For the next several posts you will be transported through Portugal and Spain with a dash of London thrown in for flavor at the end. You will not be boarding a luxury Globus motorcoach, as I recently did, but rather you will be borne along on the fluffy clouds of my velvety prose.
Those of you who live for my next pulsating post no doubt have noticed a dearth of such missives of late. The explanation is as simple as it is depressive. For the past few weeks I have been toiling like a serf rather than traveling like a sovereign. Oh, the humanity! I feel your compassion oozing across cyberspace even as I write these words but, take comfort, dear heart, I have learned how to steel myself against life’s injustices.
Thank goodness my interminable season of discontent ended on September 23rd when the wife and I boarded a British Airways flight bound for Lisbon by way of London. Simply return to this site on a regular basis and you can follow along on my grand adventure.
Where to start? Why don’t we begin with a theme that emerged quite by happenstance? On the evening of the first full day in Lisbon, I wandered into the bar at the Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade (I am sure I was looking for the sundry store) when I decided to pause for an ever so modest libation. I ordered a rum and coke, my cocktail of choice, and was quite delighted with the presentation. So, I snapped a picture and posted this comment on my Facebook page:
“Every bar has a rum and coke. Leave it to the Sofitel Liberdade Lisbon to add the nuts, cranberries, olives AND a bowl for the pits!”
When we arrived to the Gran Melia Colon in Sevilla who would have guessed they also had a bar! Is it my fault that they place the darn things so close to the sundry shops? I ordered my customary drink and here is what they brought.
“OK, tonight’s rum and Coke in Seville #GranMeliaColon is served with orange slices, peanuts, chocolate and gumdrops.”
I thought this was a particularly nice glass.
I know my readers are unusually astute so no doubt you see the pattern developing here. Unconsciously (which is, by the way, how I operate most of the time), I was developing my own metric for comparing the various hotels on our itinerary. The pressure started to build to see if the next venue could rise to the rum and coke test.
Our third stop was at the Alhambra Palace Hotel in Granada. I suppose it is pointless at this juncture to pretend there was a sundry shop anywhere near the bar. Anyway, I was on a mission. I was not succumbing to self-indulgence, I repeatedly told myself, but rather performing scholarly research.
My Facebook post for the evening read:
“Tonight’s rum and coke at the Hotel Alhambra Palace in Granada comes with a sunset!”
Our fourth and final stop in Spain was at the Gran Melia Fenix in Madrid. With my research pad in hand, I went in quest of the bar. Have you ever noticed that in nice hotels the bars are hardly ever difficult to find? The evening comment in Facebook read:
“The Gran Melia Fenix in Madrid offers dark rum and coke with green cherries and a beautiful mural and red rose behind the bar.”
At this point, you might assume that our little rum and coke tour has mercifully ended but you would be wrong Spanish olive breath! Unless you have been playing your own drinking game and downing a rum and coke every time I said the word “Facebook”, you might recall I mentioned that there was a brief stop in London at the end.
Our final two nights were spent at the One Aldwych. My final Facebook post (time for another swig, game players) read:
“Tonight’s rum and coke at #onealdwych London features black cherries, green olives, nuts & the most cosmopolitan city in the world!”
You can view all the pictures I took on this trip here.
Be sure to come back soon and we will visit each of these spectacular hotels and much of the Portuguese and Spanish countryside. It will be fun, I promise . . . especially if you bring your own rum and coke!