I spent only one day in Madrid on my way to Pamplona to meet up with my friend Theresa. I saw the sites, enjoyed the Prado, relaxed at the Buen Retiro. It was fun walking around Madrid and even finding the movie theater where my Mom, thirty years ago, watched The Godfather on her birthday. I found a fantastic avenue with outdoor book sellers that I scoured over for books in English and talking with shop owners. Finally, the perfect book appeared: The Wizard of Oz. I’ve only seen the movie, never read the book, but it proved to be the perfect novel to read for my short train ride to Pamplona.

This is a short post on Madrid since I was only there for a day, but besides the sites that your guide books will direct you to – the botanical gardens are worth a stop! I traveled Madrid mostly on my own because I stayed at a hostel that, unfortunately, was not conducive to making friends. This wasn’t entirely the fault of the hostel for there was a community kitchen, but rather the hostelers that were there. It was a disappointing place to stay where people did not embrace the concept of hosteling and this bad experience with my hostel in Madrid prompted me to write an ode to the responsibility of a hosteler that you can read here.

I ended up staying a little longer in Madrid than anticipated because I didn’t make my 3pm train. I arrived to the station an hour early, found the lines very long to buy tickets and at 2:45 I paid a student 5 euros to trade numbers with me so I could buy my ticket. I ended up making it up to the ticket window with minutes to spare – only to hear that the 3pm was sold out and I needed to wait for the 6pm. Luckily, I was in Spain, and Theresa and I were still able to enjoy the night catching up since the Spanish night goes very late.

This is the one photo from Madrid that I’d like to share:

 Screen shot 2013-08-12 at 2.21.45 PM

 Cheers to lifelong friends and catching up on gossip about the grandkids!

Posted on by Reagan J Payne in Part II, Uncategorized

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