I went to Costa del Sol, Malaga, Spain this year from October 3 to 12. I went with just my father, Rodrigo and it was for the World Martial Arts Championships. I was representing Canada and went with a team there, and I competed in 4 divisions: Karate traditional forms, Creative Open Hand Kata, Special Forms and Special Sparring. It was a great trip, and I got to experience my first ever visit to Europe and Spain’s beautiful landscape and culture, though I was only in the South of Spain. I am doing a recap of my trip, just like I did with my Mexico trip:
Monday, October 3: Today I came back home from school at 2:30pm. I immediately had to get ready to go to the trip to Spain. I first took a shower, and then I ate lunch. Then at 3:30pm my mom drove me, my dad and my grandparents (who were returning to Mexico from a visit in Canada) to the airport. I said goodbye to my mom and grandparents, then we went through security and waited to our plane to Paris (we were going to stop in Paris because we were taking an Air France flight, which was the only way to Malaga). The plane took off at 6:30pm, and the trip to Paris took 7 and a half hours. In the plane I watched X-Men: Apocalypse and after I went to sleep. But it was really hard to sleep sitting down in a plane, and I don’t think I got much, if any, sleep. So I was really tired.
Tuesday, October 4: Today we arrived at the airport in Paris at 7am local time. We stayed in the airport for 3 hours, and I ate breakfast in the airport.
I played on my iPod while waiting for the plane to Malaga. The plane left at 11:00am, and in the plane, I was able to go to sleep by putting my head on the table. We arrived at Spain at 1pm, and we took a taxi to the Hotel Alay, where my team was staying.
We met some of my team members in the hotel lobby, then we went to eat at one of the restaurants near the beach. After that me and my dad went to our room to take a nap at 5pm, though I only started to nap at 5:40pm because I was reading on my iPod. After I woke up from my nap at 7:50, I decided to practice karate outside on the hotel grass complex with my team. I practiced sparring with another teammate, Cheyanne, and my karate forms for an hour. Then me and my dad went to the grocery store to buy food. We bought prosciutto, chocolates and donuts at the grocery store. Then we went back to the hotel room and I read and ate prosciutto before going to sleep.
Wednesday, October 5: Today we had breakfast in the hotel. Then, at 11pm we had to finalize our registration and choices for the WMO tournament. We had to wait in line for everyone to finish registering before it was our turn.
After we were done registering, the co-coach of Team Canada, Danny Griffith called all the team members together to practice outside at the hotel grass complex. The regular coach of Team Canada, Scott Hogarth (who is also the head of my karate school Fighting Griffin) was busy in a meeting. Every team member had to demonstrate their form in front of the coach, as we did in regular practice back in Canada. I did well with my form, 5th kata, it was almost perfect. I also practiced sparring with Danny, and I impressed him. Then practice was over at around 1:30pm or so, and me and my dad went to the beach with a few other team members: Michelle, her son Alex, and Patricia. The water was very cold in the beach. Then me and my dad went swimming in the hotel pools, which were warmer. After we were done swimming, we went to a restaurant near the ocean to eat lunch at around 4:30pm. We ate, paella, a traditional Spanish dish. Then we went back to the hotel room to chill, and I looked at my iPod. Then we walked around the coast of the beach and we took pictures and walked around.
Then we went to the grocery store to buy more food,and then back at the hotel room I ate prosciutto, chips and granola bars and went to sleep.
Thursday, October 6: Today was the start of the WMO Championships 2016. After I ate breakfast, I went with the Canada team to make our entrance into the hotel gym, where all the teams were presented. There were 9 teams in the World Championships: Canada, USA, Ireland, England, Scotland, Isle of Man (an island in the sea between England and Ireland) South Africa, India and Australia.
Today there would be sparring at the championships, but my sparring division was not today, it would be on Saturday. Forms would be the day after. So even though I was in 4 divisions at the tournament, I was not participating today as none of the divisions were today. I stayed for most of the tournament to support the team, and they won 3 bronze medals. At around 2:30pm me and my dad went to eat, and we ate paella again in a restaurant close to the ocean. At 5pm we went to the Columares castle in Benalmadena, and it was a beautiful castle which was a mix of European and Arab architecture and told the story of the marriage of the Catholic Kings of Spain and Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas.
Then we went to a traditional Spanish church, and we walked around the town of Benalmadena, which was a small town in the hills which had narrow streets and was Mediterranean style.
We did this for around 2 hours, and we even went to a Buddhist temple.
Then we had dinner at a restaurant in Benalmadena, and then we went back to the hotel where we went to sleep.
Friday, October 7: Today was the second day of the WMO tournament, and it was forms today. After breakfast, we went to the tournament. However, all my divisions were moved to Saturday, as a competitors was injured and would recover the day after. So I was anxious to compete and didn’t like to wait. I stayed in the tournament, and we did really well, with 2 or 3 competitors making it to the finals. We ate at 2pm at the hotel cafeteria, and then at 4 we went hiking in the mountains over Costa del Sol. We took a cable car up the mountain, hiked, and then we returned to the hotel at 6pm. At the hotel we swam in the pool, and then I practiced karate. I practiced my forms and I sparred with team members Pina, Ryan and Nick. Then I took a shower and me and my dad went to a restaurant for dinner, where I ate a cheeseburger. Then we returned to the hotel and I went to sleep.
Saturday, October 8: Today I finally competed in the WMO World Championships in my 4 divisions, and it was an amazing day. In my first division at 11am, which was Creative Open Hand forms, I came in 3rd place and got bronze. In my Japanese Kata division right after at 12pm, I didn’t get any medals and came in last place, or 4th place. I was disappointed, and while waiting for my next division I was on Quora on my iPod answering questions and looking at my feed. In my next division at around 2pm, which was disability kata, I won gold and narrowly beat the other competitor, Nicholas, who was on Team Canada as well. I had to wait hours for my next division, which was sparring. I looked at Quora and answered questions, while looking at the tournament and seeing my Team Canada do outstanding. In sparring at 7pm, my last division, I beat the other competitor from England I fought against, and I won gold again. It was an amazing day, and I took pictures of my medals and with other Team Canada members such as Nicholas, Ariston, Alex and Cheyanne. The entire Team Canada took a picture at the end of the tournament, which was finished at 8:40pm. After, we went to a pub to celebrate, and I slept late. It was a long day, but it was worth it.
Sunday, October 9: Today me and my dad went to Sevilla. We woke up early at 7:30am, as we had to go on the train to Sevilla at 9am. We ate breakfast in the hotel, and I ate cereal. When we were done breakfast, we took a taxi to the Malaga train station, and got to the station at 8:40. The train left at 9, and I slept in the train. We arrived at Sevilla at 11:40, and after getting through security, we took a taxi to the Torre de Oro. We went inside the Torre de Oro, and it was a museum that had records and paintings of Spain’s colonies in the Americas. It used to hold all the gold that Spain got from the Americas. After we were done in the Torre de Oro, we walked around Sevilla, and we visited and briefly went inside the Sevilla Cathedral. The interior was beautiful and was similar to the Metropolitan Cathedral from Mexico, at least for me. Then my dad wanted to go to the Consejo de Indias museum, so we went at around 1:10pm. It was a museum about Spain and its empire in the Americas. It was used to recruit Spanish to go to the Americas. After we were done with this museum, we went back to the cathedral to stay a bit for the Mass that was happening there. We prayed and we took communion, and we stayed till the end of the mass. Then we went to have lunch, and we ate prosciutto sandwiches. When we were done, it was 2:30. We went on the tourist bus, and we got off in the Palacio de España stop. The Palacio de España is an elegant and colourful palace, and it was used in Star Wars to film the capital of the planet Naboo. It also had tiles representing each state of Spain. We stayed in the Palacio for around 30 minutes, then we wen back to the tourist bus. The tourist bus drove us around the city, and the guide that I listened to on my headphones talked about different buildings such as the embassy’s for the countries in the Ibero-American exposition, the Tirana district of the city, and the Arab wall that formerly surrounded the city. At 4:40, we got off the bus and went back to the train station to go back to Malaga. We bought McDonalds to eat in the bus, and the bus left at 5:20 pm. During the 2 hour wait, we ate our McDonald’s and I played on my iPod. We arrived at around 7:55pm. Then we took another train back to Costa del Sol and we walked back to Hotel Alay. Back at the hotel I posted the day’s events on social networking before going to sleep.
Monday, October 10: Today we went to Granada. I woke up at 7:30am, as we ate breakfast in the hotel again. I ate pastries, a tomato and beans and I drank coffee. We took a taxi to the bus station, arriving at around 8:10. In the bus to Granada I watched the movie The Eagle with Channinng Tatum. We arrived in Granada at 11:49am. We took a taxi to the Alhambra, and we got there at around 12:10pm. We walked outside the walls of the Alhambra at first, then we went inside the Alhambra walls at 12:50pm. We saw the palace that Charles V built himself and a church turned mosque. We were able to go inside the palace, which was of beautiful European style architecture. We also entered a few buildings in the Alhambra, which were of beautiful Islamic architecture. We stayed until 2:25pm. Then we took a taxi to the centre of Granada, and we ate lunch there at a restaurant. I ate a burger. We finished lunch at 3:45, and we went to the Palacio de la Madraza near the Granada Cathedral. It used to be an Islamic school, but after Granada was conquered by the Christians in 1492, it became a government building. We listened to the tour guide tell us all this in the tour. The tour finished at around 4:30, at which time we went to the Capilla Real, which is a chapel that houses the tombs of the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella. They created Spain by getting married and thus uniting there kingdoms of Aragon and Castilla respectively. They also conquered Granada in 1492, ending all Muslim rule in Spain. We prayed in the chapel, and we went through the museum. The chapel was beautiful, being built in the Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance styles and showing scenes from the Bible such as Jesus crucifixion and the execution of John the Baptist. But you vouldn’t take pictures inside, which is why I have no pictures. We continued on to the Granada Cathedral, and it was also stunningly beautiful. It also combined the 3 architectural styles, and it was built to commemorate the Christian conquest of Granada. It was huge, and it had a big altar with paintings and sculptures of grand scenes from the Bible such as Mary finding out she will have a baby and Jesus being baptized. The Church was one of the first of Renneisance style in Spain and Europe. We had to leave the cathedral at 5:50pm, and we went on the bus back to Malaga, where I wrote today’s journal entry. On the way back to the hotel we bought some kebab wraps for dinner. Back at the hotel, we saw my karate coach, and we talked for about 30 minutes, before going back to the room and eating dinner. Then I posted the day’s events on social networking and then I went to sleep.
Tuesday, October 11: Today was our last full day in Spain. We went to Malaga today. First, we ate breakfast in the hotel, and I ate an egg and pastries, as well as French fries from last nights dinner. After breakfast, we took a taxi to the Malaga train station. We arrived at 11am. We went on the tour bus for a bit, and it brought us to the center of Malaga. Then we got off the bus and waited for a tour that would take us around the city. The tour started at 12:30, and the tour guide took us to the Malaga Cathedral, the Alcazaba Castle and the Roman theatre. Some fun facts about the tour were: The Malaga Cathedral is missing a spire and was never completed, the Alcazaba Castle is of Muslim origin and was taken by the Spanish with Malaga in 1487, and the Roman theatre was not discovered by the city of Malaga until around 1950. The tour finished with a Flamenco dance show at 1:10pm. The show lasted around 50 minutes and finished at 2. We went for lunch at that time, and I ate a Spanish burger. We were finished at around 3:20pm, at which time we visited the Roman theatre and the Alcazaba castle. The Alcazaba castle was a beautiful Muslim palace, and it was full of pottery artifacts, as it was used as a place to make pottery. Then at 4:30 we went to the Gibralfaro castle which was nearby. It was a tiring walk with roads up steep hills. In the castle there was a museum about the history of the castle and Malaga. The castle was used to defend against attacks by the French and English. The museum also had mannequins of Spanish soldiers throughout the history of Malaga. At 6:00pm we hoped back into the tour bus, and it took us around the city. When we were done wit the tour bus, we got off around the Malaga cathedral. We tried to visit the cathedral, but it was closed. So we visited the priest house, which was a museum that held Catholic icons, paintings and statues. When we were done there at 7pm, we walked around Malaga and tried to enter the Pablo Picasso museum, but it was closed too. So we entered a church called the San Agustin church. It was kind of small, but it was beautiful too. We stayed there for about 5-10 minutes. When we were done at 7:30, my dad bought a few souvenirs at the tourist shops. Then we had dinner at a restaurant. I ate salami and fish nuggets. When we were done dinner at around 8:50, we took a taxi back to the Hotel Alay. Back at the hotel, I posted the day’s events on social networking before going to sleep.
Wednesday, October 12: Today we went back to Canada. We woke up at around 7:30am. For breakfast, I finished the snacks in the room, which were donuts, pudding and chocolates. Then we took a taxi to the airport. We arrived at around 9am. At the airport we waited for about 1 or 2 hours before departing for Paris. On the flight to Paris, I played on my iPod. We arrived at Paris at around 11:30am. We stayed in the Paris airport for a short time, for about an hour. Then we departed for Montreal. The flight took about 7 and a half hours. On the plane, I did a lot of stuff, such as watching the movie Deadpool, playing on my iPod, taking a small nap, and watching the soccer Euro 2016 recap. We arrived in Montreal at about 4:50 local time. We stayed in the airport for a short time before departing for Toronto. In the plane, I was wearing my gold medal from the karate tournament, so the plane attendant congratulated me and announced my success as a WMO team member to the plane. We arrived in Toronto at at 7:00,and we were picked up by my mother Rosa Maria and my younger brother Daniel. We told them about our trip.
So that’s the end of my trip to Spain. It was an unforgettable experience, my first ever visit to Europe. I got to see amazing architecture and amazing landscape in Spain, all while representing my country, Canada on karate. Tourism is truly fun, especially when your going to a country for the fire time and doing it representing your country. I will never forget this amazing trip that I was very lucky to go to!