Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jan 20 from Madrid

I arrived in Madrid yesterday. At least I think it was yesterday. My sense of time is quite distorted. The inner courtyard of the backpacker hostel should help with its relaxing atmosphere. This was an old house in typical Moroccan style with a glass mosiac skylight, fountain (not working), and beautiful mosaic and ironwork.

The sleeping rooms however are utilitarian and crowded as you can see in the photo below.

I wasn't sure for awhile if I would make it to Madrid on the scheduled day. My airplane from Phoenix circled



Philadelphia for 45 minutes, then spent 45 minutes on the tarmac with word that my departing flight to Madrid was still leaving on time. The reality was that the plane to Madrid was also delayed so I made my connection. The trip from the airport to the hostel was easy, except all the flights of stairs between connecting trains. At 1 euro (about $1.36) it was cheap, easy to follow, and trains run frequently. The only negative was that I didn´t see scenery between airport and central city since it is all underground. Hauling luggage between levels in the metro station was a chore, but I made it the hostel quite easily.

Yesterday I joined a tapas tour from the hostel. At 8 euros, a bit over $10.00 we visited four tapas bars with a drink and tapa (appetizer) at each. Each bar specializes in a different tapa. They were excellent and very inexpensive. My traveling companions included three Australians, one English woman. All young. Very much like the travels in Mongolia and Russia.

Our guide for this inexpensive tour was delightful and the tour included a lot of Madrid history. WE discussed politics (and the rest of the world is excited about Obama....and I should have no trouble finding places to watch the inauguration). After Adrian left us, we went to dinner together at the oldest restuarant in Europe. Founded in 1725, it has operated at that site continously ever since. We ordered family style...roast suckliing pig is their specialty. Three great vegetable dishes with it, and delightful deserts.

Didn´t get home until 11,30. Then could not sleep until this morning. Almost missed breakfast at hostel. At roughly $22 U.S. dollars per night, I get continental breakfast, free internet, showers, interesting international crowd, mostly young and adventorous. There is a laundromat as well.Think this style will work well for me,although being accustomed to living alone,I may some night need a more private setting. Then again, this is fun and inexpensive.
Touchy keyboard with slightly different spacing than mine. Finding it hard to type quickly. Also, all instructions are in Spanish so this is testing me. And cannot find a colon sign for time. Ah well, you will all figure it out.

Hasta la vista

2 comments:

Betty said...

Safe travels and have a great time!
Hugs,Betty, Jim, and Mitts

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ms. Betty......I knew you'd no sooner get there than you would be right into the swing of things. Sounds wonderful and much more adventurous than being here at Tecopa, many miles from most anything except hot springs.....

Looking forward to checking your blog for more adventures....'

Love, Nancy

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