My friend Rachel has a friend that lives just outside of Madrid and so we had a free place to stay, which is key especially since i am trying to save for a 10 day trip to Italy in October. We spent 2 and a half days wondering around in the city. We road the bus 5 hours each way. I think i slept the whole time. no surprise there.
We visited the Prado museum and I was able to see several of the pieces of art I studied in Art History my freshman year of college. It made that class mean a whole lot more to me and made me so excited to see Florence and Rome. We also visited the Royal Palace which was gorgeous. It is so hard to believe that people actually used to live in places like that. In Madrid there is an abundance of parks to visit. Park Retiro was one of my favorites. It had a small lake where you could rent a row boat and go out into the middle. It is such a big park that you can hear no city noise. There is also a park called Casa de Campo which was once the Royal forest where they royalty would go to hunt things like bears and take long walks. Now it is public land.
We spent a lot of time just wondering around the city looking at all of the beautiful buildings and visiting famous Plazas.
We also visited an Egyptian temple that was given to Spain in the 60's. The park in which it was located was on a hill over looking the city. Rachel and I spent a few hours Sunday morning laying in the grass listening to a guy playing Spanish music.
We also ate A LOT. Rachel's friend provided breakfast and dinner so we just had to eat lunch lunch on our own. Both days we ended up eating really well for a moderately priced lunch. Lunch here is the biggest meal of the day and so each time we would stagger out of the restaurants and promising we wouldn't touch any more food for the rest of the day. I mean for 10 euro i had 2 drinks, two full plates of food, and a piece of watermelon bigger than my face. We had to go lay in the park afterwards. Rough life, I know.
During the trip about every 5 minutes Rachel and I would turn to each other and say "Are we really in Spain right now? How the heck did we get here?1" It was so cool to literally be navigating the Madrid Metro and Buses on our own. It was a really good feeling. And at the same time a very strange one. After this weekend we felt very accomplished. Here are few (or a lot) pics from the weekend!
crazy sword shop. swords from Toledo
paella. a traditional Spanish dish
me & Rachel
there was a lot of this happening this weekend
The very center of Spain
the symbol of Madrid
Egyptian Temple in Madrid. Egypt gave this to Spain.
guess they have a few to spare.
Royal Palace. This place was huge
Bull fighting ring in Madrid