10.03.15 – 13.03.15

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Even after saying goodbye to family at the departures gate, even after stepping off the plane at Madrid airport, this trip still hadn’t sunk in for both of us. For me it suddenly hit me like a tonne of bricks once we stepped of the metro, lugged our baggage up many flights of stairs to step into a very busy city that definitely wasn’t Perth.

The walk from the metro to the hostel was only 600m, but it was long enough to make you feel very small in the world. Small because of the infinite buildings and apartments blocks dwarfing you, and also something to do with the hundreds of people surrounding you speaking very rapid Spanish. Hola. We’re staying at UHostel which is a very cool place right in the centre of the city. They have free wifi, which is like finding gold. It’s pretty quiet here at the moment, definitely non-peak tourist time.

We arrived here at about 12.30pm after a full day of transit, completely overtired but determined to push on. We went exploring and ended up at San Anton Mercado, a trendy food market complete with rooftop bar. Obviously we went straight to the bar. It’s an unofficial rule that I have to do all the talking, especially when it comes to ordering food. I speak Italian; therefore I speak Spanish, and all other Euro languages –Daniel’s logic. I don’t mind, at least ‘un vino blanco e una cerveza por favor’ is pretty easy.

Dinner tonight was at a rustic family owned place called Casa Julio. It was dirt-cheap and the food was good –though somehow Daniel thought it would be a good idea to order 12 croquettes. I think 12 croquettes is always a good idea, but just maybe not when you’re so tired you can barely keep your eyes open.

The next couple of days were mainly spent walking around, exploring. In Plaza de Mayor, all of a sudden a royal procession of between 20-30 horses, men in armour, a carriage, and two black tinted cars came through. They were taking some obviously very important people through the city. Later that day while looking at the palace, they arrive again! The palace gates are open and now there is a musical welcome and even an army parade. The cars and carriage enter the palace gates.

We spent the rest of the day wondering who could have been visiting, but even a Google search didn’t tell us. We ate and drank plenty more obviously, even churros at the famous Chocolateria San Gines, and revisited a place we ate at two years ago –Gastromaquia.

Last night Daniel even asked for the bill in Spanish, #growth. It’s colder than I expected! Maximums of 20ish degrees, which is warm in the sun but freezing in the shade, and even worse at night time when it’s down to almost zero degrees. Maybe this won’t be the endless summer I imagined. Next stop Valencia for Las Fallas.

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