Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hola Madrid! (Fall Break Part I)

Oh hey guys. I've been in three countries in the past week, and I think that's pretty cool. So I've officially decided that doing all of Fall Break in one blog post will stress out not only you, but me as well. So I'm not going to do that. Of course the stuff that I know you (meaning my sister) are waiting for is going to be towards the end, but I guess you'll just have to deal with it.

First of all, here's why I picked my travel buddy.

This is a mirror at a Metro stop. Aw yeah.

So, you may or may not recall that my first stop on Fall Break was Madrid, Spain! We had an early morning flight, so naturally, we decided to get to the airport the suggested two hours before departure. We called a shuttle and drove to the airport with a few other friends that were headed to Madrid.

The shuttle got to our place at three in the morning. Mind you, I was still up packing and making sandwiches and squirming and being excited past twelve. That does not equal a lot of sleep. Starting off the trip right.

To top it off, we arrived at the airport at three thirty (oof), only to find the airport does not open until four thirty or something insane like that. Life lessons.

BUT THEN! We flew and I got a window seat and it was lovely. Not much sleep was happening, so I got to see my first glimpse of Spain from the air. Now. Let me preface this by saying that I really enjoyed Spain and I loved it. But, man, it is BROWN from the air. You can see where (I assume, because I'm a knowledgeable expert on Spain's topography now) a river had been however many years ago. The trees were not green nor were they leafy. It was interesting.

But we landed. Skipped customs again, although maybe I shouldn't be sharing that. We ate some sandwiches and then set off to find our hostel. We took the Metro, naturally, and it was an adventure.

Intense map.

We got a handle on the Metro pretty well. It seems I like to live in cities (Philly, Rome) with lousy Metro systems. This type of map intimidates me because there's more than two lines to choose from. But we'd win the Amazing Race, don't worry.

So we got to our hostel without much struggle. We checked in and were being shown to our rooms when we went back outside and walked down the street. We were moved to a sister hostel or something, but it was certainly a tad confusing. I wish I had gotten pictures of it to show you, but I suck, so I don't have any. It was called Hotel Naranja, I think. It was a nice enough place! The shower was a little bit interesting. Took some coordination and skill to get clean properly. It also smelled like my grandma's house. That's not a bad thing, mind you. Just odd to find in Spain. Good place to sleep, though, which is really all we needed it for.

And sleep we did. Few hours nap did us some good, let me tell you.

We decided to just wander around for a bit, and we ended up at the Biblioteca Museum. It is this random (free) museum that was entirely in Spanish and a little overwhelming. But we managed to make it a bit interesting, because we're talented.

My favorite little painting. I had a dream it snowed last night. 

I'm a sucker for dreamers. :)

Nifty, right?

I wish my signature wasn't so stupid.

So yeah! It was fun going around and seeing how much Spanish we did (or did not) remember. Our next stop was to wander down the street to the Buen Ritiro park. 

I got so excited my pictures got all wonky.


Where we stopped to eat some food.


More park pictures you probably don't care about.

IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL. I want to run in that park. I want to play in that park. I want to live in that park. (Spoiler alert: I find a better one!)

After that, we walked down the street the the Museo Nacional del Prado. It was beautiful and we actually had a really good time looking at the stuff. Who would have guessed? My favorite was the painting of The Lovers of Teruel. I'm a little bit of a sucker, right? But it was my favorite! 

The rest of my night consisted of cheesecake, smoothies, and tapas. Good stuff, really.

I ate pork chops...or something. I forget. 

Nice omelette thing.

We went at the end of the night, so we kept getting free bread and free tapas. It was so great and so delicious. We ended up spending an hour and a half here just relaxing, and it was so nice. Plus, we were guzzling down water like no other. This lack-of-water-fountains-in-cities-other-than-Rome thing is LAME.

After that was bed time, not going to lie. It was a wonderful day in Madrid, but we still had one more there. I refuse to do a blog post for each day. So I'm just going to get a little crazy and expect you to read even more of this right now. Sorry, kiddos.

We decided to go to another art museum today, the Reina Sofia. I must say, I did not enjoy this one as much, but it was still a nice way to spend my time. No complaints here. 

It's pretty cool, you can walk in that.

Nice statue in the garden.

This was on the roof. Not sure why.

View from the roof. Pretty nice!

After this, we decided to jet across to another park. The biggest park I've ever seen, really. I mean, I love Central Park. But this was out of control. It's called Casa de Campo. There are THREE Metro stops within in the park. It has not only a lake and a zoo, but an amusement park as well. IT WAS CRAZY AND I LOVE IT. I wish I could be there every day. Every warm, nice day. (Another spoiler alert: I still haven't ridden a bike. Santa. Can you hear me?)


On top of Old Smokey a hill in the park.

Oh hey, Madrid.

:( Bad.

No big deal. Swings on a stick.

(Left) Giraffe; (Right) A turtle.

There was a garden and a cathedral thrown in our day too. However, as I am getting a little bit tired of typing, I'm sure by this point you're already scrolling through to just see the pictures. My bad. You're almost done, I really promise you.

You may notice I've left out food thusfar. We ate. Don't even worry about it. This day was a lot about food, actually. What can I say? We really enjoy food. So I'll just speed through this part.


Insane paella that was amazing.

Madrid's version of a Chipwich. Awww yeah.

Spicy potatoes for dinner. Yum.

Sandwich with salmon and delicious sauce.

Beers and our snacking. Which was so good too.

Churros and chocolate. Shunning the chocolate milkshake.

IN CONCLUSION, I HAD SUCH A GOOD TIME IN MADRID! It was absolutely beautiful, and there was even talk of studying there over Rome. I loved it.

Little did I know, Paris would steal the show. :)

You want a sneak preview?

Go on. You can faint, gasp, cry, etc. I won't tell.

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