The Unspoken Spanish City which is Essential for Backpackers - Camille Biagini
Tue, 04 June 2019
I found myself wavering, uncertain of what I was going to do in Spain without my coworker, who had to leave me after getting sick mid-trip. We had just left from a 7-day tour in Morocco when my co-worker, Chris, dropped the unexpected news that he wouldn’t be staying in Spain with me and had booked the earliest flight back to the states that next morning.
We flew into Madrid from Morocco and walked in to SunGate One Hostel late at night. We had previously planned to fly to Barcelona, but it transpired that Madrid would be a better flight option for us. We had no set plans for any part of our European trip beyond that since our main adventure was our Moroccan tour. We quickly checked in to the backpacker’s hostel and found it a great atmosphere, with staff who kindly accommodated us last minute. While my coworker headed to bed to get some rest, I decided to go out and connect with other travellers in hopes to meet someone to travel with on my (now) solo trip through Spain. The hostel hosted nights out to the pub for any guest wanting to partake in the Madrid nightlife; I set out in search of new connections. There, I met a few other travelers from the hostel and we all enjoyed a few Spanish cervezas whilst listening to the band! One of the travellers I met at the pub introduced me to this new travel and adventure app that I hadn’t previous heard of called, Alpacr. I was keen to download it being an avid and enthusiastic traveller myself. I loved the idea of meeting up with like-minded travellers and uploading the copious amount of photos that I had collected from previous trips.
The next morning I walked downstairs to the hostel lobby, determined to find activities or daytrips that would allow me to explore more of Spain and make the most out of my vacation. Admittedly, I felt slightly anxious of how unprepared I was for this trip after my co-worker had to return home. In the lobby of the hostel, I met another female traveller named Maggi, who I found out was also travelling alone for a few days. We instantly connected. I exchanged Alpacr profiles to catch up with her later. That night, our hostel was hosting salsa lessons for anyone interested in delving into the Spanish culture so I messaged Maggi on the Alpacr app and told her to meet me for some dancing! Little did I know, our new-found friendship would be a lasting one.
Considering we were both travelling alone, Maggi and I decided to discover Spain together for the next few days. We planned a daytrip to Toledo. Toledo, a quaint ancient city located in central Spain, was the perfect day trip from Madrid! We took the bus and ventured 45 miles out to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, eager to taste the local flavors, drink artisan beers, and meander along the cobblestone streets. After a bit of window shopping, Maggi and I decided to reconnect with two New Yorkers that we met the previous night at the hostel’s salsa dancing lessons, so we messaged them on Alpacr. We coordinated a meet at La Abadía Cervecería Artesana for drinks and tapas. The brick and stone rooms, as well as casual mood made for a great ambience. Upon discovering a trip post on Alpacr, we knew we wanted to visit the Cathedral of Toledo next for further sightseeing. Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo, a grand monumental building with impressively intricate details was worth the €11 EUR at the door and extended our admiration for this historical city. The gothic style, grandiose interior, and brilliant stained glass windows were an incredible sight. The next few days in Madrid turned out to be full of many more connections that had lasting impressions.
It was interesting to see my trip to Spain unfold. I met more lovely solo travellers along the way and took full advantage of the energetic culture Madrid had to offer. My next Backpacking App adventure would ensue a spontaneous decision to tour the cosmopolitan city of great architecture, Barcelona, before heading back to America.
Follow me on the Backpacking App: Alpacr