This story took place December 7, 2011 in Madrid, where I was visiting my cousin.
I got up at the crack of noon. Jen headed off to class, leaving me to explore Madrid on my own. I wrote for a while and managed to post about being in a vehicular collision. By 3:30 I was starting to feel like a loser who was squandering his precious time in Madrid. Actually, one thing that has made my travel enjoyable is not being overly concerned with packing in a ton of activities.
There is a palace about half a mile from Jen’s apartment. In general, I am a fan of the robber baron houses like The Biltmore and Hearst Castle. It turns out that the ones in Europe are older and bigger.
The line for the palace was insanely long and did not seem to be moving at a pace that suggested I would be getting in any time soon, so I took a couple pictures and bailed.
Walked around and snapped a few photos. Stopped at San Marcos, a fantastic market with lots of booths selling tapas and other goodies. I ordered a glass of vino tinto reserva and some olives. The olives outlasted the wine, so I got a glass of sangria. Not having sangria in Spain would be a tragedy indeed.
I walked around and tried to get pictures of the market. Those that I posted are OK, but do not really do it justice.
After the olives were gone I walked on down to the square and checked out the street performers. There were quite a few of them. There were a number of people who were posed as statues.
Another theme was people who were just dressed silly and interacted with children. People would give the kid money to give to the performers.
I got back to the house not long before Jen returned from class. Soon thereafter (or perhaps I took a nap) we went out for tapas. Went to a place called “Beer Station.” There we had some pretty good Belgian beers before we walked around looking for some place to have paella, a seafood and rice dish that Spain is famous for. The place we went to Jen had visited before with a group of friends and had the same water. On that occasion, the waiter knew no English and was very hard to communicate with. This time with just of us he was now nearly fluent in English. We inferred that he was more interested in serving the two of us than a group of American college kids. The paella was quite good, though not quite the sublime experience that I had hoped for.
Another must-eat thing that Jen insisted that I have was Churros. You get this fried bread things and dip them in cups of chocolate. This seemed like a fine idea to me. And it was. They were tasty indeed.
After that we went home and made some plans about the next day’s trip to Barcelona.
In case you missed the links above, here are more pictures of Madrid.