The Capital: Madrid.

Hey ya’ll–

I do apologize for being absent for such a long time. I have to admit that I’m not the most reliable person in the world. I’m not even going to make excuses for my absence. Like, I won’t say that I did a lot of traveling within the last of my weeks and Spain and so didn’t have free time to write. I won’t say that I had finals and papers that took up most of the time that I wasn’t traveling. I won’t say that I was trying to spend each waking moment in the city or with my friends, soaking up the last moments of my time abroad. I won’t say any of that. I’m NOT going to make excuses!

And with all those non-excuses behind me, I owe ya’ll some pretty pictures.

My friend Emily and I took a long weekend to travel to Madrid and Lisbon, two of the cities I had been most excited about visiting. Lisbon was supposed to be beautiful and quirky and Madrid was supposed to be sophisticated and metropolitan.

We took a 6 hour bus ride to Madrid, which wasn’t as unbearable as I thought it would be. We walked 45 minutes to our hostel, with a Chinese food break. We made it to our hostel and were met with far too many drunk young men that were celebrating a birthday. We made it to bed and passed out, despite having done nothing of real importance that day.

1960005_916277388397593_462029588734810968_n

Emily, eating the wontons with fury.

We didn’t have any set-in-stone plans, so we spent our first day wandering around the city, taking our time and walking through the prettiest parts. We walked through the shopping district, took a stop in a park, climbed a jungle gym, went in the “royal cathedral”, touched a metal man’s butt and saw the royal palace.

10404866_916277011730964_8522894301400288977_n 10336711_916277338397598_7875796828634140525_n 553249_916276971730968_5779904361849043559_n10806300_916277105064288_4776333980477366173_n

Then I had my wallet stolen, which was not fun at all. We traced back our steps. I cried a lot. It was, I’ll repeat, not. fun. at. all.

But then my amazing friend Emily bought us a calamari sandwich (which was a bit dry, but hey, I’m not complaining) and some tea and everything was better.

And instead of staying within the hostel that night, I decided to say FUCK IT to the 80 euros, 3 IDs and 2 credit cards that I lost, and go out to the 2 art museums I was looking forward to! We went to Prado, a medieval art museum, and Reina Sofia, the modern art museum. I preferred Prado, although Reina Sofia was very abstract and new-agey. The museums are free after the sun goes down, so that was helpful (since I had absolutely no money).

10606298_916276898397642_7561106658909203905_n 10322681_916276878397644_965232225686225874_n

We finished the night with way too many tapas and a little too much wine.

(no photos on account of the tapas and wine)

We started the next day with churros, which is the only real way to start a day.

1455155_916276231731042_4472394970637172129_n

Then we checked out Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Sol. Plaza Mayor had a lot of construction and was not as pretty as I thought it was going to be. Plaza de Sol had a lot of people and was very touristy — it actually kind of reminded me of times square, with all the random advertisements, and Disney world, with all the people in costumes. We found Kilometer 0 (which is the very center of Spain) and took a picture of our feet on it, like the good tourists that we are.

10404119_916276775064321_2206847492047847687_n

This bear eating the tree is apparently the symbol of Madrid, though for the life of me I can’t figure out why. There was no information on the plaque. WHY is there no information on the plaque?!!

10639683_916276565064342_9184612016730610473_n 10391402_916276695064329_5425780719752631228_n 10387612_916276831730982_8691705450505606212_n 10521989_916276515064347_8579914210137104666_n 10487213_916276328397699_5515687559413980910_n

On our way to the bus stop for the airport we saw a protest, which was really cool. They were protesting against the Bank of Spain — I still have the protest chant stuck in my head! ¡El banco de españa nos roba y nos engaña!

1660212_916276205064378_3460271471156145348_n 10731130_916276055064393_5821456914340739043_n

Then we flew to Lisbon, which I’ll get into in a later post because a) if I spearate my trip in two parts I get more blog posts and b) I’m lazy and I’m starting to get the feeling you’re tired of me rambling on about all the fun I’ve been having.

Madrid rating (out of 10 stars): 6

Would I go again? Only if it was free

Best part: The museums, the food (a lot of choices)

Worst part: The tourists and senseless advertisements

Overall impressions: Quite touristy, but I’d say worth hitting — it is the capital after all. A very different vibe from Andalusia, which I wasn’t quite prepared for. Public transportation is very easy to use, which was a huge plus! A lot of hostels and good tapas. The Spanish accent was VERY easy to understand, compared to the Andalusian accent that I was used to.  I’d recommend 2 or 3 days for the city — it’s really big and there are a lot of spots to hit.

Advertisements