Saturday, March 15, 2014

Madrid, a silent killer

Madrid! Aw lawd. I had so much fun. I arrived in the morning, so i was able to have a shower, get a few groceries, and join the 11:30am walking tour. The tour left a bit to be desired. Although the guide reminded me of jen from It crowd, i felt like she basically said, okay heres this church, i know it looks pretty plain and not that interesting...and here's why. I know madrid missed the enlightenment but man, not really rooting for this town. Haha. A few of us went for lunch after where we got a 1st and 2nd course, dessert and coffee for €10, which turned out to be a common deal in spain (and for even less!) it was good. We them headed to jardines del buen retiro, which is a sprawling, beautiful park. We had a nice siesta looking over a topiary garden where i chatted to a calgarian dude about winnipeg, then we beaded to the nearby museo del prado. This museum was v louvre-ish, and the portraits were very impressive. That night, we went out with a bunch of different hostels for tapas, and it was amaaazing. We went to this busy restaurant where we stood at tables and they brought plate after plate of tapas and sangria and we just went to town. The waiters were carrying plates upon plates upon plates so seriously and quickly. It definitely felt like we were eating after bar food, but before we went to the bar. It was so good! I loved the atmosphere. After dinner we went on a bar crawl, and while the bars were pretty shitty (aka the music) i had fun. I really hate bar crawls that you have to pay for, because it rarely ends up being worth it. I did one in budapest that just had a tip at the end, which was a good scene. Ah well!

I met a dude from california who i hung out with the next day. We went to caixa forum, a hanging garden and gallery, where they had an exhibit called genesis of black and white photos of untouched areas of the earth. I was so inspired in this place! The photos were amazing, and so was the modern building. Such a good time. Afterwards we went for coffee, ate some food, ten i went on a wander by myself and ended up at Centro de arte reina sofia, the modern art museum of madrid. I got in for free with my student card ;) They have cool glass elevators and a lot of sweet exhibits, but the only one that blew me away was one by ed templeton, who i found out later is a skater and artist and works for Vice. The exhibit was about his adolescence and family life, and it brought me to tears, which is a first for me in any gallery, i think. After that i didnt need to see anything else, and i left back to the hostel.

Sunday morning was El Rasto fleamarket. I picked up several really cute things including my beatles shirt and a few doodads. I ate aome tapas and wandered in some antique shops then headed back to the hostel. That night i joined a group going to a flamenco show, which was really cool! The dancer had on quite a modern outfit with flamenco flair, and she was gorgeous. I had no idea how much the dancer directs the singing and guitar, and what an unrehearsed, collaborative effort it is. Really cool. 

When i got home i booked a few flights and a hostel for down the road, and decided to go to valencia with my new friend anaïs for las fallas festival. We planned to take the train the next night so we would have another day to check out madrid. Then i went to bed.

The next morning i woke up and struck up a conversation with my bunkmate, a british fellow named sam. I told him our plans, and it turns out he had the same ones, but he was driving his car there. He asked if we wanted to join in, and we totally did. We had been planning on havjng another day in madrid to see more sights, but we didnt really wanna pass up a ride so...just gonna have to go back to madrid? ;) We went and got some snacks for the road and went to the garage to find a bright blue mercedes. Anaïs and i were like, what are our lives? Are we princesses? It was amazing. We all needed to pee halfway there so we stopped in a small town of mangililia( sp?) that was so dead (probs siesta time), and found only bushes to pee in. By a castle. After that we were dead set for valencia. Arriba!

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