Hasta luego Madrid (3)

The thought of today:

Every situation in life must be faced, and so why not face it with love

Fri, Dec 24

The three stooges:

Juan, Elegance and I boarded the train to Toledo (Tolaytila in Arabic) my friend Elegance (our guide) has booked us in a supposedly an old renovated castle in Toledo (El Parador de Toledo). I imagined myself an Andalusian princess who would be greeted at the gate by Aljawari in the harem singing: lama bada yatamana3, then walking on this red carpeted floor that leads to princess Wallada Bint Al-Mistakfi’s http://walladah.blogspot.com/ presidential wing while she is busy exchanging poetry with prince charming Aba Al-7akam Ibn Hisham http://this-error.blogspot.com/. And after about 20 min drive from the center of the city atop the hills and mountains, we ended up in a no man land and a huge cottage with the rudest people you could ever imagine; be it at the reception or in the restaurant. They must have thought that we were some kind of terrorists in disguise.

And to our astonishment; we learned that all places are closed for two days, which basically was the duration of our stay in Toledo. Not to mention that the reason behind our decision to spend Xmass in Toledo was an advice we had from our Spanish friends to go to the closest lively place during Xmass, since everywhere else was closed due to Xmass family gatherings. Well that made me feel like the three musketeers who left for adventure and ended up being the three stooges in a ghost city, but regardless; we are here and we might as well make the best of it.

We decided against all odds to go to down town. The weather was freezing cold; must have been around zero, and the wind factor was high. And Toledo’s center snakes around small alleys which were originally designed to cool the hot weather in summer, and there we ended up looking for a warm place to gather us. It was a blessing to find this Coffee/Pub still open, and by the time we finished our first drink, they were closing, and we were back into the harsh cold of the empty streets. And like three mad dogs we ran the alleys looking for a shelter and what a relief it was to find the good old MacDonald still open, and a little winery is preparing to close. I got into the winery and got us three bottles of red wine while my friends went into MacDonald and ordered our meals, and until that day I never knew how delicious a fish filet tasted.. It must have been the hunger and the cold. We called a cap and it arrived in an hour and others took it, so we called again and had to wait sometime to be back in the warmth of our hotel.

As soon as I entered the hotel a sign at a closed door grabbed me like a magnet , I don’t know how I missed it before. The sign read: INTERNET. My friends saw the excitement on my face and they both shouted in unison: NO WAY. I gave them the yes way look and fled to the door, opened it wide and what did I see? A mini computer squashed in a little kiosk more or less like the 70’s PDP11. And as I was examining the machine a noise came from behind, I turned and saw this incredible hulk, open jaw, uneven teeth searching me curiously. He scared the hell out of me and I heard myself uttering through my throat: do you have a business center? And a very rude NO was vomited on me while my friends giggled on the other side of the lobby. I apologized and climbed the stairs to my friend’s room where we stayed drinking wine till the wee hours of the morning and cracking up at our stupidity. Juan kept teasing me all night by calling me the Andalusian princess that was treated like an Indonesian maid.

P.S. I strongly recommend El Parador de Toledo to my foes 🙂

Posted by Hello

A view from the hotel

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jelly Belly
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 06:00:00

    that’s a funny story….god only knows how many times that happened to us during thanks-giving and Christmas where everywhere is closed…hahahahaaha…that’s why we make sure we are well prepared 🙂
    I love the picture, the view must’ve been breathtaking.


  2. mishu1984
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 10:14:00

    nice view!


  3. DJ
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 11:47:00

    I love the way you retold the evening. What a lively post. 🙂 I admire the fact that you and your friends were able to turn what could have been a weekend from hell into a bonding experience and a good memory. A private joke, of sorts. lol

    The photograph is truly impressive!


  4. Jewaira
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 11:48:00

    Too bad you had to spend your visit to Toledo that way but I guess you ended up having a good time anyways 🙂


  5. AyyA
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 11:50:00

    This is exactly the point. It’s not like we did not make our research before going to Toledo, the hotel was booked way before and e-mails to our Spanish friends started while we were still in Q8. We also e-mailed the hotel to make sure that there are activities going on. We knew ahead of time that Madrid would be completely dead during this time, and every one assured us that Toledo is a tourist city and that there’s always something going on. And even when we were there some would tell us it’s all closed and others would say there are some places open. Well, I guess we were destined to find out that for ourselves. But anyway we had fun. The city is beautiful, and the view from the hotel was really relaxing, I’m sure if I was there with Mr. right I wouldn’t have left the hotel 😉

    I have more breathtaking pictures of the city. All the Islamic architectures of centuries back, the Arabic houses. When you visit Toledo you have this feeling of belonging. Not this time though, all I felt was cold, cold, and colder.


  6. AyyA
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 12:10:00

    It was a joke really, and I meant to write it down, and honey, we have gone all the way to Spain to have fun, nothing could stop us short. And I wish I could have posted more photographs of the city, but the thing with hello’s un-user-friendly made is tiresome… I tried.

    I have been to Toledo one time before about three years back, but it was during summer. All the historical buildings are well reserved that you feel you are going back in time and reliving the great Arab civilization period. I was hoping for that in this trip, but I guess our timing did not click with the type of companions. Now if I was with a handsome breathtaking eatable “3ala goltich” chap, that would have been a different story. Nothing beats a good room with a nice view, the sound of nature at night, wine, and cuddles in a warm nice bed.


  7. mosan mosan
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 14:55:00

    picture this rabab
    If i was with you and this is going on i would have thrown a hissy fit. LOL


  8. AyyA
    Jan 10, 2005 @ 18:15:00

    I can imagine you facing the incredible hulk LOL, I’m sure we would’ve end up on the next train back to Madrid.


  9. ولاّدة
    Jan 11, 2005 @ 19:37:00

    عوداً محموداً

    لقد تلألأت الأنوار بك في الاندلس
    أتمنى أن تكوني قد قضيتي وقتاً ممتعاً

    أما نحن فقد سعدنا بك بالتأكيد


  10. AyyA
    Jan 12, 2005 @ 04:35:00

    Thanx sweetie
    And too bad I did not get to meet your highness in Al-Andalus


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