Sunday, May 31, 2015

Train for Madrid leaving on Track #1 . . .

Saturday, 30 May, 2015:

So, our great time in Murcia had finally come to a close. Today we started the long voyage home via Madrid.

After our wonderful meal last night with Oscar, Rosa, Alberto and Melky, we returned to La Hacienda for the final time to do some last minute cleaning and double check our packing.

We eventually got to bed at about 12:30 a.m. with our game plan for Saturday firmly in place.

The alarm was set for 6:00 a.m. giving us plenty of time to shower and take care of any last minute surprises.

We were all set to leave La Hacienda with a lots of luggage at 8:00 a.m. via taxi for Murcia's Barrio del Carmen Train Station.

That is when the surprise hit us.

Unbeknownst to me, my phone only had 0.01 Euros left and would thus not allow me to call for the much needed taxi.

Not to panic, Roberto who lives about 100 meters from La Hacienda graciously had volunteered to take us to the train station last night but I had respectfully declined. You see, Roberto drives in Nissan Micra and there is no way that three people and all of our baggage could possibly fit in his compact car.

At least that is what all logic led me to believe.

I knocked on his door and he was down like the proverbial shot, dressed and ready to drive!

The ALWAYS dependable Roberto

Roberto's logical, problem solving mind went to work when he got to La Hacienda.

It took him about a minute to come up with a plan and two minutes later, VOILÀ!

We were at the train station in no time given Saturday morning light traffic.

We said our goodbyes and still had another hour to wait before the train to Madrid left Murcia.

Only one thing to do, eat.

As we wound up our typical light Spanish breakfast we were visited by a farewell party.

Oscar, Alberto and Rosa

It was a nice surprise to see them there and they really helped us in getting all of our bags on board.

The only words to describe Roberto, Oscar, Rosa and Alberto are GREAT PEOPLE.

Laurie reading on the train

It took four hours and forty minutes to get to Madrid's Chamartin Train Station so we had lots of time to get into our latest books.

I had mentioned in previous posts during the Circumnavigation of the Iberian Peninsula Tour that we had met, in person for the first time, American football people in Santiago de Compostela and Gijón and a second cousin in Avilés that we only knew through Facebook.

Today in Madrid we had another first face-to-face meeting with a Facebook friend, Enrique Martin Alonso. Enrique is the President of the Osos Rivas American Football Club.  The Osos play in Spain's top league, the Serie A.

When Enrique heard that we were coming to Madrid he kindly offered to pick us up at the train station in his spacious LandRover and drive us to our hotel.

That is our hotel's street address

And this is our hotel's high-tech sign

We made here smooth as silk and quickly settled in to our nice accommodations.

I say quickly because Enrique invited us to take a drive with him once we were settled to . . .

. . . an Osos Rivas Senior B team game

Laurie, for once, said no. She would rather do some more shopping in Madrid's great fan stores.

So, off I went with Enrique towards Madrid's northern suburb of Tres Cantos, to watch the Osos B team do battle with the home team, Jabatos.  

The B team is is made up of Osos senior players who are young and/or inexperienced, and who are old enough to play on the Senior team but need more seasoning and playing time.

Along the way, I was reminded that our good friend, Chris Pagliaro and his son Vince, had been the Osos' coaches in 2001 when they won their only Serie A championship to date. It is amazing the way the paths of coaches the world over continually criss-cross.

The Osos have about 50 Seniors on their roster, so these nine-man games get these new players get some much needed game experience, while at the same time keeping them from quitting the sport altogether due to lack of playing time.

Osos B in red

Turning the corner, the Osos only
trailed 20-13 at halftime

A REALLY big Oso

Nice catch!

The Jabatos' coach may be a bit out of the Coaches Box.

Jabatos paraphernalia
for sale at half time

It was would have been worth it for the Jabato logo alone.

Mascot headgear

My first thought was, "Can I get that into the overhead bin on the plane?"

Post Game with Osos Rivas Head Coach
Fernando Guejarro, A team QB Blair Black
and President Enrique Martin Alonso

The Osos B team lost by a final tally of 40-13 but I'm sure that it was a good experience for them. They were competitive with the Jabatos but dropped passes let the game's score get out of reach.

It was fun talking football with Enrique all afternoon and meeting Fernando and Blair after the game.

The world of EuroBall is a small and friendly one indeed!

After the game, Enrique dropped me off near our hotel so that Laurie and I could go out and support the local food and beverage industry for a few hours.

Hen Parties were everywhere

"I see wonderful things . . ."

And I see wonderful architecture

The Tapas Crawl started promptly
at 8:00 p.m.

Then we ate the garlic shrimp

El Abuelo is a happy place

Tempting but no


Good atmosphere . . .

. . . better gazpacho and
patatas bravas con chorizo

We both wanted to try La Abuela
too, but were too full and a bit tired

So tired of Dia de los Muertos Matador
themed restaurants, aren't you?

Did I mention Madrid's
lovely architecture?

Plaza Mayor

Between ebola and e coli, we will
probably not eat here any time soon

Buenas noches Madrid

We had a good day and went to sleep excited about Sunday because, guess what, we were going to meet someone new from the world of the internet.

This time it would be meeting our long lost second cousin Lena who lives in Madrid. Lena is the younger sister of Geli, the second cousin we met for the first time in Avilés a few weeks ago.

It should make for a fun Sunday!

1 comment:

David said...

You darned well better have figured out a way to bring back the mascot head.