The internet was not working well in Madrid, and I had almost no down time to blog. Now that I have a stable internet connection, get ready!

Old restaurant in the world!

After the airport, we hopped on a bus to the Hotel Tryp Gran Via.  The hotel was in a great position, and Gran Via is the Broadway of Madrid.  I loved how alive the city was! There were tons of people and cars and shops and plazas and tiny winding streets.  Four people from our group arrived a couple of days before the rest of the group, so they knew the lay of the land.  We ate little bitty sandwiches and drank tinto de verano at Cien Montaditos.

Plaza Mayor

I really love eating outside and people watching.  It’s truly incredible to realize the people all around me have their own personal story and hopes and dreams and thoughts all in English or Spanish or one of the hundreds of other languages in the world or a mix of many.  After walking around the city, we siesta-ed because we knew we wanted to experience the heartbeat of the city, its night life.

And the plazas truly pulse with life at night.  Madrid takes on a completely different personality.  It’s filled with club promoters, tourists, street performers, and locals all chasing la noche, and the night lasts until the wee hours of the morning. We started out at O’Reilly’s for sangria (ironic I know, an “Irish pub” for a traditional Spanish drink).  Of course not used to the time schedule we started much too early. Nothing really gets going in Madrid until midnight, and then if you want the discotecas to be busy you have to wait until 3 AM. After the sangria, we walked next door to a salsa club with a name I can’t remember (something like El Sol de…) I danced merengue with a Spaniard and then danced with some guys from the group we came with. About 2 AM we decided we could neither salsa nor merengue any more, and left looking for a discoteca. At this point our group had dwindled to five. Along the way, we ran into a club promoter from Joy with a good deal and decided to go there. It was student night, so the club was packed with young people and mostly tourists at that. The music was very similar to the popular music in the States, and we all danced until the club shut down at 6 AM.

Look at that beautiful Spanish sun!

The next morning, I slightly regretted the decision to stay out and survive on two hours of sleep because we walked EVERYWHERE! We walked to Palacio Real (the Royal Palace, but every time I look at it I think real palace).  It was truly incredible to think about the level of craftsmanship and dedication that went in to making a palace that large and ornate.  I couldn’t take pictures, but just so you know in the throne room, there is a wall covered in velvet with intricate gold embroidery.  After that we had lunch and then trekked a Del Prado.  This is the time I really wish I knew a lot more about Spanish art because then I could really enjoy the whole museum.  I loved getting to see Las Meninas though because we studied it in Señor’s class.  To stand in front of the painting and just soak it in made me feel much more connected to art. Then there was dinner and an early night!

Palacio Real

I have no idea what this is, but I like the picture!

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One Comment to “Madrid!”

  1. Katie, It was so much fun talking to you in Valencia! Keep the blogs coming, and don’t forget to STUDY! :) LYMY, Aunt Debbie

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