Friday, July 10, 2009

Madrid I

Hola amigos!
I made it to Madrid. It really isn´t what I was expecting at all...but that´s because I was expecting something not as cool. Don´t really know why.. So things have turned out quite nicely, I think.
Let me tell you all about my adventure getting here...Becuase I know you´re DYING to know..
SO I left home Wednesday and flew Air Berlin from Vancouver to Dusseldorf, Germany. It´s about a 9 hour flight. And it was empty. I had a window seat, and there was no one next to me, so I got to sprawl out and sleep, which was lovely. We landed in the Dorf at 11am local time, and my big bag was checked all the way through to Madrid, which meant I was free to wander without it. I hopped on the train to the central station in Dusseldorf and spent three hours wandering around and drinking tea with my book. It´s a nice little city- or at least the area I was in.
Then it was back to the flugehaven- I know I spelt that wrong.. where I had another couple hours to kill. I was so tired I just found a seat, put my ipod on and stared at nothing. Total zombie.
The flight to Madrid was full. It took just over 2 hours and the guy next to me was snorting and coughing the whole way- just lovely. We were just making our descent into the city, like just about to land and then we started going up. And so they made an annoucement in German and then a very fast announcement in Spanish. And then a couple minutes later, one in English.. apparently there was a crosswind that wsa just rippin´across the runway, so we had to abort the mission and try again. Which we did, and it was just fine.
Meagan and AJ were waiting for me outside of baggage and we leapt (not really...) onto the metro into the centre of the city and found our hostel. We were sharing a room with 3 other people, all really nice. The three of us went for a little walk, grabbed some cold water and called it a night.
And it was a Loud night. Our hostel was on a quasi-big road, and this is Spain, where life really starts after it gets dark.. so it was loud, almost all night, so I didn´t ge the greatest sleep. But thats ok.
This morning we packed up all our stuff and went to a different hostel (last night´s was full for tonight, we nly booked it for the 1 night..). Our current place is just the 3 of us with our own bathroom, which is tres nice. I mean the place itself isn´t anything fancy, but its nice having our own bathroom.
Once we were all cleaned up, we set out walking to the palace- about a 20 min walk. It was 10am and 30 degrees. But its not super sticky so as long as yo´re in the shade, its not that bad. We spent some time checking out the palace, then went across the street to THE Juan Valdez coffee shop (well, its a chain, but it was one of THE Juan Valdez coffee shops), rumoured to have THE best coffee. And we all got smoothies. Go figure eh?
We took a very roundabout and scenic way home, intentionally, and saw the Plaza Mayor and lots of really pretty sidestreets. Madrid is kind of like a more colourful, happier Paris. Same kind of euro-vibe.
When in Spain... we were all in need of a siesta. So we took a 4hour nap- I´m still exhausted and could probably sleep through the night right now (its 750pm), quite easily. But I won´t. Not right now anyways.
That brings us to now. Après ça we´re off to find some groceries for breakfast and then some paella and some sangria. And then bed. I can´t wait.

Things I learned:
1. Mr. Bean is funny in all cultures. Germans laugh at his lame funny habits just as hard as I do.
2. Dusseldorf smells like handcream. Its quite pleasant- kind of soothing really.
3. Despite the fact that German and English are in the same family, I don´t understand it at all. I know please and thank you and wunderbar. And airport. C´est tout. I´m doing just marginally better with español, but that´s because I speak French. They´re good friends.

I think that´s all the lessons I´ve got for you at this time.
Paz é amor. ...Portuguese is also like French and Spanish..

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