreover it has one of the funniest Spanish guys I have met so far in Spain and a tapas bar where you order a beer and get tons of food for free: El Tigre. Actually there I met a guy from Canada and I could say my sentence: "Hey! I go there next Monday!" :-)

Here is the beautiful sunset I saw on my way to Madrid. I just enjoyed and reflected what I experienced so far and especially in Spain...
A beautiful alternative for getting stuck in a traffic jam.
"Habla espanol?!" "No un poco..." "OK, hasta luego..."
That was my first conversation with Nacho. I was sitting on the grass at Parque de Oeste and enjoyed myself when suddenly a quite cute Spanish guy came to me and started the conversation.
A few minutes after I took this picture I met Nacho and his cousin.
He really left when I said I don't speak much Spanish... I just thought: probably better. Then he came back laughing and spoke pretty good English: "Hehehe, I'm just kidding you! Where are you from? My name is Nacho and my cousin is calling with his girlfriend, you know. I'm getting bored..."

We talked a bit and were laughing. It turned out that he lived for a while in New Zealand. His cousin Jaime finished his phone call sat down beside me and said: "I'm just calling and you made new friends...". That was the start of a very funny evening!

Spanish guy with a German soul
A few minutes later they asked me if I want to join them and have a beer. Sounds cool! I went with Jaime in a taxi to a pub and Nacho took his scooter. There we met another friend of them who lived for a couple of month in Germany, loved Germany and was actually more German than I am...

He liked that Germany is well organised and structured and everyone sticks to the rules. He asked me: "What are you doing if the lights turn orange?" "Of course I drive faster!" "What!!! You can't be German! In Spain they do it as well and I don't like it!"

Well, for me it was time to take a break of the structure and he was looking for structure. It is very interesting how wishes and needs from person to person variate and how those needs develop...

What to do next?
After a while Jaime said that we have two options where we could go: in another pub or to a friends house. Nacho said: "No! We have a cheap option and an expensive one... Drinking at our friends house is the cheapest one." We went to their friends house and had a funny evening.

Nacho brought me later back on his scooter to my hostel. Well, I was in bed at 7:30am. Funny evening with very funny guys! 

The next day I spent in the beautiful Parque de Retrio.
Parque de Retrio with nice optical illusion...
Monument of Alfons XII
Fuente del Ángel Cáído. It is 666 meters over the sea level...
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Time to say "Hasta luego" with mixed feelings

I have to admit that I left the hostel in Madrid with mixed feelings... I lived nearly three month in Spain and learnt and developed a lot in that short time. 

When I was in Ireland I was still looking for some structure like in Germany. That is why I spent the most of my time in lovely Kinsale where I felt very comfortable. After 11 years in a structured, safe and organized organisation quite normal. It is not like coming to a new country and say: "Great! I change my whole life now!" It is a process that needs willingness and patience.

In Spain I became aware about the freedom I have now and how to see the opportunities around me and use them. I felt very great and free there. I met a lot of nice and open-minded people became also more open-minded and very relaxed. 

Am I really ready?
Yes, I feared to go back to Ireland and then to Canada. I thought that I still need some time more in Spain to develop myself. I didn't want to live that early again in a complete regulated and structured society. Am I really ready for that?

But the flight was already booked and everything was arranged 6 month ago when I left Germany... 

Therefore I flew to Ireland, lived at Serena's house and met a very funny and charming Irish guy at St. Stephens Green, hence he calls me squirrel... This experience made really my day and I could go with the feeling that I am ready even I still feared to go...

Thank you for reading my story and read next time about my stopover in Dublin.

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    f (Saturday, 08 November 2014 23:57)

    Ania Zielinska 30 July 2014 07:56
    Oh, that was some great time in Spain I see, Jeanine!
    Fear of something new and unknown coming is most natural, embrace it and fly :-D Canada is there for you!

  • #2

    f (Saturday, 08 November 2014 23:58)

    Jeanine 30 July 2014 16:09
    Thank you very much for your kind words lovely Ania! I hope you're doin well. Well that's true... I'm there since a week now. Actually I needed a week to get used to it. It's quite different to Europe. All the best for you!