I arrived in Madrid after a 5 hour flight to Miami, a 4 hour layover and an 8 hr flight to Madrid aboard American Airlines. Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep much on either flight so when I arrived my body was more than ready for sleep but I was in Madrid and it was midnight CA time and 9am Madrid time. No time for sleep. Time to roam and see Madrid. Ha!
I met a cool Latina woman on the plane and we had a good time sharing stories. Two auxiliaries were waiting for me at the Metro station, which was helpful because Rosana (whose been in Spain fro 2 weeks already) guided us to our hostel. I was grateful I had a big backpack and only one suitcase to lug around. 54pounds of luggage (not including the weight on my back) is not so fun to lift up and down stairs, especially when we had to change trains 3 times. I was thankful when at our destination metro stop, a guy offered to carry my big purple suitcase up 30 stairs.
Then we set off about the city and hit Puerta del Sol, the centro de Madrid. From Rosana’s suggestion we went to, are you ready for this?, “All you can eat” buffet. Ironic? Me thinks. The food was decent and they did have some Spanish food including Paella and gazpacho. Then I got a Spanish phone.
I was delirious. You know when you’re beyond tired and you feel like your moving when your not. Yeah. Fun. And yet somehow I stayed up till 9pm Madrid time. I was awake for 30 hours.with only a handful of hours of sleep. You’d have thought I’d sleep in till late but I was before the sun- 6am!
The next day, my only plan was to get my bus ticket to Almeria, which somehow became an adventure in itself. I took the Metro to the train station but should have taken the Metro to the bus station. I hoped on a bus (after an elder Spanish man suggested I take the 102 bus). I asked the driver if his route would take me to the bus station and he said yes. But I made the mistake of not asking where. I ended up at the end of the line but thankfully the bus driver was starting his route again.
With my ticket in hand, I set off to relax at the park and eat lunch. Here are some photos from my 2nd day in Madrid.
A statue in Parque Retiro
A street sign in Madrid
I met an awesome gal, Alejandra and after a few moments of talking to her I sensed we’d be good pals. When I came back to the hostel, she was searching for pisos (apartments) and I joined her to visit one. Then we ate Kebabs in Lavapies, the immigrant district of Madrid.
I didn’t think we’d be out for long but always ready for the adventure, we roamed around and then snuck into a Schuberg concert with the encouragement of a Spanish woman and her husband. Alejandra had asked if it was free and the woman said we could sneak in since it was intermission. Then she came back to get us. It was being filmed for TV for RTVE station. Pretty cool!
Then I thought I’d go to bed around 10pm and get some proper sleep (I’ve been jet lagged and haven’ slept as much as I could or my body would like) but… a Dutch guy from the hostel suggested we get tapas. I couldn’t refuse.
So we wandered in Madrid till 2 am enjoying Sangria and Tapas. I think I’m going to be drinking way more than I ever do -in Spain. It’s cheap and tasty and more importantly, many restaurants bring you tapas with your drinks. Drinks are inexpensive. My Sangria was 2Euro and they bring you snacks. I see this becoming habit forming. You can also order tapas too.
The next day I was up at 7am to be at the bus station by 9:15- Plenty of time but lugging my suitcase requires some time and strategy.
I slept for most of the bus ride to Almeria and thankfully was picked up at the bus station by a Spanish gal, Ana right before she left for the weekend. I’m learning buses don’t run frequently… I’m in Roquetas now staying with another auxiliar. Now I have to find a piso (an apartment). woo woo. (No, it’s not that exciting and I’ll admit I’m a bit anxious!)
More to come in my next entry!