Jared in Madrid (Yep, Spain!)

Buenos Dias!

I am currently in Madrid, Spain. You may ask yourself, “How the hell does he do it?  I mean, he´s been going crazy for nearly three months!”  Well, yeah, you are right. I am crazy.  But, I have three  weeks before I have to return to the states, and I wanna put some more mileage in over here.

I am gonna do Madrid, then maybe Toledo. After that, I plan to plow on into Portugal and hit Lisbon, the capitol. Then, back into Spain to Seville, and then down to the rock of Gibraltar. I will cross the straights of Gibraltar and roam around Morocco for a day or two. And then, back to Spain again, and up to Barcelona, if not something else first. We shall see if all this happens.

Last I left you, Batman was about to go check out Monte Carlo…that´s in Monaco…though, I don’t really know what the difference is. Monaco is an independent sovereignty, but it is in France and you don’t need a passport or visa to get there…it’s basically just a town. I guess Monte Carlo is the capitol?  Whatever. Anyway, I went there on Sunday. Everything was closed, and I found it to be quite boring. The buildings were very nice…everything looked very rich. There were a lot of fancy cars and elderly tourists walking around. The whole place is centered on a casino…I think that’s where the rich and famous spend all their cash. Otherwise, there’s some ritzy hotels, some nice beaches, and a beautiful coast line.

The south of France is very nice and relaxing…a good place to come and get away from life in NY, or wherever you may live. I met a lot of cool people in Nice and spent my time hanging out with them. Meeting people makes all the difference when you are traveling….it is the line between loneliness and companionship. And the latter is a necessity when you are alone on a journey like this one.

So, after I had my fill of Nice, I decided to head for Spain. Little did I know, it was a 22- hour train ride to Madrid! What was I thinking? That was by far the longest ride yet….I had to take a train to Montpellier, France, and then change to Barcelona. In Barcelona I hopped a night train to Madrid. Lucky me, there were no Couchettes left (that’s a bed compartment) so I got to pile in with five fat, smelly Spaniards who snored. It was a loooooong ride.

I am here. I arrived at 7:00am and checked into a hotel. I decided I have had enough of youth hostels and sharing rooms with noisy people…time for a little privacy and luxury, as long as it is under $30 a night.

I plan to eat a lot of chicken and rice…some serious tortillas, tapas, and whatever else I can get my hands on. Tomorrow, I will go running with the Bulls, and the day after I shall join Francisco’s school for the Fledgling Conquistador. Next week, I will go conquer south America for King Ferdinand!

Or maybe, I’ll hit a few bars and get happy….all depends on how I feel. I’ll be sure to let you know.

Spain’s colors are tan and sandy looking….allow me to go romp and play in the dunes.

Later,

Jared

Jared in the South of France

Greetings world, how art thou?

So, it’s been a few days since I have last written. Just to say, I am thankful to know that so many Chickens have Beaks. If you don’t get that…then maybe you should read my last update!

I am currently in the south of France in a lovely little area called Nice (pronounced Neece).  It’s the French Riviera….sounds glamorous and stuff, eh? Well, it is. It’s pretty beautiful. I left Paris three days ago now…I think….I enjoyed Paris a lot, but I needed a change to something I haven’t seen ever before. I don’t know if Nice was the change I needed, but it brings me closer to Spain anyway, and that I am sure will be another world.

Nice is a lovely town on the beach with an old part and a new part. The new part is a strip along the water full of hotels and restaurants. The beaches are all rocky though…hmmm…..and check it out! All  beaches are topless! Well….not that I would look or anything…

There are some casinos and ritzy hotels along the water that I could not possibly afford, so I stayed for the first two nights in the old city in the most dumpy hotel I have ever been to in my life. The room was just nasty…the walls were all dirty and stained with God knows what….and it just gave me the creeps…I had booked two nights there and the morning I was supposed to change to my next hotel, I got the hell out so fast…I didn’t even check out…just threw my keys on the desk and left. My new hotel is much nicer….no stains…the decor is right out of the Brady Bunch, but at least I don’t feel gross there.

The Old City of Nice reminds me a bit of the windy streets of Venice, though there is not nearly as much to see. You have your standard array of churches and significant historical sites….I mostly skip them now, because I have had my fill. But there are a lot of good restaurants! OH YEAH. When I was doing my laundry on my first day here, I met this guy who is also a musician, and he invited me to his gig at some pub that night….I went down to check it out and ended up having a really good time….met a lot of cool people to hang out with.

Yesterday I went to Cannes, a nearby town where a really high profile film festival is going on right now. So, I walked around there watching the frenzies of people who were looking to see movies stars. There were crowds of people gathered outside this one hotel, and every few minutes people would start screaming like mad…I guess someone famous was coming out….but, what insanity! This must be like Hollywood.

Today, I am going to Monaco and Monte Carlo…if you have never heard of it, this is a small country that is attached to France… I think it’s just a town, really, but they are their own country!  Supposedly it’s very rich and it’s the playground of all kinds of notables…we shall see.

Speaking of Organ Grinders in my last email, the other day I saw one with a real Monkey. The monkey was sitting on top of the organ, dressed like a little boy…he looked pissed off. The grinder guy was dragging the organ around this restaurant trying to make some money. The monkey just sat there and did nothing. Aren’t they supposed to walk around with a little cup? Anyway, I kept my distance, because I was traumatized as a kid when I saw a monkey and an organ grinder and I tried to give the monkey some money, but it bit me….but this time, I stood back an watched, because I hadn’t seen a monkey up close in years. Anyway, all of a sudden the monkey gets up and starts flinging its hands at a group of people standing right near me…needless to say they were a bit frightened and plowed backward into me….luckily I was strong enough to break the fall….ouch.

Well, I think this will be a short one, since I know many of you just skim them anyway!  I am havin’ a good time still…no worries…I am off to Monaco today. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom…..

Jared