Spain

Alicante, Spain 2019 by William Bryan

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After the success of our last trip to Rome Paolo, Jonas and I didn’t waste much time in planning a second outing. This time around we opted to fly to Alicante, Spain for some warm weather on the tail end of a dark European winter.

I invited my coworkers and one of them had the good sense to take me up on the offer—she was especially happy when she learned that round trip flights from Berlin were €14.50. The rental car for the weekend was only €13.68 (plus a €31 fee for being under 25). Being a weekend warrior is a lot easier when travel is affordable.

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After arriving in Spain Olena and I learned that we’d have to wait two hours for a pair of Jonas’ friends to arrive. Rather than sit in the airport we picked up the rental car and explored a nearby town. We stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall tapas restaurant and scarfed down some grilled octopus and fried cheese before rushing back to the airport to pick up the others.

During the hour drive up the coast we got to know each other before arriving in what can only be described as a villa. As I walked in the door Paolo handed me a Gin & Tonic and we got down to the serious business of celebrating Jonas’ birthday.

I woke up at 9 a.m. to an abandoned house. After making sure that the cars were still in the driveway and everyone hadn’t abandoned me I made myself some breakfast. Still no survivors. I figured I’d make the most of it and lay outside in the sun while I waited for the dead to rise.

One by one revelers made themselves known as they stared at me with squinty eyes in the bright Spanish sun. Two hours later everyone but Jonas was accounted for; we weren’t too worried because the only obligation that day was a reservation at a paella restaurant at 1:30 p.m.

Then another hour had passed still with no sight of Jonas.

Then 1 p.m. ticked by and Jonas finally showed himself, but there was no way he’d make it out to lunch. Jonas’ sister called the restaurant to cancel the reservation but they had a better idea: bring the paella to us. 30 minutes later Tara showed up with a meter wide paella dish filled with the traditional rice dish.

After picking at his paella for thirty minutes Jonas declared it was time for our hike.

As we drove to Moraira Tara got a call from her brother in the car ahead of us..

“Hey, so are we still doing the thing,” Tara asked.

Jonas said something on the other end of the phone.

“Ok, sweet, I’ll tell Will to follow you,” she replied.

I was just about as confused as you must be while reading this, so I asked Tara what was going on but all she would say was: you’ll see. And that’s when I saw it appear around the next turn: AV Karting.

“NIKI LAUDA,” I yelled in excitement.

We ripped a dozen laps around the go-kart track and fought for first place (shout out to Tara) before climbing back into the real cars and driving to our hike.

We stumbled our way up the mountain to a tower with a view of the Mediterranean before making our way down to the harbor and watching the sunset from Jonas and Tara’s sailboat.

The next morning we made sure to go back to Moraira for gelato before taking Paolo to the airport. Olena and I drove back to the coast one more time for a final Spanish meal before returning the rental car and flying back to Berlin ourselves.