Olé - Madrid - Day 1
Trip Start Apr 01, 2009
70Trip End Jul 13, 2009
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Where I stayed
Hostel One Centro
I arrived in Madrid Chamartin train station at around 1PM to a cold and overcast day. After stopping by the Oficio de Tourismo for some quick advice and information, I hopped on the metro to La Puerta del Sol to find my hostel. The metro line in Madrid is very clean, efficient and safe, so it was easy to navigate to where I needed to go. La Puerta del Sol is right in the middle of everything! Sol is actually the geographical center of not only Madrid, but also the geographical center of Spain
After settling into my new digs, I got a recommendation from Bruno on where to get a quick bite to eat and what to check out in the afternoon. Bruno recommended that I head to one of his favorite restaurants, which was located in Las Huertas, which is about 10 minutes from the hostel. When I arrived at the restaurant, I really didn't know what to think. The restaurant looked like it hadn't been cleaned since 1985, but after some convincing by the owner, I took a deep breath and dove right in. The owner recommended some sort of stew and a carne (steak) dish. The stew consisted of cabbage, pork beans, and potatoes in a broth. The stew honestly did not look very appetizing, but was surprisingly very tasty! The meat dish was good, but nothing special. After a good meal, I headed off to Parque de la Montana to see the Egyptian temple, Templo de Debod, and catch the sunset over Madrid.
After about 10 minutes of walking, I began to hear a faint noise in the distance and noticed people walking in the direction of the noise
After watching the procession for about 45 minutes, I made my way to the beautiful Parque de la Montana. The park provided a great view the Palacio Real, Catedral de la Almudena and Madrid! After gazing out at the city for about an hour, I headed back in the direction of the Palacio Real. Along the way, I stumbled across the Plaza de Espana where a monument to Miguel de Cervantes stands. The monument features a massive statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. I snapped a few additional pictures of the Palacio Real and Catedral de la Almudena and passed through the lively Plaza Mayor. In Plaza Mayor, I stopped into the famous Torre del Oro Bar Andalú (http://www.torredeloro.wellsoc.org/) for a few beers before tasting my first, but certainly not last, Bocadillo de Jamon at Museo del Jamón (http://www.museodeljamon.es/). I then headed back to my hostel for a good nights sleep!