|The Palacio Real in downtown Madrid|
I flew out from Kristiansand airport on Thursday afternoon and landed around midnight in Madrid. My plane to Amsterdam was actually late to leave, but luckily I was able to power-walk my way through Schiphol and make the connection. After a month abroad and a long day of traveling, it was a definite relief to see Rebe at the airport, and I crashed soon after arriving at her apartment.
After waking Friday morning, I quickly realized that I had packed for Norway weather, which is about twenty to thirty degrees Fahrenheit colder than Madrid (and had forgotten to pack all but one of my short sleeve shirts, anyway). Pulling on my single available shirt and a pair of jeans, we headed out for a long but jam-packed day in Madrid.
|The Almudena cathedral next to the palace|
only completed in 1993!
Madrid has a great Metro system, so after buying a ticket we were able to get anywhere we wanted within a few blocks. We started our day at the Ópera metro station and went to the royal palace. The palace is from the mid 18th century and is actually no longer lived in by the royal family. We didn't stop for a tour, but could peak through the fence to see most of the exterior and courtyard. Immediately next to the palace was the Almudena cathedral, so we stopped in to check it out. I only had my little camera, so I didn't take many pictures, but it was a really interesting mixture of old and new styles of art and architecture.
|The interior of Almudena cathedral|
|Walking the streets of Madrid|
|I had to take a picture, I felt so at home!|
|The main statue and pond in Retiro Park|
|Puerta de Alcalá on one of the major roads of Madrid|
That night, we went to get tapas at a bar near Rebecca's apartment with her roommate. While discovering how much of the Spanish language I had really forgotten, I had what they declared the best tapas in all of Madrid. With an order of a beer each, we got five plates of appetizers (her blog has pictures), and before we finished one, another would be put out! By the time we had finished our second beer, we were all full to bursting with excellent food and (I was) ready for bed.
|The Plaza de Toros had the Hapsburg|
seal on its outside... History dorks,
On Saturday, we woke up later and embarked on a slightly less ambitious day. We started by walking around the bull fighting ring, Plaza de Toros, and then continued to Plaza España. The plaza had a huge pillar and statue of Don Quixote and Sancho. While admiring the fountain and statue, we listened in on an American high school teacher using the story of Don Quixote as a pretty interesting allegory how the world is so dependent on your perspective.
|The entire statue/column in Plaza|
España. I'm told the building
behind is actually abandoned
|Don Quixote and Sancho|
|Rebecca single handedly stops|
Spain's banks from collapsing
|I'm definitely not sweating like crazy|
in the Spanish heat
Hasta luega, Madrid!
|Inside the Temple of Debod. Actual ancient Egyptian engravings!|
|Looking out from the river walk|
|Puerta de Toledo at the end of Saturday|