Well I must admit I was VERY lazy doing enough documentation on Spain. I hit two locations, what I THOUGHT was the Costa Del Sol area in Malaga, and then Madrid.
I hit Malaga since I simply wanted to hit a beach, whether the French Riviera, Costa Del Sol or anywhere, the only requirement was a beach.
I failed of course.
I booked a hotel in Malaga, which was indeed interesting as a city, but it is by no means a beach town. I tried booking something in Marbella or the many other beach towns but they were surprisingly all booked up.
And I went against my rule of booking a hotel a max of 2 nights and booked Malaga 4 nights. Crap!
Oh well, got to relax in a very nice hotel, and I liked that there was a conference or something going on from some random company. I enjoyed that I didn't have to attend a single meeting and I know a couple people were glaring at me with looks suggesting "what is up with that guy? And why doesn't he ever wear socks? And why is he spending so much time on hotels.com trying to shorten a reservation?"
Actually no one paid attention to me, not unlike every conference I've attended myself.
And OH Yeah, while the hotel in Malaga was nice, there was deafeningly loud construction going on that started at 8am every day. Now I know most of you rise before 7, but I DO NOT. And I can sleep through most anything, but this was LOUD. I don't know my machinery, but it was much louder than a jack-hammer and throw in the maids that love to knock on the door at 8:30 AND EVEN TRY COMING IN (even with the do not disturb sign up), and it was not a good time in Malaga. But it could have been worse I guess, like if the hotel wasn't so nice, or if it wasn't construction but a James Blunt concert outside.
So I had 3 nights left before heading back to the States and I decided to salvage the Spain portion, give up on the "beach," and hit Madrid.
And that was an excellent idea it turned out, for when I arrived Saturday, slightly annoyed I STILL wasn't sitting in sand, I basically stepped off the train and into one of the biggest parties of the year held in Madrid. Seriously, it was hopping, and at first I just thought Madrid must be a year round party, and frankly maybe every Saturday is totally wild, but there was indeed a festival going on.
(Sadly, I never did figure out WHAT THE HELL IT WAS on Saturday? Sunday there was a rather large cycling event but I don't think that was the reason for the big party Saturday. I'd check the internet but I have little time. I'm sitting in an Arizona Starbucks trying to write this before heading to Asia tomorrow, and I spent the weekend at a bachelor party in Mexico, so Spain is not exactly "fresh" in my mind in many areas)
The hotel I stayed at in Madrid was full of Americans, as was much of Madrid oddly, the most I had seen in Europe really, but those in my hotel were almost ALL over the age of 70. Seriously.
The hotel was on the Gran Via, and until the wee hours of Sunday, people were walking along the road and were fairly loud, and seemed to be walking up and down the street simply as though they were supposed to, like to feed off the energy of the city or something.
I didn't mind the noise at all, and I rather enjoyed soaking in the energy outside my window, especially since I felt like I was getting a double dose since I was staying in the hotel with the full cast of "Cocoon". (I am going to hell)
You know what though? I think if anyone follows in my footsteps and finds themselves "ambitious" enough to take extended leave, my advice is to spend less than a month in Europe.
I wasn't homesick as much as ready for a new region, or just ready to return to see friends or whatever. I didn't give Spain much of a chance as I was a tad bit tired of sightseeing, and as you can tell, I was really ready for a beach and nothing more!
Cry me a river though!
Perhaps I will write a little something on the last night in London (which was surprisingly fun considering I stayed one night in a shit-hole hotel near Gatwick airport) as well as the bachelor party in Cabo San Lucas this past weekend, but I just don't have time now.
But I mention that as I am very much rejuvenated travel-wise and am ready for Asia!