Goa, India. Diwali.

13th of November of 2012, Diwali.

 

I was almost 2 months in Mumbai, India and I felt the urge to take off from the city and to breathe.

My Indian friend suggested we go to Palolem together; we were gulping a couple kingfishers when we planned it.  But I couldn’t make it as well I was busy with my business.

Diwali was coming and a couple of days off too.  (Ummmm). Listen to me; I would like to take a couple days off and to go to Goa in Diwali. You just are in Mumbai 2 months. And you need to escape already?!  Yes, I need. Well, take your computer with you and spend all time that you need in Goa. But, come back! He said.

I booked the flight from Mumbai to Goa, just one way, I would arrive for the fireworks in the middle of the Diwail festivity. Goa is state in western India with coastlines along the Arabian. It was a Portuguese colony prior to 1961.

I was excited, my first trip in India alone, and I couldn’t wait for all my adventures. I wanted to experience a real adventure in India.

I landed in a small airport. There were different options to reach Palolem; taxi, sharing taxi, bus and local Bus.

What I did? I took, 2 busses and a rickshaw to arrive there, with my broke English.

 

My trip started at noon and I reached to my destination at midnight. Of course, as well I wanted to live an adventure. I didn’t book  a hut.

The rickshaw dropped me in front of an arch with a sign, welcome to Palolem. I was there at least. I found it.

Next step was to find a place to sleep on the first night. It was dark or I saw everything dark that night. Suddenly a “millions Brokers” rushed on me like crows. Room? Room? Room? I had read a bit about Palolem and the situations that I could find there, so I skipped them and I walked along the dark beach. I couldn’t see the stars that night. There were, but not for me at that moment.

Following the recommendations read I saw a couple places to stay. I wanted to cry, everything was dark. I chose a no luxury hut, I couldn’t imagine it would be my place for a week.

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After a cold shower and clean clothes, I was ready to explore the area and to have a cold beer. (well, to have a cold beer was difficult in India. The waiter always makes you touch the bottle & see if it is cold enough for you. It never it).

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I went to bed without speaking to anyone, but I was with my Blackberry  talking to my sister. She was with me.

I went to bed without speaking to anyone, but I was with my Blackberry  talking to my sister. She was with me.

I couldn’t sleep well due to the cold, mosquitoes and the sound of the waves. I deiced start the day very early and see how that amazing beach that everybody talks about it was.

My life changed, I was in Paradise.

 

After my first morning walk between the turquoise, blue sky, light sand and the green of the palms I had my breakfast.

I had my fill and returned to my place to ask if I could get another hut with a bigger mirror. I got it!

 

Then I went for another walk. Suddenly I dash into 2 girls, of course Spanish. I was safe!  They were leaving for another village and agreed to meet for dinner next day. The plan was made!

What to do then? The best option was to buy a book and read. I was surfing in the library and I chose a book that I had read before, but this time in English. I have to say that the first time that I read it, it was winter of 2010 and 2 years later was time to remember it, but it was different, my life was better than that book and my book will be much better. That is my hand opinion.

At sunset the fishermen came back to the cost to sell the fish in the night fish market around the beach next to the fire.

 

The setting sun gave way to the moon and the stars in the sky.

The 2nd day in Palolem was like the day before; morning walk, sun, beach, writing, reading…

As we said went met, we had dinner together.

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The 3rd day I woke up with a sweet breakfast, crepe of Nutela and banana.

 

We decided to spend the day in another beach, Agonda. It was just 15 minutes from Palolem by rickshaw.

We enjoy the day sharing stories, experiences, anecdotes and love stories, if we didn’t have enough we arrived back in Palomen  and had dinner.

17th of November is my brother’s birthday, I couldn’t do less than footprint a message on the sand.

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It was the last day of the girls and we spent the day together until sunset when they said: see you soon.

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As usual in Palolem I went for a walk in the morning, but I felt lonely, around sunset.

This is that happens when you travel alone, you can feel lonely but you are not.

On my last day I didn’t plan anything, just I wanted to be on my own and look around me. A group of people were playing cricket on the beach. As very usual in India, people play cricket.

Suddenly the ball landed in my towel. I took the ball and kept it in my hand. One of the non Indian guys came to me to take the ball. Sorry, are you okay?. I am okay, no problem. Are you Spanish? He asked.  Yes, I am. He told me: I will be back in a while.

When the game was over the guy came to me. Sorry to disturb you, are you alone? And we started a conversation. He is from New Zealand, he lived in Palma de Majorca for 5 years, and so we spoke in Spanish. He just got back home in New Zealand and he met the university friends in India after long time.

Then they invited me to see the sunset and to have dinner with them. Of course I accepted.

 

I was leaving for Mumbai the day after in the afternoon, so I told me thank you for the fenjoyable evening and I left to my hut.

There are a couple of tourist agencies with computers with internet. I went to pick the train ticket up from the agency, but I didn’t get. They booked a wrong train for me so, I couldn’t leave Palolem. What a pity! I would spend one more day in Palolem.

Suddenly in the middle of that situation the 3 guys got in the tourist agency, they wanted to connect on internet for a while. Hey, Marisol! What is going on? What time are you leaving this afternoon? I am not leaving today, this guy booked a wrong seat for me. I asked 2nd class sleeper with AC and he booked 3rd class non sleeper and without AC. OMG! Don’t take it! Of course, I won’t!

Listen, we are going fishing this evening if you want to join us, you are more than welcome. What time? I will be there!

 

After fishing I went to my hut, rested for a while had a relaxed dinner and the guys insist to see them again for a gin tonic, and joint them to say bye bye. That was an example of when you are travelling alone you should feel alone, just to enjoy your time and the rest will happen.

I closed the door of my hut leaving behind unforgettable feelings and moments. But my trip was not over yet. 2 busses and a 12 hours in a 2nd class AC were awaiting for me.

I was lucky, because after the mistake and my complaint the guy from the tourist agency gave me the best option possible in that train, a part of 2nd class with AC , He got me the last compartment where you just share it with another person, and was a girl too that joined me in the middle of that trip back Mumbai.

The first thing that you should do in a rare situation is to breathe and feel home. Make the place your place!

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Jaipur. India

 

Come over! Come to Jaipur and spend the weekend with me! We are having a party Saturday night and we have a lot of friends visiting us. Come on!

I can’t make it. I would love it, but I have an important meeting Saturday evening and it will finish very late.

The conversation was over at that point. Suddenly, the meeting was cancelled on Friday at 2pm and a whatssap  text jumped on my scream 5 minutes later; are you sure that you are not coming? I smiled and replied: listen, my meeting got cancelled, now I am thinking about coming. I will book the flight for you; he said.

Shit! I can’t book it online! Pack & go to the airport, there are still free seats, but as the flight is in 4 hours they have closed the online booking. Run!  Seriously?  Are you telling me to take a bag and run to the airport to buy a ticket from the ticket window and take off to Jaipur from Mumbai?. I asked. Yeah, that’s it, he answered.

Now 4 years after,  I am still in sock. I put things in a bag without thinking and I run to the airport. I was in Jaipur 5 hours after that conversation.

He came to pick me up at the airport with the driver ( to have a driver is India is normal, or I would say it is necessary). Are you very hungry?  No too much, but I could eat if you wish. But, I want a glass of red wine.  Let’s go to the Four Season hotel , they have amazing international buffet with a hug variety of wines. Also,  Spanish red wines.  I couldn’t say no.

After a huge amount of food and tasty wines we went home. The house was so big with 4 rooms, studio, living room and a huge kitchen. The decor  was very cosy and with a lot of memories from several trips.

The driver will pick us up at 9am.  Be ready earlier I will make a breakfast. Good night!

I was so tired and I fell asleep in 3 seconds that night. Suddenly some kind of noise woke up me. What was it! But, it was silent again. But 3 minutes later, the same noise. No, no way! Couldn’t be true! I looked through the window and I saw it. The train tracks and the cables. After 5am there are trains passing every 3 minutes. Yeah, now I understood why this huge amazing cosy flat. It was good deal, but always there is a “but” in India.

I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t .I woke up at 8am, took a shower and I went to the kitchen.

Good morning! Did you sleep well? He asked me, with the pan on the hand cocking  Spanish omelette and Smiling.

Good morning?  I need a coffee!!!  There were trains  passing next to my window every 3 minutes  since 5am.

OMG! You felt them! Come over! There is an espresso coffee waiting for you with Spanish omelette, tomatoes, olive oil from Spain & a homemade bread that the maid just brought us.

I was happier and Jaipur, the red city was waiting for me. Let’s enjoy the weekend and one more city in India.

 

Riversong. India

The 1st trip.
My first day in Mumbai was very confused, but after my first experience in Hill road and already with mi business partner, things started to be clear. I am in India!
We went to have lunch in a Thai restaurant, lemongrass in Ambedkar road perpendicular to Hill road, place and street that I used a lot in my days around Mumbai.

We were around the table in the terrace without AC. You always can use indoors with AC and no smoking area or outdoor with fan and smoking area. He wanted to smoke and I hate AC. Outdoors, with pollution, and the acoustic “things”. You never know from where the mix of noise, sound, murmur, songs, music, bells, whistles, tweet, horns and muuuu… The rickshaws horns and the muuu from the cows, but the rest of the “noises” you just figure out with your imagination.

Water please. My lovely business partner ordered. For me too I said. The waiter came with a jar of water and ice. He filled our glasses. I couldn’t say thanks, why should I say thanks if he brought water from the tap and ice in India?! I looked at my business partner and said: I am not going to drink this water, not at all. Please, could you bring me a bottle of water, room temperature? And a glass without ice, thanks.

My business partner was laughing and told me: wooow! When you will speak a perfect English. This is going to be an amazing experience. Shut up! I said with a hostile face, with jetlag, sweating and inhaling the smell to the last monsoon. Ah! The smells in Mumbai, I will talk about that another day, but let’s say that is like the “noisy” you never know from where in coming the “smelly”.

Of course, no time to lose and time to make friends. He too is a people’s person. We mixed with local people and he prohibited me to interact with Spanish people. I will try. I said with a low voice and without promise anything.

It took me a month to be surrounded by Spanish. I didn’t do anything the river just brings me to them. An Indian girl (who my business partner introduce me the first week in Mumbai) told me: let’s meet for a drinks. What hard work, meeting for drinks eating for a drinks, but I said: Of course! She introduce me her Indian friends, and after the drinks, after party at home. You never know what is going on inside a Mumbai buildings , always there is a party… on the Grand floor, 2nd, on the terrace or maybe just in the common areas.

A week later she called: Come for a drink to Toto’s in Pali Naka (always Branda my neighborhood) and with an especial friend that I want to introduce you. Of course I went. There were there the lovely Indian girl and Spanish guy from Pamplona. After a couple of beers the Pamplona guy told me: there is a birthday party next week. We will be around 30 people, all mostly Spanish; do you want to join us? Of course!

 

Let’s get back to the first day; afterwards we met local people, we when to buy a couple things for the flat and my business partner fell in love with a black & white “folding sofa”. For what do we need that? I asked. You will see later. Friends, you can not imagine how useful that thing was, but these are the kind of details that I don’t have time to explain… I leave it to your imagination.

He dropped me home after my first day in Mumbai. Sleep well I will pick you at tomorrow at 8am, we are going for a business trip with a client to see land for a project. And he closed the door. That was all information I got. I opened the door and said; bring me a coffee!

I set the alarm at 7am, but I couldn’t sleep well, I was nervous, jetlagged, sweating, noise…..and the trip started at 8am with coffee.

I can’t explain that trip in a few phrases. I leave it to your imagination.

 

After that trip started my business life in Mumbai. I cancelled my Christmas trip to Spain that year because we were working on the Master Plan, our first QDesign project. RIVERSONG.

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Mumbai. 13th of Sep-12

Mumbai, 13th of September of 2012.

Don’t think that my English was amazing at that time, it was just basic we passed from 0 to basic in 5 months. Not bad, at all.

I was waiting out at the Mumbai airport. Where are you? Sorry dear. You can’t imagine how much traffic there is today in Mumbai. Come on! Where are in Mumbai, the whole world  knows about it. You just have to leave home earlier.

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I was there on 13th of September of 2012, sweating and surrounded by men. Suddenly I hear: OMG! What did you do? I know, I put on 5 kg in 5 months in Ireland. You can’t imagine how depressing that country is!. It is always raining and windy, I saw the sun just 2 days in 5 months. I am so sorry for the Irish people, but I am Spanish and Mediterranean. I need sun, I want sun!

My life in Mumbai and Mumbai’s roads started. We were there in the middle of that traffic; cars, blue cabs ( I realised later that they are with AC), black&yellow cabs, busses, rickshaws and last but not least our fiends, the cows. Also the special birds, the black crows ( I now there are always black, but these are blackest).

Suddenly, we were in a narrow street, full of shops and people. We were in the middle of a street market and against the traffic. We were stuck there. I was shocked looking through the car window on the left side  ( in India in right driving side).

 

We had arrived, he said.  We stopped on a debris hill. What are you doing? Come on, get down. I opened the door looking at that building in from of me.  Please, tell me that they put that scaffolding because just they are repairing the façade after the heavy’s rains in the monsoon. I said. Well… not really. It is typical to leave structural bars to continue to raise the buildings in Mumbai. Trust me how difficult it is find a nice place in Mumbai. Ah! This is a Christian building and I told the landlord that we are married. When you see the flat inside you will love it. Come on, get down! I looked at him and said: I can’t get down; there is a lot cow dung on this rubbish hill!  Are you kidding me? Come on, get down through another door, you are in Mumbai, not in Dubai. Haven’t you thought about it? He questioned.

 

I will come tomorrow morning to pick you up if you wake up early you can get a coffee just across the main street, Hill road. There is a place at the corner. He told me before closing the door.

I woke up in the morning and I went to the kitchen to drink water and two crows were on the window looking at me. No please, don’t attack me, please! I breathe sigh of relief and when to take a shower.

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Have you ever been to India? Well, almost all bathrooms are an entire shower. I will try to explain it better. You have a wc( if you are lucky, maybe there is just a hold on the floor), a washbasin (or could be just  tap and a water tub) and the shower tap with a hole somewhere on the floor. Also the famous spray for the wc . Normally there is a big water tub and a small tubs one inside.

I opened the shower tap, no water. Think Marisol, look at round! The big water tub was full of water. Great! I filled the small tub with water  from the big one. I took my shower!

Then, coffee time! It could be hours or days to describe my way from the flat to Hill road and my way back to my new home, but I will just tell you why I didn’t get the coffee.

I was there standing on the road opposite the café, between us the crowded road. Cars, taxis, busses, rickshaws, cows, people. I couldn’t cross the road. I will never forget that day.

After some time in Mumbai, I used to comfortably cross that street texting on the mobile without looking  around. As everything in life, you just need time and practice.

My life in Mumbai started at that moment on hill road street in Bandra, a catholic area in Mumbai.

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Spain between Ireland & India.

I was all ready to leave the house to start my new life as Au-Pair. As usual in Galway, I went for drinks on Saturday night with my Venezuelan friend. We had a couple Guinness. On the way back home under a starry night, (not usual in Galway), suddenly when I was in front of my door to say good night to my friend. A colleague from Rome wrote me.
I looked at my Venezuelan friend and I said: I change is coming in my life soon. Just wait and see. Which king of change? I don’t know yet, just wait. Good night and see you tomorrow.
I answered the sms: I am in Ireland as you well know. What is going on? What do you want? Let’s talk by skype tomorrow.
I couldn’t sleep well that night and I couldn’t imagine what would come next. Or maybe I knew it, because he was sending me that sms from India.
We spoke for 3 hours. He was in Mumbai, India. He suggested to go there for 3 months to investigate  the market in Mumbai. A lot of Architectural opportunities there which could be good for starting business.
I said yes! And he told me: you can think about it, you don’t have to decide it right now. It is decided already! I said very sure about it.
My bags were ready in the living room waiting for a new life! I would take them and I would go to Spain to exchange the winter baggage for the summer one.
See you in Mumbai very soon! Ok… I will prepare your visa to come, see you soon.
What to do? Just take the bags and go home.
It was Sunday; I called my family at lunch time. They were in the summer house; my sister picked the up I asked her to tell our parents I would call back. No I can’t, she said. You will do it.
Hi family! How was the “paella Valenciana” today? By the way…. I am moving to India (and I explained to them the plan).
My mother looked at me in a typical mother’s face. My father asked me: Is there Skype? Yes, there is. Great, so what is the difference if you are in ITALY, IRELAND or INDIA.
I smiled and said: I love you so much!

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Basque Country. Spain.

 

“Otra noche con mis chicas fabulosas”. My French friend from our whatsapp group wrote. (How I love to spend time with my girl).
French girl: Do you like sushi girls?
Jordanian girl: Only cooked sushi.
Spanish girl: I love it. I will bring a bottle of Spanish red wine.
I was in a hurry when I left home and I took a bottle of red wine from my small winery. We were laughing and feeling happy and blessed. When I opened the bottle, I realised that the lucky wine chosen for that moment was “Ramon Bilbao”. At that moment my memories of my Bilbao trip came to me.
I was invited to visit the Basque country in Spain; my flight was from Dubai to Bilbao. It is a yearly event happening in the Basque Country organised from six suppliers from the Middle East. http://www.basquelivingevents.com/me/
Who could have imagined that I would visit the Basque Country in the north of Spain bordering with France that too from Dubai. You never know!
A group of 15 people (architects, interior designers and engineers), were taking off from different parts of Middle East. We didn’t know each other; we just got a Spanish contact that would pick up seven of us at the Bilbao airport.
My Jordanian and French girls dropped me at the Dubai airport. It was very nice to hug them and say; see you in a week! I felt taking them with me instead of my baggage.
It was a night flight and I couldn’t sleep over, like always. I landed in Spain after a long journey. A Spanish old man carried a poster, that said; “HABIC”, that was the meeting point. One by one we arrived there and the trip started. The group: a Serbia girl, a Mauritius boy, a Greek boy, a Swedish girl, a Filipino boy, an Indian girl and of course the Spanish girl (Me).
The green roads and the grey sky surrounded us from the airport to the hotel. We were in the Basque Country, and as usual it started to rain.
We arrived at Barceló Bilbao Hotel and we ran before the reception desk asking for ours rooms. Sorry, but the check-in is at 2pm. A man with Spanish accent said. It was 11.30am. What to do until 2pm? I don’t remember who, but I couldn’t forget that one of them said; let’s have lunch!
Yeah, Sunday at 11.30am in Spain you could have as much breakfast as you wanted if you are lucky; I was thinking. At the same time the manager said: sorry, but we are still serving the breakfast. We could server the lunch for you at 1pm at the earliest.
I look at the group and said: Welcome to Spain!

We sat down around the table in the cafeteria and we had a nice coffee with and started to know each other. One of the boys took the first room being a Muslim as well it was Ramadan. (what a pity to be in Spain in Ramadan). When he left I said to the rest of the group: we will be 5 days in Spain and we will put on 3 or 5 kg. All of then look at me and without say anything they called me “crazy”.
We sat around a round table for lunch at 1pm. We took a look at the menu and of course we started with the wine. Welcome to Spain!
Just we sat down a sexy, handsome, irresstible Lebanese boy joins us and 5 minutes later a couple from South Africa. We were around the table, and already 10 in the group.

 

 

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We enjoyed the Spanish food and wines. I had three glasses of red wine and tried the white one. But the funniest thing was the South African boy who had two glasses of red wine and 2 beers. Beer with red wine?! Well, if you tell me beer with white wine, I could understand it. Wait! When I said beer and red wine I mean at the same time. Red wine/beer/red wine/beer….maybe the last red one…I don’t remember.

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The architectural tour was at 5.15pm, and we decided to leave to baggage in the room and to visit the museum after lunch and before the tour. Rest? For what?
My room was 103. I left mine belongs, wash my face and brush my tooth. Oops! The sink was full of water. I called reception and they changed my room. It was easy when I realized that I was in Spain talking Spanish.

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We left the hotel for the museum. Just a few meters distance, but enough time to get wet. The rain started again. It was funny after the blazing heat in Dubai. We love it!

Honestly speaking I didn’t like the GUGGENHEIM museum. The peculiar architecture of the building talks about how the imperfection could be perfection and how to create a mistake in innovation. Nothing much to say about the inside of the building.

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At 5pm I was trying to open my bag to get ready in 15 minutes. Oops! The key has broken! Yes, as you are reading. But, this time and for the first time in my travel life I had put in my hand bag everything necessary just in case something happens with your baggage.
Hand bag: full cosmetic bag, jeans, t-shirt, walking shoes, jacket, underwear.2 phones. Small laptop. App for the power connection. (I just missed the charger, in the hand bag and in the big bag as well).
No worry, I was in Spain and it was easy to speak with reception. I told them to break  the padlock and they did it.
About the architectural tour I don’t remember too much as I was cold, hungry, sleepy, tired and wet. It was the worst combination ever. A windy & rainy evening (and 16 degrees in June).

At 8.15pm we returned to the hotel, with just 15 minutes to get ready to be on time for the full event presentation. I don’t know how I did it, but trust me that I took a fast shower, dressed up, did make up and dried my hair that was still wet thanks to the rain. Perfect, I was in the conference room at 8.33pm.
The five missing people joined us later. An Omani girl, a Palestinian boy, a Jordanian girl, a Lebanese boy and an Indian boy.
Maybe if you know that after a long journey (35 hours), you just have to be in a presentation and have an amazing dinner in Spain. Worth it!
Look at the menu…..Welcome to Spain! 

 

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The smartest conversation after “a couple” glasses of wine was to speak about the rooms and sketch them. My question was: how many and where sprinklers there are in yours rooms? They looked at my and one of them said: seriously, are you asking for sprinklers in the room? Well, you can not imagine how many problems I have had with a fire consultant and the PM with the sprinklers in a project, and now I have an obsession about them. I can see sprinkler in my dreams. I said. ( there was just one on the wall between the TV and the window).

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Bedtime, but no before to checking all the emails from work. I fell asleep like a well fed baby.
The phone rang at 7am. Time to get up. Thank God I slept well 6 hours. As I was getting ready I spoke with my colleague from Dubai office. Then I jumped for the buffet breakfast. (you just look at the photos, you just could feel the taste as if you have been in Spain).

We jumped in the bus to visit the first supplier’s company, SELLEX. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. When we reached the factory there was a table ready for us, with coffee, tea and cookies. Yes, coffee!!! At that moment my eyes opened wide as an owl. But a voice said: after the presentation we will go through the factory and at the end we will have coffee and typical cookies of this area. At the end?! No way! And my open eyes suddenly closed in the middle of the presentation. We were sitting in “u”, we saw the faces of each other easily. My eyes closed and my head fell down as in my university years on Monday or Friday morning in a theory class. ( I was not the only person who closed the eyes, the guy who was talking said: just a few heads fell down, I am happy that was not the only one). I smiled; I am human, that was normal.

Coffee time! I had 2 coffees and 3 cookies. I didn’t really need the cookies, but if we have to put on 3 or 5kg in 5 days the cookies count. And we jumped into the bus again.
In the next visit, TESA. I was a bit active and instead of coffee I have a cappuccino and of course more cookies.
Lunch time! They took us to a village bordering France a lovely place in a hill and the sea. It was a sunny, brightly day; a colourful day. The restaurant was in an amazing place underground.

 

After a huge amount of food and wine we took a catamaran and cross to France. It was the first time that I heard about Hondarribia and all battles between France & Spain. It is very interesting.
We enjoyed sailing between French and Spanish waters, surrounded of the blue sky, the green mountains and the turquoise sea.

After the trip when walked around the stone streets of Hondarribia and when we were within 15 miters of the cathedral, we decided to stop at a typical bar in a stone square. I had a typical white wine of that area, Txakoli. When we left the bar the cathedral was closed. Welcome to Spain! (first the wine and then the cathedral in an Architectural tour).

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We jumped in the direction of the bus for the Hotel in San Sebastian when we would be 3 nights.
Astoria 7 was the cozy hotel when we spent our days in San Sebastian. At the check-in they gave us a complimentary welcome wine. Yes, as you are reading. More wine….welcome to Spain!

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While waiting for the lift to reach my room, one of the suppliers told me: Marisol, I would like to introduce you to the President of the company where I am working. He will be here in a while, but He can’t stay for dinner. Don’t take so long to get ready. Could you make it in 30 minutes?. Come to the wine bar. I smiled and said. Of course, I will be back in 30 minutes. Well, at least that day I got 30 minutes to get ready instead of the 15 minutes of the day before.

After a glass of red wine (always Rioja), we all had dinner. Again, please, look at the menu.

The interesting thing about that menu was the dessert. After the dinner we talked about live & Business in Dubai. And of course we didn’t get to bed before midnight and the phone rang at 7.30am in the morning again.
I had decided don’t eat too much for breakfast, but it was impossible. Welcome to Spain!
I like to break the fast with fruit. The fruits were as tasty as in my father’s farm. (My father has a small farm when we grow vegetables and fruits that we enjoy in summer, and of course the best orange in the world; Clemenules). Then bread with grated tomato with olive oil with Jamon Serrano or Salmon, plus eggs (when I am traveling). And who can’t eat cheese and all homemade cakes if they look at you ready to be eaten. And of course natural orange juice and good coffee.

The 3rd day we visited the Tabakalera Cultural Building, when assisted at the presentation of IMAR and LANIK.

When do you think we had lunch this time? At the Basque Culinary Center? No, exactly. We went there to see the building, the façade, the installations and all the classrooms where the best chef in Spain had study. Unfortunately the year’s course was over and just a few people were there studying summer courses.

We couldn’t tasty meals cooked by the students, but we had enough time to have a glass of red one (or beer or coffee as you wished). Of course I had a glass of red one.

Then we had lunch in another amazing building before visiting the Anoeta Football Stadium.

We walked from the hotel to the restaurant, at Ni Neu, when we had an amazing dinner. After the dinner the bus was waiting to drop us at the hotel, but just few people took it. The rest of the group when to have a gin tonic. Do you know that gin tonic is one o the specialties of that area?. Now, you know it. And trust me, you will enjoy it, price apart the price the gin is 3 times more than in Dubai per glass. Trust me!

 

 

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4th day and Wednesday. It was time to visit PRODEMA and after a presentation and a walk around the factory, of course we when to have lunch. This time the restaurant was on the beach, but before to sitting around the table we walked around the village, Getaira. Well…half of the group stopped in a bar to have a drink. That time it was a glass of white wine.

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We arrived at the hotel at 6pm and rested until 8pm. Thank God, we rested for 2 hours the longest rest in all the entire trip (apart from the sleep time, that was around 6 hours).
We enjoyed the sunset before sitting around the table at Bokado restaurant to have another delicious dinner in San Sebastian. (We arrived at the restaurant by train).

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A Serbian girl and I went to dance after the dinner. We went to a not very cool place to dance Latin dance. You now, when you dance you want to dance when you are travelling. What a pity that it was not tango dance in that place and I couldn’t dance.

The 5th day and the last. PARKLEX, was the company who invited me to that trip and finally I visited them. Also it was a nice presentation of the company and a nice tour around the installations.

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But, I can’t forget to speak about the lunch at Lenkonea restaurant and of course the walk around the rustic village when we had a glass of wine before the lunch.

The baggage in the bus, we left for Bilbao for dinner and to go to the hotel to rest a few hours before the flights. But, we changed the plan or better to say that the most of the group decided to stay in San Sebastian and after diner take the bus from San Sebastian to Bilbao. The hotel was close to the airport. The bus picked us at 10 o’clock.
Suddenly it rained, but we were close to a bar, the same bar of the large gin tonics night. Perfect place to the perfect time. The funny thing was that we separated in 4 groups, but in the middle of the rains we joined in that bar. You see, we don’t need a whatsapp to know were we could be, at least to try logic or luck.
I was responsible to get everyone in the bus on time being the only Spanish speaker. It was a hard work, first of all because I had to push myself to leave that amazing night. It was difficult, but I did it. We were at the bus at 10 o’clock not a minute before not a minute after. O’clock!

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At midnight we were in our rooms and the receptionist called us at 5am to get up. Again, just 5 hours!
All of us were at the airport but we were taking different flights. Me to my hometown, Nules. Home sweet home.
It was a last minute decision and surprise. Bilbao is a 1 hour from Valencia, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to hug & kiss my family. My sister with my 2 lovely nieces were arriving that weekend too.
I sent a whatssap to my family from the Bilbao airport. Take off! But didn’t know it that I was flying home.
I rang the bell door. Who is there? Mami, open the door your oldest daughter Marisol is here. Surprise! and she couldn’t control the tears of happiness. And she told me: I knew it, I felt something in my heart yesterday.
Mummies, they always know everything!
Lovely less than 48 hours with them and very proud to do it. I will do it again and again.
Have I said already in some chapter that I have a lovely family and I love my family?

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Nules. The Birthday

Summer 2012, the whatsapp work started. I was ( and I am) among those who are technology friendly. It was simple to explain what, the simple answer was: I am among those who spend time in front of the computer, PC, tablet, Laptop, smartphone, apple devices. I love to be around the table or around the bar, face to face talking with friends, in a business meeting, or chatting with your new love meting him.
As a human, I did the same as everyone else. I remember that a Spanish guy from the Issac Hostel helped me to buy my first phone with internet. He told me: Marisol, it will be useful to learn English. You will write in English. I stared at him with my unfriendly face and I put the credit card on the counter. What to do? We are in the new age!
I didn’t tell my Spanish friend that I was using whatsapp, but I was using it for my new friends in Ireland and of course with my amazing family.
The family calls were daily; the whatsapps with my sister and bother were like my eyes.
The 30th birthday of my sister arrived, and for that special day she booked a flight for me from Dublin to Valencia.
I was in Galway, I took a ban taxi from home to the bus station to go to Dublin and take the flight to Valencia.
It was a surprise, just my sister knew it and we informed my brother to land in Valencia two days earlier.

My sister came to pick me at the airport and when I was walking through the corridor along my house in Nules beach… suddenly my mother asked: who is there? OMG! You are crazy!!! What are you doing here?!!! Come on mum, Do you think that I would miss my sister’s birthday? (summer in the Mediterranean and I don’t know which season in Ireland).
It was an amazing weekend at home in summer and I understand the different between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic sea….the sun and the colour of your skin.
It was a perfect weekend to kiss and hug my family and friends. And to take a big winter bag for the long winter in Ireland waiting for me.