Escape from the airport!!

Madrid Travel Blog

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Our flights throughout this trip kept getting changed so much that it wasn't until this morning that we figured out we had a 5 hour layover. I wasn't allowed to stay an extra day like I planned with this ticket class so we made the most of the little time we had by running around Madrid via metro! Ricardo had said that Plaza Mayor was really beautiful, so I was intent on seeing at least this place in the <2 hours that we had. The madrid airport is freaking HUGE and probably the most complex/inconvenient international airport I've been in. We finally managed to find the locker room, hopped on the metro and off we went!

For some reason I only feel comfortable in French and Spanish language metro systems.
Italian, Portuguese - the rest kind of freak me out. We managed the complex route from the airport to the Sol station (this is where you get off to see Plaza Mayor and the Prado museum) via 4 transfers and 40 minutes. And then we were in sunny (and rather hot!) spain! Ole! =D

Madrid is beautiful. Irene looked so beautiful in Spain too and made friends with some people at the cafe =) The pastries are divine and the coffee is lovely. The people though, were strangely not-nice and unhelpful, particularly at the airport. Oye, developed countries and their rough manners. I missed Turkey and Africa and Portugal, where you could stop anywhere and people would try and help however they could.

I knew Ragnar would be in Madrid but the timing was so short and I sent him a sneaky little kidnap text to see if he would respond.
It said "meet me in Plaza Mayor at 12 noon. Come alone! or the girl is history!" Unfortunately he didn't get it or perhaps thought it was the wrong text. It was meant to be a frightening text but I think I did too good of a job!! ;)

Unfortunately my stomach was still in chaos and I had neither the energy nor inclination to walk the 15 min to the Prado museum to spend 15 minutes there, so we saw Plaza Mayor, visited a leather shop and bought some pastries at a lovely-smelling bakery just outside the station. Then we rested at a cafe for half an hour letting me recuperate from the exertion. Madrid is definitely on my list of places to go back to now, especially since everything I saw and read reminded me of Mrs. Ubieta, my spanish teacher at Stuyvesant who made Spanish class a truly magical and romantic experience. She used to lead more or less annual trips to Spain every summer, and I had always wanted to go. It felt kind of weird being in Spain without her and made me miss New York a lot.

We were serenaded by an amazing trumpet player at the cafe and before we knew it, had to go back to the airport. Boo =( Not a bad couple hours in Madrid.
jenn79 says:
Ragnar: OMG I was sure you would know it was me!! sorry we literally had 45 minutes and decided at the last minute to break out of the airport. Can't WAIT to see your pics/blogs!!
Posted on: Jun 21, 2009
goldfishflosser says:
ahahahaha! that text was you???!? oh man, i didn't recognise the number and thought it was some sort of spam. LOL
btw playa mayor rocks!
Posted on: Jun 20, 2009
ienjoybeingagirl says:
I love Madrid (and the Mallorquina bakery near the Sol metro station!).
Posted on: Jun 19, 2009
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Plaza Mayor!
Plaza Mayor!
Plaza Mayor!
Plaza Mayor!
photo by: vulindlela