This is the English translation of my travel record written in Japanese two years ago (2013), eight years after the trip.
So, the live feeling of experiences was rather vague at the original edition itself, even with the help of a lot of pictures I took then.
It may contain the matters beside the main subject more than usual on account of it.

I happened to decide its English translation several months ago, just because I made an acquaintance with a Spanish lady interested in the old-style Japan like Kumano-Kodo (Kumano Pilgrimage Routes) and Japanese gardens.
It is my regret that I have not visited Santiago de Compostela (the destination of the Way of St. James, a leading Catholic pilgrimage route) where she lives. However, I felt like showing my impression of Spain (and Portugal) to her by translating my travelogue around there into English because I don't know Spanish and she does know English.

The whole volume is huge, so some parts must be boring to anybody. I hope the pictures will give her and all of you some clue of my impression then and there.

Part 0 Time Slip Part 3 Toledo & La Mancha
Part 1 Costa Azul Part 4 Andalucia
Part 2 Madrid Part 5 Lisbon & Suburbs
Part 0 Looking back and Time Slip

Our couple, Emiko and I, joined the 10-day tour around the southern half of Iberian Peninsula in May 2005, starting at Barcelona in Spain and ending at Lisbon in Portugal.
It was a crossing travel, viewing the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean here and there.

The large bus with 30 tour members including the attendant ran 2,500 km for 7 net days.
Though the travel was too quick, both the content and my impressions were dense. As soon as I came back, I made its photo album in my homepage all right, but I could not write its travelogue that time. Too many deep impressions.
I had another reason I could not. It was the novel I was proceeding then since half a year before. During the travel I could not forget about it all times.
Just after returned home, I finished the draft of the novel, added some corrections, and completed it in September that year.
The novel, titled "The Story of the Auditorium Where Monsters Live", is carried on the essay and novel square "Zakki-cho" as the 46th-48th stories in Japanese only.

Now, it's time to go back to ten years ago and to fly to Iberian Peninsula.
Hello, Spain, Buenos dias! Hello, Portugal, Boa tarde!

- - - - - - - - - - -

Back to the Year 2005

We, the tour members, left Narita Airport at 10:30 am on Sunday, May 8 on Air France, changed planes at Paris and arrived at Barcelona Airport in Spain at 7:30 pm the same day local time.
Since the time difference between Japan and Spain is 8 hours, the flight time was 17 hours including the plane transfer at Paris.

The large bus waiting at the airport drove us to Sitges, 43 km away to the southwest, a resort town facing the Mediterranean Sea.
No sooner had we arrived at the hotel Antemare than we went to bed at last.
The next morning our couple got out of the hotel before breakfast, and breathed fresh breeze of the Mediterranean Sea.

We left the hotel at 9:00. Clear and blue sky, deep-blue peaceful sea and dry sound of ripples. All of them were cheerfully seeing us off.

Sitges must not have been the town where staying only one night. The Japanese guidebook says "It is a villa area and a town of art".
Its beach full of swimmers should be as expected, and each of the following 3 museums is said characteristic and worth visiting in the book. They are: Museu Cau Ferrat, Museu Marical and Museu Romantico.

-----
Our bus was new and big-size, available for 45 passengers, with 2 drivers who kept safty-driving in mind by alternate driving. Since we passengers were totally 30, the comfortable bus tour was assured all the way.
While listening to the attendant Ms. Y's announcement for about 30 minutes, the bus already entered the city of Barcelona.
We were about to see the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi. I am going to write about him and his works in the next chapter.

The following table is our itinerary made by the travel agency Hankyu Trapix. The first day September 8 was just the same with the plan.

Travel around Spain and Portugal, 2005
May 8th - 17th (10 Days)
Date Place Itinerary
Sun.
May 8
Lv. Narita
Ar. Paris
Lv. Paris
Ar. Barcelona
→ Sitges
10:35 AF279
16:00
17:45 AF2048
19:30

 (Stay: Antemare, Sitges)
Mon.
May 9
Sitges
 →
Barcelona
 →
Valencia
Morning:
 Sightseeing in Barcelona
Afternoon:
 to Valencia
 (Stay: Tryp Azafata, Varcelona))
Tue.
May 10
Valencia
 
 →
Cuenca
 
 →
Madrid
Morning:
 Sightseeing in Valencia
 to Cuenca
Afternoon:
 Sightseeing in Cuenca
 to Madrid
(Stay: Fiesta Gran Hotel Colon, Madrid)
Wed.
May 11
Madrid
 →
Toledo
 →
Madrid
Morning:
 Sightseeing in Madrid
Afternoon:
 Sightseeing in Toledo
 (Stay: Fiesta Gran Hotel Colon, Madrid)
Thu.
May 12
Madrid
 →
La Mancha
 →
Cordoba
 →
Granada
Morning:
 to La Mancha
 Visiting the white windmills
 to Cordoba
Afternoon:
 Sightseeing in Cordoba
 to Granada
 (Stay: Alixares del Generalife, Granada)
Fri.
May 13
Granada
 →
Mijas
 →
Sevilla
Morning:
  Sightseeing in Granada
  to Mijas
Afternoon:
 Sightseeing in Mijas
  to Sevilla
(Stay: Silken al Andalus Palace, Sevilla)
Sat.
May 14
Sevilla
 →
Evora
 
 →
Lisbon
Morning:
 Sightseeing in Sevilla
 to Evora
Afternoon:
 Visiting Historic Spot in Evora
 to Lisbon
 (Stay: Sheraton Lisbon)
Sun.
May 15
Lisbon
 →
Cape Roca
Sintra
 →
Lisbon
Morning:
 Sightseeing in Lisbon
Afternoon: to Cape Roca
 Sightseeing at Cape Roca
 Visiting Sintra Palace
 (Stay: Sheraton Lisbon)
Mon.
May 16
Lisbon
Lv. Lisbon
Ar. Paris
Lv. Paris
Sightseeing in Lisbon
18:30 AF1925
22:00
23:25 AF278
 (Stay: in the Plane)
Tue.
May 17
Ar. Narita 18:00

The following is some of what happened in the world
in 2005 before May, when we left for this travel.
January George W. Bush became his 2nd term President of the United States.
March The earthquake of magnitude 8.7 occurred off Smatra Island killing over 1,000 people.
April The anti-Japan demonstration by 10,000 people happened in Beijing, China. Also in Zejiang Province there broke out the riot of over 30,000 peasants.
April The German cardinal became Pope Benedict XVI.
April The derailment accident happened on the Fukuchiyama Line, Japan, killing 107 people.
Part 0 Reading: 9' 40"
Beginning of the Story Part 1 Costa Azul >
Part 0 Time Slip Part 3 Toledo & La Mancha
Part 1 Costa Azul Part 4 Andalucia
Part 2 Madrid Part 5 Lisbon & Suburbs
Close Mail