If your going to have a dismal, mopey, black and white series, what better country to start with than France! I usually stick to what I shot and how I shot it, but finicking around with iPhoto got the best of me.
Although I have the sleep schedule of an old man, 5AM wake-ups are not the usual. Luckily my pullout bed was broken enough that I did not sleep all week anyway while I was on vacation with the family.
Madrid is not a “pocket sized map” type city, it is a real city. In the last few days of my journey I stayed at the perfect hostel, big, clean rooms, individual power outlets, and a bunch of solo travelers. It seemed that everyone there was either on their first leg of a trip, or on their last. This made the conversations a trade-off of where everyone had been, and where everyone else was about to go. The knowledge gained in a hostel conversation should not be underrated, especially from like minded travelers.
The hostel (Uhostels) worked with a pair of 95 pound, accent having, RayBan wearing, Colombian born twins that took care of all of the extracurricular’s that the hostel offered.
Through them I went to a Flamenco show in what seemed to be someones basement and sat for an hour drinking Sangria (only 1 cup) watching a 3 person Flamenco show. It was borderline gipsy music, but I did not mind. The dancer controlled the entire group, giving eye cues to both the guitarist and the singer. It was a very intricate performance, the dancer was sweating enough to think she just jumped in a pool, but was still smiling as the performance ended.
I was able to meet up with a good friend the last day I was in Madrid, and we stumbled into the underbelly and got some authentic Spanish food, I know it was authentic because we simply did not belong in the square we found. There were teenagers drinking in hacky sac circles, Spanish music, and the infamous “no English menus”. A nice little way to end the trip.
With an odd travel day to sort out I headed off to Brussels, which for some reason I heard bad things about before I got there. The 24 hours I spent in Brussels was fueled by dark beer, touristy waffles and optimism. The city has a huge bar scene and the main streets were filled with secondhand shops that all had some form of street art to sway off any graffiti that would find itself on the doors and walls.