Friday, July 15, 2016

Spain, Day 6

Unlike yesterday morning, this morning I slept in and dragged myself out of bed with my normal lack of enthusiasm.  We met everyone, including a somewhat tired Rebecca and Rob - who'd been out partying until the wee small hours, in the lobby and went downtown for the run.  I was noticeably more nervous the second time around, a fact I attribute to three factors.  First, obviously, I knew exactly what I was getting into.  Second, we'd decided to start from a different location to try to have a slightly more exciting run.  Third, Rebecca wasn't running, and therefore she wasn't there to absorb all the nervous energy in the city.  

Rob took a position slightly above Deadman's Curve, and I went a little past that.  This time, when the bulls came by I was actually running, not terribly close to them, mind you, and certainly not in front of them, but at least running.  Yesterday when the bulls came by, the crowd surged to the right and I kinda got pushed toward the wall.  This was still over very fast, but it was slightly less anticlimactic.  When the bulls were past, Rob and I jogged into the stadium again for the Running of the Cows.  I was significantly more circumspect this time, but Rob managed to make contact again and was none the worse for wear.  Rebecca and Lyle watched the run from the stadium, and watched us, but we didn't see them.  

We all met back at the rendezvous bar one last time for drinks, and then shuttled back to the hotel for a quick breakfast, last minute packing, and then a shuttle to the train station.

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but I left my razor in Pamplona, and I am not too happy about it.  I appreciate the suggestion that one follow the native traditions when traveling, but Amazon will have a new razor waiting for me by the time I get back to the townhouse.

Most of us slept on the train to Madrid.  We're still not entirely sure what the deal was, but the train stopped several times in the middle of nowhere and wound up arriving about forty minutes late.  Our rudimentary Spanish was insufficient to figuring out what was happening.  Lyle and I are staying in a different hotel from Rebecca and Rob this time, so we each got a cab to our hotel to meet up later.

We're staying at the Hilton (of course) and it meets with our approval.  Once we were checked in and had a few minutes to relax, we cabbed back into town to the Real Madrid stadium.  This was probably the top of Rob's list, but I enjoyed the tour quite a bit and was extremely impressed with the Minority Report-esque multimedia presentation.

We found another cab from the stadium to the Flamenco show we'd lined up for the evening, and grabbed tapas and drinks beforehand.  Let me just say that Flamenco, much like bullfighting, is a Spanish tradition that I don't understand, and having seen once, I feel no special desire to revisit.  Funny story though, during the show, Lyle kept tapping my foot.  It was driving me crazy and I kept giving him the "stop it" look.  I even held his hand so he wouldn't feel like I didn't want to be connected.  Super irritating.  I also thought it was a little strange that one of the breaks between acts, the (American) woman sitting at the table next to us asked Lyle if he knew what was going on.  I mean, we are clearly gringos... and we were all looking at each other in confusion and dismay.  Well, after the show, Lyle asked me, "Was that guy limping when he left?"  I was like, "Huh?"  "That guy trying to play footsie with you.  I stomped on his foot."  Oh, the joys of travel.  Having only just barely survived the experience, we all went back to our hotels to recover.

Tomorrow we have walking tours all day, so looking forward to some rest.

MartyandLyle (and Rebecca and Rob)

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