So we've spent a day in Madrid! I can't believe how much we've done and how good it's been. This place is FUCKING AMAZING. I don't think either of us can get our heads around how well everything has gone, and how good a time we're having. This is the MEIRDA.
We are currently using the internet in the lobby of our new hostel, University Club, where we will be spending the remainder of our time in Madrid. We are sitting on a comfy sofa, chilling and eating stuff. Good times :)
So without further ado, I'll take you through what has happened today.
We woke about up at 8 (we set our alarms for this time). Surprisingly, I think Sam was more tired than I was despite the fact that he went to sleep at about 1am and I went to sleep at about 3.45am. Must be because he's such a fatty.
We both had a shower (the shower was SOOOOOOOOOO NICE) and checked our internet shit. As I said in a previous blog post, we were only booked in at Hostal Oliver for that night; for our next two nights in Madrid we would be staying at a new hostel called University Club (I still laugh at that name) not too far away from Hostal Oliver. So we decided that we would pack all our stuff and check out before we had breakfast, and then straight after breakfast we would check in at our new hostel.
Although I said in the last post that we'd already decided on where we were having breakfast, when we got out of the hostel there were so many nice-looking places that we just chose the one that looked best to us. First of all we ordered churros, which if you don't know are fried-pastry-stick things, kind of like doughnuts (more about those later...). Then we ordered our breakfasts: we both ordered scrambled egg and toast, Sam's had chorizo and mine had bacon.
This was an AWESOME breakfast. Here are a couple of pictures:
The orange juice was really nice too, you can tell it was completely fresh. In case you were interested!
The whole breakfast was pretty cheap which was a bonus, and we really enjoyed the experience in general. Like the night before, everyone was out on the streets - it was a really friendly atmosphere. Our surroundings weren't bad too, check out these photos:
The buildings look amazing!
So after this, we wandered around for a bit before getting the metro to Chueca where our new hostel is. Here are some photos that we took while wandering:
We got the metro to Chueca, used free wifi to find our hostel and checked in. The people were really friendly and spoke English very well. The room is a bit shabby (ok very shabby...the door barely fits in the fucking doorframe) but the bed looks comfortable and it has everything that we need, so that's fine for us.
We checked a few internet bits, got changed into shorts and put sun cream on (it was over 30 degrees and completely sunny in Madrid today :D) ready to head out.
We went to a nearby hypermarket thing to pack some food for the day. I got to use a bit of Spanish there - when we were buying fruit, there was an assistant who weighed it and put a price on it. I said:
"Deme dos peras, por favor" (Give me two pears please), which is the correct way of saying it in the kind of situation, as learned in year 9 Spanish. So I was happy I got to use that! I also used a bit at the checkout. So this went well.
Before we explored anywhere, the first thing we wanted to do was to reserve our seats for a train to San Sebastian on Sunday morning, just to make sure that we would definitely get there alright. We needed to do this in advance and also at the train station we would be travelling from, which in this case was Charmartin. So we travelled there on the metro and went up to the over-ground train section.
Despite a little bit of confusion about where to go to make our reservation (two Canadian tourists gave us a little bit of help!), reserving our seats with our InterRail tickets was actually much easier than we expected, it took like 5 minutes!! It seemed like the assistant who did it for us was used to it, so that was a good sign.
So we got our tickets, and then we decided that the first place we wanted to visit was Parque del Retiro, the most famous park in Madrid containing a lake, two large palaces and many other curiosities. We took the metro to the station 'Retiro' to get there, which didn't take too long.
The first thing we saw when we got out of the station was an ice-cream stall, and as we were hot and wanted a drink after the metro journey, we got an ice-cream each and sat down in the shade.
And then we had a look around. Here's what we found:
And then we found the monument to King Alfonso XII and the boating lake!!! AMAZING.
There were fish in the lake!
And also all around Madrid, there are these really friendly sparrows. They land right next to you, and one landed on my chair when I was eating breakfast!
So after walking beside the lake, we took a few different paths and came across the Palacio de Velázquez!! The building was beautiful and the inside of it was a really interesting art gallery, which was free! Here are some pictures:
After we looked around the art gallery, Sam wanted to take some time to sketch the building, which was very interesting architecturally. So Sam sat down on some grass near the building to sketch, and I went on a wander by myself. Here's what I found:
And now I can tell you about the SQUIZZA ENCOUNTER.
Just when I came back to the place where Sam was sketching, I saw two people getting really close to a squirrel to take photos of it. After they left, I got up really close too. This was the most human-friendly squizza ever. It was amazing, and sooooooooo cute. Here are the photos:
So that was pretty funny!
As Sam was still sketching, I went and visited the Palacio de Cristal which is about 200 yards away from the Palacio de Velázquez. Sam went there too after he finished his sketching.
It is an incredible building.
And now we move on to the water incident. While Sam went to look around the Palacio de Cristal, I went to fill up our water bottles from a nearby fountain.
While I was there, I saw a Spanish woman trying to give water to her dog, called Linda. She had a tiny little pot which she filled up with water, and she put it down on the ground. And then while I was filling up the bottles, all I could hear was:
"Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda, bebe el agua. Linda. Agua."
The dog wasn't having it. But the woman persisited.
"Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua.Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua.Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua. Linda. Agua."
LINDA JUST DRINK THE FUCKING AGUA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously, the woman must have been saying this for about 5 minutes!!!! Crazy shit.
But anyway, after this, I met up again with Sam. Before we left the park, we went up close to the monument which you see across the lake. Here are some pictures:
And then we came across a cat having a siesta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This place never ceases to amaze.
So after this, we left Parque del Retiro and decided to go and see the Palacio Real and other nearby attractions. We got the metro to Ópera and everything was nearby. Here is a selection of photos:
And here is the Catedral de Almudena which is directly opposite the Palacio Real:
At this point, the coffee monster inside Sam was crying out for nourishment, so we decided to head back to the Puerta del Sol area and find a café on the way. We found a very nice one which also played loads of English music, including Aerosmith! Quite strange but nice to hear familiar songs.
This is where churros come into the story again. Sam ordered some for breakfast and bought a couple in Charmartin station, and then, without my knowledge, bought FOUR more at this café. What the fuck? Does he know how many calories must be in that shit?! I eat one and I can feel it sitting on my stomach; Sam can eat like three in a row. This proves beyond doubt that Sam is a FATTTTTTTTTTTY.
Before getting the train from Sol back to the hostel for the evening, we went to the Plaza Mayor, which happened to be on the road we were walking up. Here are some pictures:
And after this we travelled back to the hostel!!
We decided not to go out for a meal tonight because we still had a lot of food left over from earlier and neither of us were particularly hungry. So as I have been writing this blog post, we've been snacking on bread, grapes and crisps. That well-known diet.
Looking back on this post, I can see it has been mostly photos and description; I hope it's still entertaining. Once again I'm very tired, although at least I managed to start this post earlier tonight, so I've been trying to get though as much as possible in the time that I can stay awake!
As I'm sitting on this sofa, there is a light that keeps turning off periodically so I have to keep turning it on again. Fucking annoying! And when it turns off it makes this annoying clicking sound.... CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. This is like the only sound I've been hearing ALL NIGHT. FUCK!
Also just now some woman randomly ran up the stairs in front of me with a plate of cherries, screaming. Because that's normal behaviour.
But anyway, I better get to bed. We've got another full day in Madrid tomorrow so I better get some rest. I've been watching the pageview counter go up and up, so keep it going!! It's really good to feel so appreciated, so thanks for that.
So until tomorrow, buenos noches!
Jack - 26/5/12 - 01:14 in Madrid, 12:14 in the UK