I went to Spain for a week back in May. The first half of the trip was a romantic city-break thing for Charlotte and me. The second we tried to make the opposite and almost succeeded. It was about as close to all out Skins-on-tour festival hedonism you can get as four quite boring late twenties couples (not that close). Each day I drew a little scene in my little book (click the pictures to embiggen).
We started in Madrid, long one of my favourite cities in the world despite - or possibly as a result of - never having been there before. We stayed in a little twin room in Tirso de Molina with a balcony looking out over an all-night siren testing zone.
We hired bicycles and saw all of the sights in one big sweaty swoop round the city. You can only get so much of a sense of a gallery/church/palace through stolen sideways glances whilst pedalling a 6-lane Spanish highway, but it was enough for us.
Here's Charlotte on a bike by the Palacio Real (the "Real Palace").
We could have done with bicycles for going round the Prado, our token bit of indoor culture. It's vast. Thankfully the guide pamphlet has a check-list of all their masterpieces so we just ran around boshing those off and ignoring all those horrible non-masterpieces. El Jardin De Las Delicias, above, is a masterpiece. Bosch!
And that was enough couple time. Enough Sangria and sunsets. Enough boating and boquerones. Enough sighs and silences.
We flew from Madrid to Barcelona and met our friends and got straight into the sea.
Primavera began that evening. Once inside, we were distressed to discover that the futuristic internet-based bar system had crashed. But we popped out to fill our boots, sleeves and hoods with brandy and all was well again.
We were staying in a small apartment into which we packed 10 sweaty people. It was a bit like one of those jars of hot dogs in brine that I secretly love. We spent the Friday at the site watching The National and Pulp and Battles and generally enjoying ourselves too much.
On Saturday, nearing the end of our trip, we endeavoured to check off a bit of Barcelona tourism. We forced ourselves up and out into the dusty heat to see the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, where everyone immediately fell back to sleep. It was all very lovely, even when refracted through our hangovers.
And then on Sunday, home. We missed our flight back because in their infinite wisdom BA changed the flight and didn’t tell us. (Or possibly they did.) Either way, they let us jump on the next one without any fuss. Lovely BA.
So that was nice.