Meetup Madrid Style
Madrid Travel Blog› entry 31 of 44 › view all entries
*Trumpets and drumroll please*
Today is meetup day! I even managed to stuggle out of bed for my free breakfast at the hostel. I did not have fun sleep last night, wasn't the roommates or the city noise... it was the AIRCON! I absolutely froze! I woke up at about 5am, chilled to the bone, stumbled out of my room and begged for some sheets from recpetion. I didn't even have the 2E to rent them! I wonder how Russel slept, considering his top bunk is directly (and I mean about 30cm) underneath it.
I think all the others were bulk tired from traveling around Portugal and Spain etc. So while the guys went off to see the Temple of Spanish Football (Real Madrid Stadium), and the girls went off to find a net cafe, I went for a wander around near the hostel. It's a great little area, traditionally this suburb is full of Gay bars and used to be a pretty dangerous place at night but is slowly being renewed as trendy spot. There are heaps of cute little clothing and shoe boutiques with really interesting stuff. So I spent an hour or so just browsing before heading back to hang out. We cooked a hearty pasta lunch, kudos Ruby! And before we knew it... time to go meet some TBs!
Our Spanish guide Tirso met us in the Pueto del Sol, he took us on a nice little walking tour, to the Palace and around abouts, including enough beer gardens so that we didn't exhaust ourselves, it was really hot and I tell you beer has never tasted so good. We even made a stop at a couple of the ever present souvenir stores to browse and laugh at the things you hope no one ever buys.
After that we went to a big Plaza that I have of course forgotten the name of. It was beautiful, with (ANOTHER) big statue of a horse and surrounded by gorgeous painted buildings, I dare to say Rococco? I could be extremely wrong but I know the Spanish really got into the ornate for several centuries and it reminded me a little of Versaille. The Palace was also sufficiently Grand.. I felt like it needed a capital there. Through an archway where artists were selling their wares in the forgiving shade and we came to a broad stone lane where we stopped for Gelato and Sangria. I was very sad that my glass was spilled but the first few sips were great!!
Ever onwards to another bar where we got to try traditional style Tapas and generally enjoy the sunshine, or shrink from it in the case of some of the Brits! I don't really remember what we had now, I think some olives were involed. That night we were going to a house party which we were told involved a pool so we all returned to the Pop Hostel to gather our swimmers and have some dinner. We met again "at the bear statue" at the entrance of one of the main pedestrian malls running into the Pueto. Some other TBs met us here and it was great to meet an Aussie meet-up Virgin!! [Sorry I seem to be having a mind blank with names]
After a short stop for alcohol, "bring on the Sangria!!" we moved on to the party which was in a ritzy neighbourhood. To be honest I could not even tell you whether it was north or south. Being from a coastal nation I find it hard to locate myself without an ocean to give me direction. The metro is an added confusion though we had a lot of fun. Ratu decided it wasn't a train so much as a jungle gym and I'm pretty sure our neighbours thought we were on some kind of illicit substance. I have to make comment on the house here. It was beautiful! From the street you walk through the high garden walls and up a flight of stairs to the raised garden. The whole place was lit up with torches and pretty lights and there were HUGE shade trees surrounding the pool (I believe all of this was sitting on top of her garage). Magical!
The party itself was pretty much fantastic and it has been so well covered that I doubt I could do it justice. I will just say three words: Bouncy. Castles. ROCK!
Madrid will always have a very special place in my wandering soul and thanks to all the TBs especially Lauro and Ratu and his gracious spanish friends who made it possible. Adios!
[NB: My camera effed up and deleted all my photos from Spain so I stole them all from other Meetup goers but there is obviously no point in uploading them again]