27.10.2010 - 28.10.2010
On Tuesday morning I took my first bus in Europe from Talavera de la Reina headed to Madrid. As soon as I arrived in the city, I quickly learned the metro system and somehow correctly ended up at Anton Martin station. After walking for a few blocks I found the hostel I had booked and was told I needed to come back after 1:30 to check-in. Since I hadn't eaten anything yet, I left my backpack at the hostel and went for un cafecito.
Later that afternoon, I finally checked-in and went around the centro to explore....only to find my ATM card was no longer working! Jolineeeees....No need to say that I spent the next couple of hours trying to talk to someone at Wachovia and explain I had not lost my card, there is no identity fraud...it's really me using it! ay ay ay
Problem solved. Euros in hand. What to do next? VINO para relejar... I found a plaza nearby (actually I followed the sound of an accordion being played) and ended up at this street-side cafe. I am getting pretty good at eating delicious CHEAP food. (vino, jamon, azeitunas) ...
SIESTA time, AGAIN. You might think there are too many siestas involved in my day, but really - it is NECESSARY. I typically spend 7+ hours each day WALKING.... so siestas after eating is pretty much mandatory.
Later that night I met up with other people from my hostel for a TAPAS TOUR. We went to 3 different restaurants and in each we tried a different type of drink from the Northern, Central, and Southern regions of Spain, each paired with a traditional drink. Que rico!!!
After the tapas tour, some of us returned to one of the restaurants to eat un poquito más...we were really looking for paella, but it was sold out. ;( After all this eating, we decided we needed to go exercise (AKA, go clubbing/dancing) hahaha And in Madrid everyone likes to go club hopping... basically you stay in one club for 30 minutes and move to the next, and the next, and the next... ITS GREAT! (and free).
Wednesday morning arrived earlier than I thought it would. It was 9 am and I had woken up, taken a shower, and I was ready again. I met up with two brazilian friends I made - Bianca and Lucio. Together we spent the day exploring other areas of Madrid (Parque del Retiro, the main train station, the gardens around the Prado, the Palacio Real, Cathedral of Madrid...). For lunch we finally had the paella we were looking for We returned to the hostel around 8pm with some cheap ready-made soup and pasta for a really FAST snack and had to leave again for a Flamenco show at 9pm.
There are no words to describe the show! Sitting there, watching those dancers almost standing still on the stage, but really with their feet tapping so quickly making the most beautiful sounds.... it really made me cry. Honestly, if you asked me 4 weeks ago if I were ever going to see live flamenco in Madrid, I would probably say "I wish!" and now I DID! And surprisingly, I felt that the men dancing flamenco were much more passionate than the women.... except for this older woman who was telling a story (speaking) and dancing together... AND there was a flamenco band playing too!! At the show we met a french family (mom, daughter, son) who went out with us (Me, Bianca, Joanna, Rodrigo) to a nearby bar for sangria!
Bueno - time to go. The plan for today is to go to the Prado museum and take some other pictures around the city.
Besos de Madrid y hasta luego! OLE!