Madrid was the climax of our European trip for many reasons. Not only were we heading to a beautiful city but I was also going to be reunited with my older brother Andrew (I’ll use his full name to avoid confusion with Andy!) for the first time since I left home over 3 years ago!
Not only that but it was also going to be the first time I met Aida, my brothers girlfriend and the first time Andrew met my now fiancée Andy!
We jumped on the bus from Barcelona which might not have been the quickest route at 7 hours but was the cheapest! After traveling now for 3 weeks we had to seriously consider the dosh and at triple the amount the train was just too expensive! Not only that but Andy and I are pro’s at the long bus rides now so 7 hours passed quite quickly!
Jumping off the bus I was reduced to a blubbering wreck upon seeing Andrew. It seemed not long ago that we hugged goodbye in Glasgow airport as I left for Thailand three years ago, since then so much had happened and our lives had completely changed!
We jumped into the metro and was soon at Andy’s new flat where we had a long-awaited catch up! After a few hours Aida arrived home, as Andy popped back out to work Aida and I were able to have a big chat and get to know each other.
That night we went out for some tapas like food which for the life of me I can’t remember their name!! They were like tapas but you order one and it comes on some bread. What ever the name it was delicious! We got to try Morcilla which is a blood sausage similar to black pudding only with rice in
it as well… not everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it!!
Next morning we got up and headed out with Andrew who had his Spanish class. Andy and I spent the afternoon wandering around the streets and just chilling out, we headed to the bull fighting arena to take the tour only to find out it was closed that day due to a concert which was taking place! Typical!!
We took the metro back to the city and walked around the park before finding a nice pub to sit down and relax while we waited for Andrew and Aida to finish work.
Saturday and Sunday were set aside for sightseeing, we headed off first to the Temple of Debod which was actually built and stood in Egypt until it was donated to Madrid by the Egyptian state as a thank you for helping to save the Egyptian temples and to help preserve the temple which was under threat.
The temple is located in the park near the Royal Palace which was our next stop. The palace gardens were lovely and we both enjoyed walking around taking in the view.
From there we walked into the Plaza Mayor, a huge square filled with people and buskers. Some of the buskers were quite cool however, some were just plain creepy, like the Mikey Mouse who looked like he should be in a nightmare!!
We stopped off for lunch at an Argentinean restaurant which served AMAZING meat… after Korea where the meat is average unless you pay mega bucks this was awesome and so tasty!!
Continuing our tour we reached Puerta del Sol another big square which is also ‘KM 0’ meaning it is the centre. The square is crazy busy and again filled with buskers… some really good ones…. Some creepy ones!! (Clearly some buskers put more effort in than others!! Ha!) The Puerta del Sol is also famous for its statue of the bear and the tree, the symbol of Madrid.
We walked down all the little roads and streets before heading home for a siesta, it something that would take me a lot longer to get used to as after a sleep in the afternoon I can’t sleep at night and I can not get my head around eating so late!! We headed out to a tapas bar and had a lovely dinner followed by a few beers in the KM zero area which was packed out with people out for drinks and dinner before heading home.
The following day we spent our time walking around, enjoying a coffee and visiting the Parque del Buen Retiro, one of Madrid’s biggest parks which was previously owned by the monarchy and opened to the public in the late 19th century. The park is massive! It is nice to walk in off the hustle and bustle of the city into a calm, quiet and beautiful park. The park also holds what is claimed to be the only known public monument of Satan and shows Lucifer falling from heaven. You could easily spend hours walking around the park and you could even go on a rowing boat and row yourself around the pond.
And just like that our time in Madrid was over! It was lovely meeting Aida and obviously seeing my brother again after so long and seeing how happy he is in Madrid and how well suited he is to life there.