ALL OF SPANISH HISTORY, CULTURE AND FOOD IN A SINGLE WEEKEND!
Now you too can bore your neighbours with historical facts from Phoenician, Roman, Islamic, Jewish and Christian Spain - all to be discovered in just one weekend - as we travel though the autonomous regions and grandiose capitals cities on our way to an Iberian Cultural Heaven.
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Itinerary: Time to Discover the 'Real Spain'
* Friday: Start Before we Begin with Authentic Andalusia
Before we land have your camera ready as we fly low over the new concrete eco-barriers dropped just off the coast of Gibraltar that now define our new coastal waters. Then on to Malaga Airport and our first stop at An Authentic White Village untainted by Tourism - NERJA on the Costa Del Sol. This is part of our Real Spain experience where you will be invited to an Authentic Flamenco Fish n´Chips Meal at the infamous Tapa Tavern on the Balcon de Europa! Owners - Don Bill and Doña June - will be providing some real Spaniards (lovely Spaniards!) for you to stand next to and photograph throughout the evening!
* Saturday 2 A.M: Granada and La Alhambra
Keep your camera's at your side as we do a quick lap round the Granada motorway - where even at that hour you should still be able to see the queues outside the Alhambra - just beneath the smog clouds that characterise this monumental city.
* Saturday 7 A.M: Madrid Highlights
Wake up from a comfy night on the autobus for early morning Churros in chilly Madrid. Yes, its a big city with all the traffic, congestion, ugly architecture and crowds you find in any city all over the world. As we take in all these unique features, we will be indulging in an obligatory 2 hours window shopping excursion outside El Corte Inglés. All this, followed by a late morning Relaxing Cafe Con Leche in Plaza Mayor to complete the highlights of the city.
Sat. Aft: Flight to Barcelona and Bus to Valencia
Quick jog down Las Ramblas for a look up Colon´s bottom and then a swift half in one of the few P.O.U.M bars left in Spain where the camarero reads out the prologue to Homage to Catalonia in Catalan. Then it's Adeu to Catalunya as we pop on the extortionately priced AVE to Valencia for a bowl of rice and a quick shifters at the orange trees. (Lovely Orange Trees!)
Cuidado! Hang on to your valuables though, as we are not only in the corruption epicentre of Spain where the Valencian President gets his new suits for free, but also where the infamous (and some say staged!) Coup d'etat took place in 1982. (Lovely 'Golpe del Estado').
* Sat. Eve: The Cities of Stone and Culture
Valuables intact? Good then back to the rail station where we hop on the AVE back to Madrid and onto Segovia to visit the Roman aqueduct where everyone will be issued a small penknife to chisel off a small souvenir from this Protected Cultural Heritage Monument.
Then its a fast bus to Multi-cultural Toledo, where we will join the queues with the millions of others tourists to visit the Alcazar (Spanish History), El Greco's house (Greek and Art History), a sword factory (El Cid and Ruthless Religious History) and finally to a Convent (Cristian Fundamentalists) to buy some marzipan (adopted Arab Cuisine). Oh its a Lovely Multi-cultural Spain!
* Sunday Morning: Galicia and Asturias
After another pleasant night's kip on the bus, we will awake to find yourselves in Galicia - land of funny little stone houses in peoples gardens and damn fine white wine. Here, you will have two choices this morning depending on whether you find yourself on the right or left of the bus.
Those on the right will be visiting Franco's (Lovely Galicians) home town, the coastline where the Prestige split in two and finally ending up in Mariano Rajoys local bar.
For those on the left, we will be visiting the house of Fidel Castro's family (Lovely Cubans) and then on to Asturias to see a re-enaction of the 1934 Miners Uprising (brutally put down by Franco and his Legionnaires) (Not so lovely), and ending up having a glass of cider somewhere.
* Sunday Eve: Linguistic Games Night!
Finds us in Pais Vasco where you get deposited in an 'abandoned barrio' on the industrial outskirts of Bilbao to find your way back to the hotel using just a mono-lingual Basque dictionary.
Those that make it back to the hotel will be stuffed onto a Ryan Air jet at 4.30am in time to get you back to your loved ones and to begin your stories of meeting Real Authentic Spaniards on the Unbelievable Gazpachomonk - Whirlwind Tour.
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