Madrid Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
My 12 day recce of Madrid has passed, and I'm back in England for a couple of weeks before moving out there. The London pre-trip holiday lasted longer than anticipated. I got back to Coventry late on the night before the trip and got round to packing at 3am. Quick sleep until 5am, then up and to the airport.
Ryanair, East Mids - Madrid, no problem. After a little walk around the airport I found the Madrid Metro, and headed into town. The clear signs, and fast trains quickly brought me to my destination: La Latina, in the heart of Madrid. Big travel bag over my shoulder I could feel the heat before I reached the street at the top of the stairs. I could hear fast jazz music being played live, and upon reaching the surface and taking a moment to adjust to the sunshine, I was there.
I saw the band playing music on the street just a few metres away, and decided to sit down on the street next to some Spanish skater-looking types doing the same. My legs wanted a rest. Within moments I was chatting with the group by my side. And seconds later one of them said "you want drogs?". Haha, less than a minute in the city. I politely refused then after a few minutes chilling, found the appartment where I had arranged a room for the 12 days. A minute after entering, the guy offered me a joint, so...why not? I went for lunch with him and his girlfriend and already had good vibes about the place. The narrow streets crammed with appartments, the graffiti, the people of all ages just standing in clusters on the street chatting.
During the days I spent most of my time exploring the city and sunbathing in the Retiro park (and sleeping). I had job interviews to arrange and attend, plus a place to live to find.
The nights were simply incredible. There was some sort of street party/concert/fiesta almost every single night I was there. Right by where i was livingas well. These fiestas apparently happen every August in the neighbourhood, so my timing was just right. They were incredible...so many people, bars on the street, music being blasted out of nightclub-strength loudspeakers 'till gone 3am, food stalls, games, and this Wednesday there were fireworks to top it off. The atmosphere was all about fun, happiness and friendliness. There were old people dancing in traditional costumes and little children no older than 4 or 5, out on the streets in the early hours of the morning! None of this would ever happen in England.
apart from on Wednesday. There was plenty of premiership and Champions league football on so I though, why not head to one of the Irish bars and watch one of the games, have a couple of beers, then a nice early night to be ready for the job interview the follwing morning. Ok, so it was happy hour (which lasts a lot longer than 1 hour), and I didn't see any reason not to take the free shot that came with the Heineken. I managed to even refuse a shot later and was still on track by the time I headed home.
During my 12 days I learned a load of Spanish from a starting level of nothing, I found a room to move back to in September in an awesome part of town (by Sol metro, with 2 Irish bars directly opposite), got several job offers to teach English, and a tan :))))) Sweet!!!
I nearly came unstuck at the end though, when I realised my flight back to England was due to depart at 6.
So now the plan is...move back at the start of September, start work, learn Spanish, have an amazing time. I'm sure I will beacuse Madrid is a fantastic city!!!