Madrid confuses me. There is a clear distinction between drivers in Madrid and the pedestrians. The drivers seem to be out to kill, they don’t seem to like to stop and they despise other drivers. The pedestrians on the other hand are calm, peaceful and really like to take their time walking, and they adore moving in large crowds swarming all over the footpath.
I took the walking tour today as I actually got up on time. The guide took the group and I around Place Mayor and told us the whole history of the place which I already knew as I’d researched it for my previous post.
We next went past the oldest restaurant in the world. It can only hold this claim with a few guidelines as it is the only restaurant that has stayed as a restaurant the whole time and not altered the business or premises.
We next learnt all about the Spanish Inquisition and how they made people completely change religion and even their family name or they would kill them. Some people decided to take their own life instead and we morbidly visited the bridge where most people jumped to their deaths. We then trekked up to the Cathedral and Royal Palace and ended the tour at the Opera House. One of the recommendations the guide told us about is the typical Madrid sandwich; Bocadillo de Calameres, it’s basically fried calamari in a bread roll. I went to one shop and they were selling them for €5, I then found another place selling them for €2.70 so that was an easy decision. I picked one up and it’s incredibly filling for something so simple. After having this I took a wander around the streets and actually bumped into one of the guys from the hostel so we took a stroll around the Retiro Park and he insisted we had some churros and chocolate, and who was I to argue?
The Prado museum is free after 6pm so the two of us headed there. As we got to the entrance the queue looked pretty small until we were told we were in the wrong line. Then a flood of people came along and we were informed that that was the queue and that we had to go all the way to the back. The back of the line was so far out of sight we gave up on that idea and headed back to the hostel. Getting back to the place we actually found out their sister hostel had paella available so the two of us went there and got a good couple of helpings. Actually met a couple more people from our hostel and went out drinking with them.
No recollection of what happened that night but woke up this morning with a ripped t-shirt and a stinking hangover. I then had to rush to get sorted as I needed to check out at 11am. I then thought I’d chill out in the common room for a little bit as I didn’t have anything I wanted to do until about 2pm.
Unfortunately, the chaos of the night meant I actually slept on the floor of the room until about 5pm when one of the guys from the night before actually woke me up. I realised I needed to get something to eat so the two of us went to a little tapas bar, InClan, which was actually one of the stops from the Tapas tour and we ate basically the same stuff as I had on my previous visit.
My final stop in Madrid was the Egyptian Temple. This was actually really uneventful but it did give some good views over the city.
I then collected my bags from the hostel and hopped on an overnight bus to Lisbon.