Last week, I told you about my first experience visiting an international Costco in Japan. This week, I will tell you about the experience I had in Spain about four years ago.
We were planning to spend a month in Madrid in an Airbnb. We had arrived in Spain several days before and we had stayed with friends in Valencia about three hours to the east on the Mediterranean coast.
Naturally, I had scouted out where the Costco was in the Madrid area. It is located in the southern suburb of Getafe, almost directly on the highway coming from Valencia. Since we knew what we needed to have for a month’s stay in the capital, we decided to stop at Costco before occupying the rental apartment.
We arrived in Getafe in our rental car the night before where we filled up with gas at the gasolinera.
We then proceeded to the hotel which we had booked so that we would be a short drive to the downtown area of the city the next morning when we had arranged to take possession of the apartment.
The hotel was only a few miles away and was located in a primarily industrial/business area of Getafe. We were settling into our room when I opened up the curtains, and across a vacant field was the Costco warehouse, with its large familiar red and blue sign!
I had a hard time convincing my wife that I hadn’t planned the whole stay around having this view of Costco from our room. To this day, when we check into a hotel and we open the curtains to see what is outside, she asks if I requested the “Costco view.”
Spain’s only other Costco is located in the southern city of Seville. After our stay in Madrid, we were visiting Seville on our way to Málaga where we were leaving from a week later.
We made the obligatory pilgrimage to the Seville Costco so that we could compare the US and Spanish warehouses. As I noted in the previous story on Japan, each country’s Costco features some of the regional specialties. In Spain, there were aisles devoted to the various types of olives and olive oils, as well as a large concentration of Spanish hams, cheeses and wine. We picked up a special combo pizza for dinner which had barbecue chicken and fresh peppers.
We were very satisfied to have added Spain to our collection of foreign Costcos that we have visited. While it sounds ridiculous to some people to hear that we always make a point of stopping in an American-style warehouse while we are traveling, I feel that it makes perfect sense:. The place where people buy their food and products for their home is like a museum of the local culture. This always gives us an interesting vantage point which gives us a window into their way of life.
Next time, our Costco visit in Iceland.