Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Madrid - Shortest City Yet

My Madrid post, a day late due to the over night train we took last night! Today we are in Paris actually, and later tonight I hope to upload today's post...

Well, honestly there is not much to say about Madrid. We ended up getting there kind of late (12) and decided we would reserve our overnight to Paris while we were there. The train station had a giant life-like statue of a baby's head! Weird! We found that we had to take a metro to the other main station, which ended up being the north most tip of Madrid (we were in the main station basically the south most tip) so we boarded a metro and went end to end across the city and asked information about how we go about doing this.

Well... turns out we had to take a number and wait to be called in a very busy ticket reservation area. So we waited. And waited. And a little over an hour later we had our number called and went to the booth and booked our seats. The booking process and stuff took a little over a half an hour, and after all was said and done and we locked our bags in train station lockers it was 2:00/14.00 and we had to be back in the station by around 6:15 to check in for the train which left at 7. So we had no time. On top of that all the museums were closed on Mondays (Except the one with Geurnica... which was RIGHT next to the station across the city we came from.) So we wandered out into the city, hoping to see some sights, enjoy the beautiful weather, and get a good Spanish meal (something we did not get to do in Barcelona). So we walked around. The city is actually very beautiful, and has a ton of trees all around. There were some statues and stuff and I don't know about everyone else but I really liked the city itself.

But we had a problem. Everything in the city goes on siesta from 2 - 5. So all our food places we wanted to go to were closed. We kept walking, and found 3 expensive restaurants and one cheap Indian kebab place opened. So the meals we ate in Spain were Dominoes Pizza, Japanese food, and Indian kebabs. God damn.

We took a little siesta of our own after eating in a nearby park. It was nice, and this old man near by saw Dave shielding his eyes from the sun and made a newspaper hat and put it on his head, it was really funny the man was very funny. He made Sharon and Jen hats too when they came over and laughed at it. One of the only nice people we encountered in Spain haha.

After we took a different route back to the train station so that we could see some different parts of the city. It was very hot so we stopped in a little convenience store place for some ice cream and drinks. The first real plus of the day - everything was like dirt cheap! I got ice cream for under €1 and this super delicious and gigantic fruit juice drink for like €1,80 which was awesome. (Also, aside - while I'm typing that it reminds me to say that it is really weird the way they use a comma instead of a period in their money like that 1,80. Looks weird to me.)

We got back to the train station and boarded the train. It was kinda cramped but really cool. We ran along exploring and there was a dining car and a bar car. The guy told us to get reservations for a time slot to come in to eat dinner so we said 10pm and all was well. The rooms alternated man/woman so Dave and I had this guy in our room who owned a crepe place in Paris we are hoping to go to while we are here and the girls next door had his wife and a nun.

We went to dinner and for the second or third time on this trip we had a real bad experience with the Spanish people that made us not really enjoy Spain all that much. In the picture you can see how happy we were before we met our waiter! Basically the gist of it is that the waiter did not like what we were ordering. He wouldn't let me order fruit. Off the menu. I just wanted what was on the menu and he told me no. They had it, people around me were eating it. He told me in his broken English that I could not order it. What the hell? And Sharon and I were not ordering enough money worth of food to justify taking up his time and the seats so he made Sharon and I leave and put 2 strangers in the booth with Jen and Dave.

Real bad end to Spain, and quite frankly it's the first country I'm glad to leave. First country I didn't really enjoy, and it was a bunch of small things that went wrong all piled on top. The icing on the cake was how mean the people were on a few occasions. More bad then good interactions. Brighter future ahead though! Viva la France!


  1. Hey Patrick,
    The people in France are not very nice either. Watch out for the people on mopeds expecially in Paris!!
    Aunt Cathy and Uncle Steve

  2. Don't listen to them!! Well the mopeds maybe you should; but the people no way. You'll find good folks everyway. Expecting people to be rude or unhelpful can be self fulling. I've met some of the most helpful and friendly people in Paris and in the countryside. Sorry to hear your experience in Madrid wasn't what you expected.

  3. I agree completely... er... Anonymous! So far (2 days in) the People in Paris have been nothing but nice! I love Paris! But yeah the mopeds you guys are right Aunt Cathy and Uncle Steve haha

  4. Hello Pat,
    I'll check with the Spanish teachers at Moore to see if there was a purpose to the denial of the food.
    Say Hi to all.
    Uncle Jim