Landing in Madrid

This journey, initially, was only a dream. My dream of going to see the great things of the past, but it’s just too unreal to be there. The place was so far away and very few companies have ventured out to that part of the world. As remote as it had been, I kept my dream alive by buying books about the place—the great al hambra of Andalusia. I wanted to see and be in the place that was once the center of civilization. What makes it so great is that the artifacts are still there, preserved at that place. From the history books, the narrations are diverse and sometimes biased. A lot of people have dug into the past of this magical moment in the history of humankind, but the stories seem incomplete and I could feel that there is more to it than what we could have imagined. Well, the past is in the past and it is gone crumbled away by the changing season. So when a group of my friends organized this trip, I knew right away that I was meant for it.

I pledged not to be fussy for this trip. I was not going to expect anything just taking in as it comes. Whatever happens, I will face it with a wide smile. Nothing would ruin this trip and will enjoy every step of the way. We endured a long flight to Madrid via Jeddah. We arrived in the afternoon and it was in the middle of winter. The sun was out but the wind chill made me scrambled for a winter coat. I did not have one. I just hate dragging around the thick winter clothing but when the cold air started to run you down, you wish to think better next time. A bus was waiting for us and by no time we were driven out of the airport and into the metropolitan Madrid. It was Sunday afternoon and the streets were quiet. I was told that Spanish people are very religious and would rest and do nothing on Sunday. We made a pit stop at a stadium home for the Real Madrid football club. I just could not care less about this football club and know no one of its players. But they say this is one famous club and home for a famous soccer player—Christiano Ronaldo. Apparently, he is no longer here and after a few pictures, we were off again. The next stop was the Islamic Center of Madrid. A very impressive building but when I went into the toilet it was littered by a pile of poo. The toilet was not working and no hot water. But as I promised myself not to be fussy. I let this one pass—aargghh how could someone do that? There were plenty of working toilets in the place. Anyway, forget it! We are going to Toledo next.

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