prepared by Dr Joan Chamberlain, TMA member in Rockhampton.
|Generally we felt reasonably secure but all bags must be held close and be closed firmly. Pick pockets do well. Loose items disappear quickly. We let our guard down in the last 15 minutes before leaving the conference hotel (5 star) and were rewarded with one of our bag being stolen: Camera, chargers for phones, power converters, medical kit and coats. Take care with your goods.
Madrid is more metropolitan and Spain’s largest city. You can taste all of the flavours of Spain here. We found the smaller places of good value and with a very large variety of good wholesome, well priced food. We found free Flamenco bars where the passion was as strong as the alcohol in the beverages. Parks open at 10am and people are flooding in at 8-9pm while the daylight still shines.The bigger cities come alive from 9pm onwards.
The art word reigns supreme in Madrid, followed closely by the History of Spain in both Museums and architecture. There are amazing shops that sell genuine armoury still made in the famous Toledo factory. Cross bow 25E, just don’t expect to get it through customs. Your local shopping mall has the men’s section complete with underwear, suits and leather coats, selection of fishing gear, knives for hunting as well as a full Gun collection. Everything a real man needs.
Central Spain. We had a brief one day visit to Avila and Segovia. The change in foods, wine and scenery was incredible. You first pass near the highest mountains in Spain, complete with ski resorts, then along amazing cliffs and ravines. Out from here lies the fertile central Spanish plains. Central Spainproduces some of the most amazing wines in Spain, re-noun especially for their Red wines, the whites are not to be dismissed. Their suckling pig, plethora of hams, cheeses and extensive variety of Horticultural produce is impressive.
Lessons learned on the Trip:
- Be prepared and know the area you are going to. You will appreciate better what you see and find.
- Many of the best experiences are not far away or too expensive. But be prepared to pay for inside knowledge when needed.
- Most people will help you and appreciate you making the effort to speak at least a few basic words in Spanish eg hello, thank you, please, good buy and their name.
- Never leave your possessions unattended and be vigilant.
- It’s a long way to fly from Australia to Spain.