Sunday, September 30, 2012


Madrid and I did NOT start out on the right foot.  I arrived at the train station in desperate need of a bathroom (not sure why I didn't pee on the train before we got in, but lesson learned).  The closest bathroom was "just over there," as is EVERYTHING in Spain.  "Just over there" was at the opposite end of the ginormous train station.  I almost died.  Anyway, got that taken care of and sat down where I could find wifi to figure out where my hotel was. 

Throughout the journey, I tried to limit my use of taxis and just do everything on my own.  That was the whole point, after doing me, figuring me out, etc etc.  So, Google Maps walking (beta) edition...not my friend.  I entered the address of my hotel, and to my surprise and excitement, my hotel was about a 10 minute walk.  Fabulous!  And according to the woman at the Info Booth, my hotel was "just over there"...I've so got this!

So, I started walking.  And walking...and following Google Maps...and walking.  40 minutes later (have I mentioned that my suitcase was the largest one I could find and weighed a tad over 50 lbs?), I had walked in a large circle, and my hotel was nowhere to be found.  On the verge of tears, I asked a gentleman at a restaurant where my hotel was.  THE STREET was "just over there."  In his broken English, I understood that the hotel was not within walking distance.  He suggested I take the #6 bus.  I thought screw that, I need a taxi...walked to the closest hotel and hired a taxi.  My hotel was a 20 minute DRIVE from the train station, up and over a very steep hill.  I never would have found it. 

Once delivered to my hotel, the stress immediately left.  My room was AWESOME!  Two HUGE windows that opened all of the way, and a beautiful view to the plaza below...Madrid was starting to win.

I think in terms of architecture, Madrid was my favorite. I didn't explore too far outside of Palza Mayor, the area that my hotel was in, but the buildings were gorgeous.  Oh, and the food...amazing!  I ate this veggie and queso stuffed eggplant that was to die for.  And my new friend in Madrid took me to an after hours/locals wine bar that was awesome.  The wine was great, the owner had lived in the States so we discussed how California wines suck and Oregon and Washington wines are amazing...overall, an incredible night.

I wish I had more than 36 hours in Madrid.  And I wish I wasn't super sick while I was there.  That put a damper on things too.  Next year when I got back, because I will be going back next year, Madrid, I will give you more quality time.  Promise.

Have an awesome day!

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