Saturday, March 14, 2015

Triumphant Return to Murcia

Friday, 13 March, 2015:

After a decent night's sleep, we were up early in order to get to Madrid's Atocha Train Station to buy tickets for the return trip to Murcia and to buy Laurie her Tarjeta Dorada (Gold Card). My original plan was to do this Thursday afternoon but the uncertainty caused by Laurie's bags not arriving with her flight made us postpone buying train tickets until we were sure of when we could leave Madrid.

The Tarjeta Dorada is the Renfe train system's Senior Citizen Discount Card that any Senior, citizen or not, who is 60+ can purchase for 6 Euros and instantly save lots of pasta on the Spanish rail system.

Pasta is a Spanish colloquialism for money.

Back in December, when I first arrived in Spain, buying my Tarjeta Dorada and my ticket to Murcia took about one hour the day before my leaving because of the people in line also trying to purchase train tickets.

Today it took five minutes.

We had about 90 minutes to kill before the direct 222 train to Murcia was scheduled to leave so we ate some breakfast in the spacious Atocha Station and, surprise, Laurie shopped!

Laurie AND HER BAGS at Atocha

Atocha's Jungle Land complete with . . .

. . . Turtles


Of course, Spain at one time did own most of the Southwest of today's United States.

Via #6, time to board

 Café con Leche to go, por favor


During the four hour return trip to Murcia, our train only made four short stops.

Here at the Archena-Fortuna train station, the Alcalde and the Town Council sent out the city's official donkey to greet and welcome Laurie to the South of Spain.

Nice touch.

 She is in Murcia

In La Hacienda's East Wing

We had just enough time before we had to leave for practice to make a three pronged run to Belén's panaderia, the Carrefour supermarket and the Hyper-Chino store to buy needed supplies now that La Hacienda's Guest Quarters were open.

Then it was off to the Tramvia for the ride up to the first of our two scheduled practices in the evening.

Not so big in Mexico I suspect

Laurie enjoying a 7-Up
at the Junior practice

Check that, she bought a 1 Euro beer
at the practice field's cantina

Junior offense vs. Cover 1

Juniors' post-practice talk

From there we were off the the University of Murcia's Estadio Monte Romero training facility for a spirited Senior practice that emphasized the passing game.

Cenando at the Don Gomez III y IV

To review, the Don Gomez III y IV is the great fish bar that is located about a 30 second walk from La Hacienda.

Nothing like a truck load of sea food for dinner at 11:30 p.m. on a Friday to make for a disturbed night of sleep.

The beer was cold too. 

It was really a good feeling to have Laurie back on this side of the Atlantic again.

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