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Europe Day 2: Madrid, Spain

Due to a miscalculation (my bad) we arrived early in the morning, see 9:15am, instead of the afternoon, see 3:15. Our plans didn’t change that much, mostly because we didn’t have any plans to begin with. We had about 10 hours to kill so we hopped on the metro and I quickly passed out.

We started walking around the city around 10:30 and didn’t see anyone. I mean, a single person! Of course we don’t know much about Madrid so we took the Metro to the biggest looking hub which was Nuevos Ministereos and walked around the deserted streets.

We finally found a mall where people were walking around but none of the shops were open. We thought it might be that the Spanish just didn’t do mornings and we finally started talking to someone who told us that it was a holiday. Ah!

Travel tip: Find out if there are any random holidays in the city you’re going to.

We saw a free Art expo on loan from he Musée D’Orsay. It was all fragmentation and nouvelle impressionism. It was cool and more importantly free.

Gary and I had this problem yesterday. Everywhere we went we passed out. Every time we sat down even. We got on the metro to go a few stops to Principé Pío(close to the city center which is really the Sol stop) and we rode by it three times on accident because we were passed out.

From the Pricipé Pio stop we walked a block and went into the Jardines de Moros behind the Palacio Real. They were beautiful and huge, we stumbled around the whole thing.

We walked up around the gardens towards the Plaza Mayor. We stopped to take more pictures of the side of the castle.

There were some really large stone benches there. I laid down on one to rest for a moment and woke up 30 minutes later. Gary was passed out on another one about ten feet away. This kind of stuff kept happening whenever we sat down…

So we finally got to Sol and walked around the Plaza Mayor watching street performers and taking things in. We ate a late lunch at a kebab shop that we walked by. It was Gary’s first Kebab but not likely his last. It was ok but my favorite Kebab spots in france are better 🙂

We just wandered around passing out for a few hours before heading to Luis and Amaya’s. The trains were a bit confusing and no one had any idea what was going on. We knew that we needed to take the C8 line but none of the trains are marked by which line they are just their final destinations. After about an hour and a half we were on the right train and went and met Luis and Amaya.

Luis and Amaya have couchsurfing accounts and we met them there. They’re a wonderful family and the most incredibly gracious hosts. They gave us our own rooms(notice the plural) to stay in. They made us dinner and shared good conversation. We’ll be sure to get a picture with the fam before we leave.

They showed us their plans to travel around the world and it’s pretty incredible. They’re going to take a whole year to do it and so far they have up to Australia planned. Pretty amazing people.

Posted Thursday, May 3, 2007