Saludos España!

(the title is supposed to say “Cheers to Spain” but google translate might be lying to me)

****

Anyway! I had a great last day in Madrid and in Spain.  I started with an extremely slow morning.  I slept in, took a shower, re-packed my bag, applied to some jobs and eventually checked out around 12pm.  It was pretty luxurious.  From there I took the metro down to Plaza del Sol to catch my tour bus!

While waiting for the tour bus, this girl named Rikki from the US saw me reading my English novel and asked where I was from.  We got to chatting and it turns out we were both planning to go to the Museo del Prado.  We chatted the whole time on the bus and got off to check out the museum together.

The Museo del Prado!

The museum was HUGE! It was definitely a lot more traditional than Reina Sofia.  Turns out Rikki had also been at Reina Sofia yesterday and we both had similar experiences with the boxing piece in the basement.  But the Museo del Prado was much more traditional.  There were endless rooms and corridors with portraits and religious paintings.  Some of the pieces were really interesting and it was definitely worth the visit.  The oddest piece? A picture of the virgin Mary breastfeeding but instead of feeding her baby she was shooting the breast milk at a man kneeling in front of her.  Apparently he was receiving it as a reward for praising her virtue.  Weird….

After that museum, Rikki and I hopped back on the bus and got off at the Palacio Real.  Rikki hadn’t been yet and I was telling her how awesome it was.  We ended up going again and I can’t say I regret paying the 5 euro to see it twice! Considering my student card got me into the Museo del Prado for free (regular admission is 12 euro) I didn’t mind re-paying.

Me on the palace steps!

The palace was just as beautiful and we managed to sneak in some photos! Rikki liked it too – which was good because I talked it up so much.  We re-visited the staterooms, infirmary and armoury rooms.  After our visit at the palace, we went back to wait for our bus.

We sat at the bus stop chatting for almost half an hour before we realised a bus clearly wasn’t coming.  The tour buses are supposed to arrive every 8-15 minutes but because of the Euro Cup celebrations they were expecting disrupted service.  On the bus earlier we had seen them setting up a stage and tons of fans were already pouring in.  Even Rikki was wearing a Spanish football team jersey! Everyone was celebrating.  Car horns and cheers were going on all day!

Even the statues were celebrating!

We walked from the palace to some streets Rikki had checked out the day before.  We found a nice outdoor restaurant and decided to treat ourselves to an early (7pm) dinner: tapas and Sangria! It was delicious!  We got Patatas Bravas (potato wedges with a special sauce), gazpacho (cold tomato soup thing) and the Spanish version of calamari (much bigger and less breading than the North American version).  It was really yummy (as was the Sangria) and we were pretty stuffed.

Our delicious dinner!

After our meal, we walked around this cute little market Rikki had discovered the other day.  It was really cute and had everything from fresh fish and a bakery to a bookstore and sushi stand! We didn’t buy anything, but it was nice to check out.  I recommended she visit the Mercat la Boqueria when she heads back to Barcelona.  She’s staying there with a friend but is also heading to London soon.  I gave her lots of awesome suggestions for London and I think she’ll be checking out a musical and the Harry Potter tour! Honestly, London should hire me as a promoter or something!

Some fish for sale at the market…

We walked back to Plaza del Sol.  The crowds were starting to come out to celebrate the Euro Cup victory.  We took a few photos, exchanged contact details and then I headed back to my hotel to collect my luggage.

Rikki and I in front of the bear and tree statue in Plaza del Sol

Luggage in hand, I am off to find my train station to board my overnight to Lisbon! I’m still not exactly sure where the station is and at this moment I don’t have any accommodations in Lisbon.  I’m planning on finding the closest, cheapest hotel and crashing! And then spending my 2 days in Lisbon relaxing and enjoying some good food! Sounds like the perfect ending to this trip! 

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3 thoughts on “Saludos España!

  1. Wow, look at you supporting the local football team. Making out like a real local. I’m really happy you made a connection with Rikki too. I think that makes it more fun meeting other world travellers and sharing your experiences. I hope you make more connections in Lisbon too. Be safe Riana…can’t wait to see you on Thursday.
    Love Dad

    • Thanks dad! Yeah it was a fun last day in Madrid! I only have a day in Lisbon so I doubt I’ll meet too many people but we’ll see! Can’t believe I will be home so soon!

      • Exhausted from long weekend schedule (not play) and swamped at work after long weekend so behind in reading your blog. Last day in Madrid sounded very lovely and ditto, very cool you met and hung out with Rikki. I am super excited you’re coming home today!!!

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