I Speak No Spanish

I finally arrived in Madrid an hour late and found the hostel with no problems.  I was lucky and had three seats to myself to stretch out, lay down and get some decent sleep from Atlanta to Madrid. 

Immediately the language barrier got me.  I was approached by a man right before customs and he handed me the standard form.  I thought he worked for the airport.  He spoke to me in Spanish and I finally got that he need help filling out his form.  All went well using his passport (he´s from the Dominican Republic) to fill in most of the information.  But, when it came to other stuff like his flight number and the hotel where he is staying it got difficult.  He spoke no English and I don´t know a lick of Spanish.  Let´s just say there were a lot of hand signals.  We flagged down another couple who spoke Spanish to help him with the rest.  He (and I) got through customs quickly and then he wanted me to show him where to pick up his bag!!  In the end, all is well.

I was able to hit two of the highlights of Madrid today before my legs gave out – the Prado and the Palacio Real.  I was excited about going to the Prado to see one of my favorite paintings “Las Meninas” (I think that´s how it´s spelled).  It did not disappoint – I did not realize how big it was.  People crowded around just like the Mona Lisa in the Lourve.  I´ve had enough Spanish Art.

I didn´t go inside the Palacio Real but I walked around the perimeter.  Apparently there are more rooms than Versailles.  I did go into a wonderful cathedral adjacent to it though.  I love gothic cathedral architecture.

So far, Madrid is only so-so for me.  I guess I don´t like the big, commerical cities.  I´m going to go on the Hop-on Hop-off bus tomorrow to see more of the sites without wearing out my legs.

Day one done!


9 Responses to “I Speak No Spanish”

  1. 1 Kathy April 8, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Yeah I am glad you had a good flight to Madrid and had room to sleep. I really liked that you name the paintings and places that you see as I googled them so that I had an idea of what you are looking at.

    Miss you already.

    Love Aunt Kathy

  2. 2 Amy Voorhees April 8, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Everyone misses you already, hope you have the time of your life!!!

  3. 3 Angela April 8, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Yay!! You’re on your trip!

    I don’t remember being too bowled over by Madrid, either. Have fun, though!!

  4. 4 Mom April 9, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Glad you made in in one piece. How’s the hostel? I miss you already. I saw on the news that Madrid was observing 5 minutes of silence and everyone just stopped in their tracks. Did you take part. Have fun sweetheart, enjoy every minute. Love ya, Mom

  5. 5 Cousin Jen April 9, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Dear Stacy,

    So glad your trip is underway!!! Have a blast, will keep up with your travels via your blog (thanks for the link Kathy) and can hardly wait to read what is coming next.

    Travel safely. Be well.


  6. 6 academiahispanica April 9, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I hope you have a great trip in Spain!
    Madrid is an amazing city. Are you coming down to Andalusia at all? We could help you with your Spanish 😉

    Academia Hispánica
    Córdoba, Spain

  7. 7 Gilbert April 9, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Great to hear you made it safely! Have fun, sounds like you are already, language barriers and all!



  8. 8 keri April 9, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    WOW! i try and try to put myself in your situation and fail EVERYTIME, have fun, i cant wait to check up on you again.

  9. 9 mandy April 24, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    i really hope you met a hot guy in spain. ;p

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Stacy is in West Virginia and totally amazed by the power of Math. (Nerd, I know!)


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