Whole new experience
Trip Start Jul 03, 2010
14Trip End Aug 02, 2010
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First off, Madrid is GRAND, massive boulevards matched by impressive looking monuments and buildings. Their museums, fountains, squares and all just huge pieces of architecture looming out from every block…the Spanish know how to make an impression! The city doesn’t have as much old history or charm as Rome or Florence but it makes up for it in the hectic bustling streets that just teem with life. Busy cafes opening onto the road, little kids playing with fountains, Spaniards in their animated conversations, we even saw a protest! Once on our wanderings (the 2nd day I believe), we ran into a flea market which just stretched forever down several streets selling stuff from t-shirts, to hacky sacks to baggy gypsy pants (which Lee and Yee-Ling bought XD)
The nightlife in Madrid is also very cool, there were quite a lot of bars near our area where people just sat outside, chilling and hanging out all night. We even went on a pub crawl one of the days, on a Monday night of all days and places were still open at 3am! The pub crawl was a little intimidating knowing me haha, but I did have fun and I can see why people like going to these things…I just wish they played some better music! XD Also, drinking two beers within 5 mins after eating 2 large bowls of very filling pasta is NOT a good idea, I was very glad that the burps that came out were just air =P (I would also like to point out that the second beer was given to me free and we had to leave within 5 minutes...hence consuming 2 beers within a short amount of time…I am not an alcoholic despite what some people may believe =P…YYY I’m looking at you...)
I also had my first enjoyable time in an art museum in Madrid, the Prado
For anyone going to Madrid, I would most highly recommend the Royal Palace (Palace Real) since it is one of the most amazing places to see. I wish I could’ve taken some pictures because you can’t really describe the grandeur and opulence of the place (hehe big words). I especially like the way each royal room had a different theme and colour. The throne room was filled with red velvet and gold, luxurious carpets and 4 very intimidating gold lions. There was a porcelain room, the dining halls, dressing room (Chinese styled), bedroom…all of them were just amazing, fit for a king you could say =P. To top it off, it has a room containing FIVE Stradavarius instruments, A WHOLE STRING QUARTET!!
On our third day, we did a day trip into Toledo…man that was a hot and hilly city but was nice to see the Medieval capital of Spain (the capital moved to Madrid in the 1700’s). Cobbled streets, old medieval houses and churches, the old palace (Alcatraz) and did I mention the swords? So many swords! Was cool to see the multicultural melting pot that was Toledo with a Jewish quarter, mosques and churches all within a hilly 20 minute walk from each other.
Oh, we also saw a bullfight, it was pretty intense...and not in an entirely good way. Did you know they actually killed the bulls? I guess that's kinda logical but until now I had though that they just waved their red cap around yelling "toro, toro!" It was pretty brutal...but the atmosphere and the fact that it was far away meant I could cringe less than I normally would
So that’s it I think…Madrid was an amazing city with many new experiences for me and I had a great time, much more fun than other people had made it out to be. My only disappointment was the amount of construction work taking place! I guess keeping a 300 year old monument requires hard work but still…I’m a tourist and I want my pictures without scaffolding!! XD jk jk…keep up the good working people of Spain. Off to Valencia now,…can’t wait to see what the home town of paella has to offer!
PS: The sangria in Madrid was delicious! Yee-Ling complains it’s not strong enough…and I guess it’s not, you can barely taste the alcohol in some of them but that’s perfect for me! Very nice and refreshing, it’s like juice! Haha (Sangria’s a drink with wine, sugar, club soda and fruit, often oranges and lemon…very popular here in Spain)