Hey everyone! I’m here safe in Madrid! I've been having some difficulties connecting to the Internet in my hostel, so I apologize for my lack of posts so far. I promise more are on the way! Here is a recap of my first day in the city:
The flight to Madrid was pretty painless. My flight left Sacramento at 7:20 am and I only had a short layover in Washington D.C. I flew on Aer Lingus from D.C. to Madrid, and the plane wasn’t full so I had a whole row to myself. I was hoping to get some sleep on the flight, but my mind was racing and I couldn’t relax enough to sleep. Alas, I arrived in Madrid at 7:30 in the morning (Madrid time).
I was picked up from the airport by another auxiliar at my school and her boyfriend’s dad. He took us to el Parque de Retiro, which is a huge park in the center of Madrid. Retiro is beautiful and muy tranquilo. We walked through some of the gardens for a little while and watched the peacocks and birds.
We then headed to Puerta del Sol to kill time before I could check into my hostel. We spent hours walking through the Sol area and Plaza Mayor. My feet were throbbing, so we stopped in a little bar for a drink. I ordered a caña (small beer), which I didn’t realize came with a small plate of paella, and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich…. all under 5 euros!
Once I was checked into my hostel, I met a guy in the lobby who invited me to join him for lunch. We went to this little restaurant he found to try the “menu del dia”. For 10 euros, he got a caña, basket of bread, a large plate of paella with chicken and seafood, a plate of fish in red sauce and French fries, and a dessert of fresh melon. I wasn’t very hungry so I only ordered water, but he shared some of his food with me and it was amazing! He claims it was possibly the best meal he’s had in his 2 months of traveling.
After lunch, I met with another auxiliar friend. We went to 100 Monaditos, which sells large mugs of beer and little bocadillos for 1 euro each on Wednesdays! Next, we took metro to el campo de naciones to meet with my Spanish intercambio I have been emailing with the last few months. My friend speaks much better Spanish, so they did most of the talking, but I spoke when I could and I could understand some of the conversation and learned quite a bit! I have a lot of work to do if I want to become fluent in Spanish!
Needless to say, I was exhausted. I finally arrived back at the hostel around 9 and fell into the deepest sleep of my life. Madrid is a beautiful city and I’m really enjoying myself so far! I can’t wait to get over this jet lag so I have more energy to enjoy it and search for a place to live.