Well, there it is folks, one week down...
This truly is a wonderful city. I have been awake at all hours of the day (literally) and something is always going on. While one thing closes, another one surely opens. There are huge tourist areas with plenty of the world's stores, and there are quaint corners of the city that have been around for centuries and are not going anywhere anytime soon. You can get all the food you'd ever want (with wine) for 10 Euros or pay 15 Euros for a tapa. The plazas are amazingly European and the parks are classically beautiful. I hear so much about Paris, Nice, Milan, Venice and Barcelona, but not nearly enough about Madrid. The capital of Spain is more than just the home of the government, it is a city rich with all the cultures of the world and more ham than you will ever need. If the cities listed above are half as stunning to the sense as Madrid, I am far more fortunate for being on this trip that I ever imagined.
Over the course of the week I have met many people from what seems like all over the world and I'm not even close to peeling off the many layers that Madrid contains. Dinner after 10 Pm has become commonplace while lunch at 5 PM is just another week day. Getting lost in a city like Spain, no matter the hour, is a glorious experience...I would know, I've done it plenty of times. Spain loves its statues, it feels like every corner there is a statue of some sort. I guess after thousands of years of history, they have enough heroes to fill every street in Madrid.
In one week, what have I learned? What the Spanish do with hamburgers and hot dogs is a crime, the leg of a pig sitting in your kitchen is no big deal, Spaniards love Cola Cao, bread should be eaten at every meal, ordering drinks (including soda) at restaurants and bars causes food to magically appear at your table, there is a shop that will buy your gold and sell it for more (cash 4 gold anyone?) and they have plenty people in the streets that will tell you about it whether you want to hear about it or not, the cross/no cross signs for pedestrians are merely suggestions and have no lawful bearings whatsoever and lastly (at least for this entry) people will walk the streets telling you about how amazing this club is and that you and your 8 friends can get in for free with a free cup of whatever you want only to get there and find out that it's 15 Euros for guys and 4 Euros for girls...and no free drink.
As week one is now over I only look forward, at the end of the week I plan to go to Toledo (a neighboring city to Madrid) and once this weather warms up (it was -5 Celsius this morning going to school...for those playing at home that's 23 Fahrenheit) I plan to venture into Central Europe. Hasta Luego