Madrid

Madrid Travel Blog

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My hotel in Madrid
This past weekend my roommate, two guys from Duke and I traveled to Madrid.  Under normal circumstances it takes 3 hours to travel to Madrid, however I took the overnight train which took about 8 hours.   I was in a sleeping car with 5 other people and the only thing that I could do was to lie in my bed because the car was so small.  It was a unique experience to say the least and definitely not one that I will try again.  We stayed at the Hotel Colosso, which is actually a nice hotel.

We left Saturday evening and arrived on Sunday morning.  When we arrived on Sunday, we had lunch near Puerto del Sol and then went to Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, and Retiro Park.  We also did some sightseeing around the various areas of Madrid.
A mariachi band in Puerto del Sol
  I had gofres, which are basically waffles for the first time in Madrid and they were amazing.  That evening we went to a local bar in Madrid to have dinner and also watch the American Football game.  We were still very tired from the lack of sleep on the train and didn't do much at all.  We decided to put off any real sightseeing for Monday.

On Monday, we planned to meet with a tour guide that gives free city tours around Madrid.  However, we arrived too late and couldn't find the location of the tour meeting point and missed the tour.  Instead, we went to the Reina Sofia museum since the Prado is closed on Mondays.  I enjoyed the museum a lot because it had a huge variety of art.   I was really happy to see one of my favorite Picasso paintings, Guernica in the museum.
Madrid architecture
  After we left the museum, we went to a cathedral and then had lunch.  We ate at a little sandwich shop that is famous for calamares sandwiches.  The sandwich was actually pretty good. 

After looking around a bit more, we decided that we do not want to take another overnight train so we got on the next regular train to Barcelona.  It took us about 3 hours to get back to Barcelona.

Overall, I am not sure if I really liked Madrid that much.  I thought that the food and the night life were pretty good. However, it is a big city and filled with many museums and other touristy attractions.  Compared to Barcelona, Madrid lacks a personal charm with a bit of character.  There was really nothing in the city that I found particularly exciting.  I was actually really happy to return to Barcelona.

Overall I liked Madrid, but still prefer Barcelona.  There are no mountains or water in the area nor anything that I found exciting.  
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My hotel in Madrid
My hotel in Madrid
A mariachi band in Puerto del Sol
A mariachi band in Puerto del Sol
Madrid architecture
Madrid architecture
The sleeping car from the train
The sleeping car from the train
Madrid
photo by: vulindlela