21.08.18 — Journal

Alcalá de Henares

Since landing back from England, it’s been back to creating all sorts of visual design in the Erretres office as usual! After a quiet weekend in however, I decided it would be nice to escape the city for a few hours during the next weekend. To do this, I hopped on a Cercanías train and headed out to Alcalá de Henares, a pretty little town outside of Madrid.

Changing trains in the outskirts

I didn’t really do all that much research before I headed out to Alcalá de Henares; I just knew that it was a quaint place where the tapas are plentiful and which is home to the childhood house of Miguel de Cervantes, the famous author of Don Quijote de la Mancha. I’d brought only my phone as a camera and, to keep me entertained, a copy of The Liar by Stephen Fry – a most excellent book if you can get hold of a copy.

Arriving in Alcalá de Henares
Fading glory

I’d soon found my way to the high street, where I sat down for a traditional Madrid breakfast – toast with tomato, olive oil and salt on top. Once I was energised and ready for a day of wandering around, I set off to see what I could see, soon diverging off the high street and down into some of the winding alleys behind.

A nice piece of signage
Wandering around the town

Once I’d found my way back to the centre, the heat was well and truly picking up, and so I sat down for a beer in one of the many terraces sprawled across the street. True to the town’s reputation, my beer soon came with a huge free tapa of potatoes in garlic sauce, and I savoured the moment for a while, sketching some design ideas and watching the world go by.

Another part of the town

After polishing off my snack, I headed further down the street, eventually having to make a detour out of the centre in order to pick up some money from the nearest Santander branch which was quite a way out. This led me down some rather charming streets however, but true to form I totally forgot to take any photos of the actual high street, opting instead to capture photos of empty plazas and little details I found interesting.

A nice bit of hand drawn signage
Wandering through another central plaza

With the day wearing on and my legs getting tired and wallet lighter thanks to all the drinks I was racking up along the way, I soon began to head back to the train destined for Madrid. It’s back in the big city where I’ve since been up to other bits and bobs, but I’ll leave those for another post once I’ve racked up a few more stories to share!

A random thought that I’ve had whilst compiling this blog post is this: my photos seem to be pretty much always devoid of people. If you scroll back up, you’d easily be fooled into believing that Alcalá de Henares is some kind of ghost town, but in reality it was bustling with people. I always somehow seem to find an angle or pick a subject which leaves the photo without any people in it, even if it means I have to wait a while for passing people to clear off. Just a random observation…