Back in Tokyo

These incredible 38 days was about to finish.

18th August-
After saying good bye to my kind host, I went to the airport with a huge backpack alone again. Although I missed so many things about Japan like food or custom, leaving Europe was very emotional moment. I passed check-in very early as always, I boarded the plane going to Tokyo via Hong Kong.

Good bye, Madrid.
Good bye, Spain.
Good bye, Portugal.
Good bye, Europe!

Later, we arrived at Hong Kong. I thought It would flight straight to Tokyo, but it actually stop at Taipei for connection. What a surprise!
Finally, after 22 hours long flight, I came back to my sweet home, Narita Airport. Tokyo always is super crowded and busy which makes me tired. However, every time I came back here from overseas, this busy high-tech city makes me very relieved with its safety and convenience. I feel home.

I came back with 77¢ left.
I think I did pretty great on control the budged.

I started this trip without really thinking much about the plan.
Started from Lisbon, Aveiro, Porto, Barcelona, Granada, Cordoba, and Madrid, I enjoyed these 7 cities in 2 countries as I feel like and as I want. I couldn't even speak Portuguese or Spanish. However, I could've meet a lot of kind people, meet wonderful friends, spending time together or drawing together.

Hoping everything I saw, eat, talked, and experienced will enrich my body and soul in my future.
Hoping I can grow up more with this wonderful adventure. Already a lot of things happened in 2018 but I hope I can see them again someday with my head high... so just work hard now.

My trip journal ends here.
There are so many talking-to-myself notes, many be not many drawings or illustrations as you expected... but I really do hope you enjoyed this and get some useful information from here.
Please come back and check my blog sometimes.

Muito obrigada.
Muchas gracias.

Thank you very very much for reading until the end.




結果、22時間のロングフライトを経て、ようやくHome Sweet Home 成田空港へ到着。いつもはゴミゴミしていて疲れる日本も、改めて見てみるとやっぱり安全で便利、ハイテクで素敵な街だよな、と束の間の喜びに浸ったりもした。帰ってきたんだな。








The Last Day in Madrid Part 2

After leaving El Escorial, I took a walk and had a lunch. There were many tourists in the city, but no cars or no constructions. It was pretty quiet and comfy place. I enjoyed the atmosphere and landscapes very much.

Later, I went back to the station through the park. In this park, there were streets simply surrounded by trees and the Prince Cottage in the middle. If you keep walking straight, you will arrive at the station.

Because I was a little relieved or tired, I felt asleep in the train. I came back to my stay with stomachache somehow but started packing. My trip was about to finish...

Near my stay, I found some very nice restaurants. Of course, I went to the Spanish restaurant and ordered the very typical Spanish meal, Paella and Sangria. Paella with various fishes and shellfish was just like a happiness. I don't know if it's for one person, but I finished it all. Actually, I usually can't drink much but this one was really good with many kinds of fruits. I think it was my first time to finish a grass of alcohol (except very thin one you get in izakaya).
My last day in Madrid become such a wonderful and delicious day.





Tha Last day in Madrid Part 1

From biggining to the end, everything in this trip was so much fun. Therefore, I was really not sure what to do on my last day to make it the best day. Even though Madrid was super exciting, the main tourism distract is not so big, so I already had been the places almost everywhere I wanted to go like museums, exhibitions or parks. I asked my friend where to go, then he recommended me to go to Monasterio de El Escorial.
It is the composite facilities including a royal palace, monastery, museum and library located in 1 hour away by train from Atocha station in center Madrid. Such a gorgeous place it is. He kindly check the train timetable and said "you would like it." On the last day on renfe, I was totally excited.
I arrived at El Escorial station. During my trip, Google Off-line Map always helped me but I forgot to resister this area for it. Therefore, I followed people who seem going to visit there. 
(However, I walked so much faster than them so somehow left them behind...)
Note:Google Off-line Map is a function that you can use Google map without wifi only for registered area. That's why I didn't get lost at all.
El Escorial showed its self after 15 mins walking. The appearance was much more simple than I though. It seemed emphasizing the dignity rather than being fancy. Inside structure was a bit complicated I thought, and photography was forbidden. I am sorry that I can not show you how beautiful it was with pictures.

The Royal Palace was very typical style divided into the King's bedroom or Servant Workroom, stuff like that. One thing I was really surprised was that every room has 4 huge different tapestries on each wall. I myself who is very very common person was worried about how to clean them up or what if you get dust allergy kind of stupid things, but anyway, it symbolized that how powerful and rich the nobleman was at that time.

I couldn't get into the church because they had Mass at that time, so I went to see  King's grave. At the very quiet and a bit chill basement, there were coffins for King's or his family's coffins. At last, I visited the library. As I heard before, there were thousands of thick books looks like the one we find at the very beginning of old Disney movies.

El Escorial was such a huge beautiful formal building with lots of old materials and living style.
The word, "Gorgeous" is would be the best word to express this place.


エル・エスコリアルとは、アトーチャ駅から電車で約1時間くらい北西に進んだところにある広大な宮殿+修道院+ 博物館+図書館を併設した、これでもかというくらい贅沢な複合施設だ。「きっと気にいるからいってごらん」といって、親切にも電車の時間まで調べてくれた友人。最終観光日、わくわくしながらrenfeに乗り込みます。
補足:Googleさんのオフラインマップとは、Google Map でオフラインとして登録した一定の範囲内に限って、携帯がネットに繋がっていない状態でも地図が見れたり現在地がわかるようになる便利なシステムのこと。これがあれば慣れない旅先でも迷うことがない。





Botanical Garden in Madrid

I have never thought I am so interested in plants.
Maybe these are the types of plants I always look at in Japan, but since I came to Europe, I really enjoyed looking at many types of leaves and flowers.

I spend almost a half day in the Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid. It is the well repaired clean botanical garden located next to Prado Museum. It is not only a garden, also has art exhibitions related to plants or environment and greenhouses. I really enjoyed spending time drawing there.




Happy Birthday to Me!

During this trip, everything was such an amazing experience. Especially, I think it was really cool to spend and celebrate my own birthday in Madrid, Spain.
For my birthday present, I went to the Parque de El Retiro. It was not as huge as I got tired from walking, but very very pretty place with pond, fountains, and Cristal Palace. I spent peaceful quiet moment there.

Because this trip was already such a luxury gift for myself, I didn't want things. I decided to go back my stay and start drawing for myself. Since I came to Madrid, I wanted to do more illustrations than sketches. With watercolor and pencil, I drew myself in the park Retiro thinking about my life.

For the evening activity, I went the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia which is one of the biggest museum in the world. This place is especially famous for the collection of Guernica by Picasso. Surprisingly, it is free after 7pm from Monday to Saturday (except Tuesday). 
For a tourists information, it is very very huge museum, so if you are interested in only Guernica or some specific things, I highly recommend you to do some research about the location. Otherwise, you'll get lost.

I spend this inexpensive priceless day. It was such a incredibly wonderful birthday.






Spanish Food

Everybody who have ever been Spain says "Food was really good!". As a food lover, I was really looking for it.
Spanish meal has various kinds menu such as small appetizer Tapas, big main dish or various kinds of wine. (Even though I can't read menu, ) I was really attracted by all the menu. Actually, Portuguese food was pretty good as Spanish. I found so many new taste and so many meals I've never had before. This trip was full of good food.

Even though, honestly there were still some problems which typically happens to Japanese people when we go abroad, such as everything was a bit greasy or salty. Therefore, I guess it would be really great if you could share some dishes with more people. I think maybe most menu are not considered as for only one person because people here often hang out with friends or families when they eat outside. Maybe? Anyway, because of this system or my small appetite, it takes time to find the perfect food balance in this country.

In Madrid, I found this incredible food place called Marcado de San Miguel. It was almost like a bar district you can stop by and get some tapas with reasonable price like 1€.
I was very happy to finally be able to try so many different types of food at the same time. Very fresh yummy one bite was actually not very cheap (by thinking) but I had a great time there.





7th Visit City Madrid (The Final Destination)

Time always flies fast. Finally it was time to go to the final destination of this trip, Madrid. In Spain, I had seen one of the most beautiful landscapes I've never seen or eaten so many good food I've never tasted before. So many new things in my life. I wondered what kind of great new things I would experience next. I took renfe with all the excitement.

It took about 2 hours from Cordoba, I arrived at Atocha, Madrid. Since I like walking so much, I took a walk to my stay nearby Park Retiro. My backpack was as heavy as I am but I kept walking looking around the city. As I heard before, Madrid has exciting aura as an urban city.




Super Hot City Cordoba

As I wrote here before, Cordoba was really hot. I who don't use air conditioner in summer at all say so, so I think I can say it was pretty hot. Because I couldn't look around the city the other day, I came to see the city very early morning on the this day.

First I went to see the Roman bridge of Cordoba where I couldn't visit the other day. It was a very wide bridge made of stones, first built back in early 1st century BC.

I always think it would be much more interesting if I knew more about its history, but I am always forgettable or lazy to do some research later. However, even though I don't know much about it, the bridge and the view was so so beautiful. It must have been fascinating people for a long long time, I imagined. Which makes me feel I am a typical tourist.

After I went to and returned from the bridge, I visited Mezuquita (Mosque=the place for worship) next. Actually, the history of Cordoba (and Spain) was very interesting. Because of its historical or geological reasons, many parts of Spain are influenced by either Muslim, Catholic or even both sometimes. Even the closed island like Japan got influenced by overseas, I assume this situation would happened easily for the countries connected by land.

This building, Mezuquita was actually the great symbol of mixed culture. Roughly speaking, it was first built as a the Muslim temple, but later converted to a Roman Church. Now it keeps these both aspects. It might be better idea to try the guide tour, I thought. I luckily found the Japanese guide tour, so I often listened the guide secretly.

It was pity that I couldn't draw much in Cordoba because of the hotness. It was very small but lovely city. There were so many things I wanted to draw. I think a half or1 day would be enough for main tourism, but I recommend season except summer for visiting Cordoba. Very beautiful but really hot.







6th Visit City Cordoba

After telling good bye to prettiest Granada, I went to the next destination Cordoba by ALSA. I shared taxi and arrived at bus stop 1 hour earlier. I am always worried too many things and arrived too early, but I think I don't need to hurry that much. 15 mins spare could be enough, I thought.

Anyway, 2 and a half hours later, I arrived at Cordoba where the main tourism spots are all registered as world heritage site. It was crazy hot but fortunately a very kind Airbnb host came to pick me up at the bus stop.

Around 5 o'clock, I went to the city. However, there were nobody outside. Literally nobody.
Why? Siesta? I thought. While I was walking thinking "isn't it too hot?", I find the thermometer.


Are you kidding? That's why there's nobody, I thought. Well, I kind of realized that it was really really hot, but I didn't think that much. However, actually Cordoba is very famous as the hottest city in Spain, I heard later.

Because I haven't done many research for each city, I didn't know the situation and came here. While I beard my bottled water changed boiled, I tried to enjoy the city.

Beside the weather, Cordoba was perfectly beautiful. Maybe that's because it's world heritage, there was no spray doodle like the other cities I visited.  Very very clean and lovely place.
I really wanted to look around more but felt expectation for kind of heatstroke so I had to go back. I swear myself to visit city tomorrow early morning.