The travel gods must be crazy

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - AN­GELA ALESSAN­DRI RANT OR RAVE

WEM­B­LEY DOWNS, WA I WON­DERED if the travel gods were ready to ex­act pay­ment for the lucky breaks I had re­ceived on my past ad­ven­tures — I had ex­tri­cated my car from a wheel­clamp­ing in­ci­dent in Rome with a min­i­mum of fuss; se­cured a new pass­port in Paris in less than two hours af­ter the pre­vi­ous one was stolen in a tiny vil­lage out­side Car­cas­sonne; and been up­graded to a sleep­ing cabin on a Mediter­ranean ferry cross­ing as a thank you for tend­ing to the med­i­cal needs of a crew mem­ber.

Now, as I headed to Spain, it seemed it was time to even the score. The hol­i­day started with a two-night stay in Mon­treal with my sis­ter and her fam­ily dur­ing which bur­glars re­lieved meof my­cam­era and jewellery. Ad­mit­tedly this was far less than my sis­ter lost in the rob­bery, but a shock none­the­less.

As I stopped to buy a new cam­era on the way to the air­port, I won­dered what the rest of the trip would bring. With all the changes in air­lines my­compli­cated itin­er­ary en­tailed, I shouldn’t have been sur­prised when my lug- gage failed to ap­pear at Seville air­port. The lost-bag­gage claim process was typ­i­cally con­vo­luted and, given the lan­guage bar­rier, I held lit­tle hope of see­ing my bag again. For­tu­nately, I had put a change of clothes in my carry-on bag. But they were far from weather-friendly for the sum­mer heat of Seville.

My mood im­proved dra­mat­i­cally as I en­tered the cool, tra­di­tion­ally tiled court­yard of my ho­tel and I couldn’t help but re­main buoy­ant as I sam­pled the de­lights of the An­dalu­sian cap­i­tal. Days spent ex­plor­ing the Al­cazar and the cathe­dral and nights at fla­menco shows on tiny stages in flow­ered court­yards can make you for­get about wear­ing the same clothes for 48 hours.

But the heat pre­vailed and I bought cooler gear be­fore join­ing in the fes­tiv­i­ties of the Fe­ria de Abril, the big­gest fla­menco fes­ti­val in Spain. Af­ter a won­drous day ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the sights, sounds and colours of the Fe­ria, I was ec­static my miss­ing bag had ar­rived in my ho­tel room.

What a treat to be re­united with my­be­long­ings, just in time for the trip to Granada the next day.

So, were the travel gods fi­nally ap­peased? Judg­ing by the spec­tac­u­lar views of the glo­ri­ous Al­ham­bra from my apart­ment in Granada — absolutely. Send your 400-word con­tri­bu­tion to our Fol­low the Reader col­umn: travel@ theaus­ Pub­lished columnists re­ceive an Ev­ery­day Cash­mere Univer­sal Rib Scarf ($85). The uni­sex scarves are 140cm long and 25cm wide and avail­able in a wide range of colours. More: ev­ery­day­cash­

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