Archive for the 'Spain' Category

Madrid Wrap-Up

I know I am spoiling you with posts but the hostel has free high-speed internet.  Don´t get used to it.

All in all, Madrid is ok.  I´ve only taken two photos.  I´m just not inspired here.  I think I´ve realized that I am not drawn to Europe as much as I have been in the past.  I can´t wait to get to Morocco.

I went to the Reina Sofia Art Museum today.  It has more modern art including room after room of Picasso.  The museums´ superstar is Picasso´s ¨Guernica¨.  I could tell I was getting closer because I could here the crowds.  Again, like ¨La Meninas¨ yesterday, it was a lot bigger than I had expected and made it that much more impressive.  After the museum, I took the Madrid Vision Hop-on Hop-off bus around town and saw the rest of Madrid.

Things I´ve learned:  Crossing the street is an artform.  When the bird sounds start and the little green man lights up always wait because they will always be that one last car speeding through.  When the bird sounds start slowing down (I liken it to a sick bird) that´s when you hurry up.

Fashion is huge in Madrid.  Never have I felt more like a tourist than here.  Even the other travelers dress well.  I keep telling myself that I´m on a much longer trip and don´t have room for nice jackets, scarfs and such.  To me, Madrid fashion is much more apparent than in Paris.

My first hostel experience is going well.  All four beds in my room were taken.  Tashi is a Japanese student studying French in France.  Chris is German/Australian here for a five day break.  Tashi and Chris left this morning.  There´s also a tall (tall!) Finnish girl who can speak five languages.  She´s staying another night.  I wonder if the other two beds will be taken tonight.

The one thing I´m getting used to is the dorm locker.  Everytime I want to get something (like for example a pair of socks) I have to unpack everything out of the locker to get to it.  I need to think of a better way.

Off to Morocco tomorrow!

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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!


Where’s Stacy?

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

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