Madrid Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
January 23rd, 2008 – by: kimakje
I decided to do a walk through downtown Madrid with a detour to El Parque de Buen Retiro.
I turned up Calle de Alcala and walked all the way to El Banque de Espana. Here I gawked at the Metropolis and the other architecture you just would not find anywhere at home. I continued down Alcala to El Parque de Buen Retiro. I am so glad I decided to visit so early in my trip as I am dying to return. It is incredibly beautiful. It think part of it is the way the light its everything. The sun here is so bright and always shining. I was there early (maybe around 9AM) so all the joggers were out for their morning runs, as nothing here seems to get going until 10 o'clock or so. I saw the biggest duck I've every seen.
I headed back out La Puerta de Indepencia, the same one I entered. Outside the gate there is an imposing three arched stone structure just standing, kind of in the middle of nowhere. I headed toward La Gran Via, but got a little lost on the way. It was find because I got to see a lot of little streets. I saw FNAC (the big electronics store, sort of like Sam Goody or Virgin). The Schwepps and Rolex buildings were pretty cool; a large logo over and old Baroque facade.
Eventually I found La Gran Via. I walked on and off it taking side streets along the way.
I boarded the metro at Callao and took it to the end of the line (Moncloa). After exiting the metro station I got a little lost and consulted almost every bus map on about five different streets. Finally I found signs pointing to the museum. I'm glad I didn't turn back to the metro because it was one of the most interesting museums I've seen. They had artifacts from all over the Americas, however the emphasis was predominantly on South American and Mexican cultures, areas of Spanish occupation.
After the museum I wanted to return to the park to read for a while, but I also wanted to see if my luggage had arrived yet. The smell emanating from my body convinced me and I made my way back on the metro to the hostel.
I spent about 2 hours at the hostel chilling and putting pictures on my computer. The phone place was open at five so I decided to head down there and see about getting a card for my phone. I bought the card and returned to the hostel to figure it out. However, the effort was futile. The card did not work. But while I was trying to use it I hung out in the patio and some guy asked if I was British. I felt like I fit in!
After returning to the phone stand, I brought my computer down to the patio of the hostel.
A woman sat next to me with her Lonely Planet book and we started up a conversation. She was from Philly and had taken two weeks off of her job to come to Spain. At around eight I joined her and two other girls for dinner. We went right down the street to a great paella place. It's a completely graceless food to eat, but amazingly good....rice and random things thrown in. What could be better?
After we headed to Cadamomo to see some Flamenco. Her book said it was a good authentic place to see Flamenco, where people yelled "Ole!" and the dancing was beautiful. The book didn't lie. It was fantastic. My battery is extremely low, but I will update more about the Flamenco tomorrow and add a video or too so you can join in the experience too!!!
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