Europe Trip – Madrid Spain
Day 8 (may 16)
With the days going by quicker, yet so much of the trip still to do i must note now that these posts are going to become shorter and shorter or more direct. Not because i’m lazy, but because there is so much to do everywhere i am!!! Either way – you’ve been warned.
Okay so Madrid time! 4am shuttle and we are on our way, and with a lovely driver that likes to sing old school music enthusiastically in the wee hours of the morning. Arrive at the airport with check in going really smooth. Our typical orders of croissants and coffee is done and a plug is found to charge my phone that won’t ever seem to fully load regardless of how long it is plùgged in. Boarding time… we have slowly but surely with our flights worked our way to the very back of the plane. Like the VERY back.. do they know we’re canadian? (Kidding…)
Landed in madrid safe and now another round of “how do we get to our hostel” jeopardy. After a few metro line switches we make it to our stop and yet are still thoroughly confused as to where we should walk. You’d think getting barcelona downpat would have taught us something. Nope. So eventually we find the Living Cat’s hostel (no there are no cats there sadly), beautiful as ever with these mosaic style walls and terrace of rooms opening into a main courtyard. Only downside, they won’t let us check i till 2pm. Locker storage it is for our bags then …and we are wandering the streets looking for somewhere to eat.
After settling on a place we learn that the locals don’t like to speak english or admit they can, in turn forcing us to figure out what we are even ordering. One salad and some sort of chicken wing-fingers-tenders later, and we begin wandering the literary district looking for bookshops and a cinematic museum.
Finally hitting 2pm we get to check into our room which we decided to do a private one the first night, and crash for a nap after the long day of travelling. A few hours later we are ready to adventure out again and find the main square for some tapas and culture seeking. Lets just say, epic food,great service, some english servers, and a beautiful walk later and it’s time to call it a night so we can have a full day tomorrow. Night madrid.
Day 9 (may 17)
Deciding to take advantage of the walking tour we are out with a group of travellers wandering the city. Three guys from brazil, one scottish girl, two australians, an italian tour guide and us, we are a extremely mixed group. Visit the city’s historic landmarks, the palace, fountains, the world’s oldest restaurant and learn a ton about the cultures pat conflicts, the tour is then over. From here we invite the scottish girl to join us to grab coffee and go back to the palace to go inside and visit the free museum beside it. Our new friend ends up asking if we want to grab lunch together with her friend who lives in spain (yay a local!) and she will take us to a hidden gem restaurant.
A filling meal later and it’s back to the hostel we go. Tonight we have a great plan in place… a tapas tour offered by the hostel. At living cats we meet a brother and sister travelling madrid together and tell them to come to the tour later as well. The more the merrier right. Take a breather in the room for a bit (which we have now switched to another choosing to upgrade to a private room again, because why not). Anddd it’s tapas time!
Beginning at the hostel with some cooking lessons, we follow this with endless food at four different restaurants – all with a free drink offered at each I must add. Having met a whole slue of new people (lots from the states and the u.k.) we decide that whoever wants should come see a flamenco show with teresa and I. Gathering 8 of us in total and with a discount voucher for the show, we head down the street for some unbelievable dancing, pitchers of sangria, and a ton of amazement.
Afterwards we all head back to find the hostel bar is getting packed with people having a few drinks and preparing to go to the pub crawl later. Some wine later and half the hostel heads out while the rest opt to stay in, teresa and I included. End up talking with people in the bar/dining area for awhile,one being a canadian from edmonton who would have been fighting the fires at Fort Mac if he hadn’t been away on vacation. Some vending machine beer later and it’s time to head to bed after a great long day out in madrid.
Day 10 (may 18)
Last day in madrid and we want to go shopping of course. We get going a bit later than expected due to figuring out our flights for the next day and hostel stuff for our return to barcelona. Finally make it to the main strip where all the shops are and it’s go go go. So many great finds for teresa and an awesome top found for me, we see our american friends from the walking tour earlier yesterday who are gonna do the night tour with us. We head back to living cats to get organized with our bags for the next day’s departure.
Time for the night walking tour, we visit various locations across the city and learn about the numerous statues around the squares. Meet some more americans and one new zealand guy, and we all head back to make in time for the free pasta dinner the hostel is offering due tothe Madrid vs Liverpool game happening that night. The game leads into making really close friends with the brother and sister american travellers and two other girls from the states. Small world, I end up figuring out with the brother from the u.s (new jersey) that his girlfriend’s sister just married my cousin Richard Mastroluisi and he was at the wedding. What are the odds of that?! Small. Freaking. World.
From here sangria is bought with the girls we are friends with now (3 euros for a large glass) and it’s decided we are going to partake in that night’s pub crawl for the first half. A few bars later and it’s time to head back, there is a flight the next day we need to be on so gotta be smart. Overall, really great day.