Guess where we got to go last weekend!? Not Buenos Aires, not Dublin, and not even Barcelona but we were able to got to Madrid, Spain! It was a last minute thing. Both Barcelona and Dublin closed up and we didn’t want to pay the $135 visa in Buenos Aires so we looked a lot and noticed that Madrid was open!…barely.
It was a scramble at work finding the best flight possible. We even thought Copenhagen but we were a little too late on the check in so we still decided to take out chances with Madrid. We were at the gate hoping for a seat until a huge storm hit and delayed the flight. This meant that people that were flying into Atlanta were in holding patterns making them miss their flights and some seats opened up for us! We got coach class, which was fine, but man it was, a long 8-hour flight.
Anyways, we finally get there and make our way to the nearest information kiosk to learn on what there is to do around the city, and also to find our hotel. Since I am the only one that knows how to speak Spanish out of out intern group, I had to be a sort of tour guide for all of us. I haven’t spoken Spanish like that in a while and Spain has a different dialect so it knew it was going to be a little tough.
I walk up to the lady and actually did a pretty good job! I did stutter a bit but was able to communicate like a regular person. I was happy! Anyways, we found what we were looking for and now the trip from the airport to the hotel. We climbed on the correct bus but due to my infinite wisdom, got off one stop too early. I felt really bad since it was my fault but my group was really chill about it. We made it to the stop where we connected with the subway (metro in Spain) and got off at the right stop this time. It was a 10-minute walk, but nevertheless, a nice one. It felt like I was back in Colombia as the streets looked really similar to where I grew up.
We get to the hotel, got our room, and damn, it was nice! They only thing is that they were smaller. For a second I thought I had gone to Tokyo instead of Spain. But then again, I don’t think Europe has the obesity epidemic as Europe does so that’s probably why the rooms were smaller. Nevertheless, the room was very comfortable. We quickly showered and went straight out to the middle of town.
We got off at the Plaza del Sol where we found a place to eat fast since we had not had anything to eat in hours. So we find a place and get drinks and French fries or so we thought. Lady brings us some potato chips. So there we were, drinking sangria and eating potato chips. We looked ridiculous. After some good laughs and constant making fun of people, we walked around the city and stopped at some nice stores then walked over to Plaza Major where we saw a lone bag in the middle of the square with a Spiderman in it.
This was sketchy because we thought it was a bomb or something but it wasn’t; it was something worse. It was a fat guy in a tight Spiderman suit. The most disturbing thing we have ever seen but we still had to pose with him just to remember the moment.
After our superhero encounter (second for mine – remember superman from my drive to Atlanta entry?), we walked around the Plaza, made our way to the Royal Palace, and hopped back on the Metro because it was time for the highlight of the night, the Bullfight.
We get to the arena and I have to scavenge tickets from a random guy outside which we were all afraid that were not going to work but they did so we were happy. I have to brag though, me being able to speak Spanish helped a lot so I felt like a badass in front of my friends! We get to our seats and man they are small concrete slabs and right next to each other! It was like being in the New York Subway during rush hour. It was a fun time though.
The best part is that my friends that I was with had no idea that bulls were going to die and/or people get hurt. They were all freaking out once they found out and saw blood. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals, but while I was there, it had the most surreal feeling. It’s like I new it was wrong but I was not feeling sorry for the bulls. It was weird.
On the way out, we ran into the Delta Air Lines crew that flew us into Madrid. It was really cool because he captain told us some great things to do and check out. He also invited us to come and fly his planes with him once he gets back from his trips. We need to email him tomorrow when we are all at the office and see that he says.
Anyways, we made it back to Playa del Sol and walked around at night to find a bar to hang out at. We found an Irish Pub and hung out there for a little while before we went home. It was a long day and we wanted to sleep and be ready for the next day. The funny part is that we ran into the crew again and they kind of made fun of us for going to Madrid and going into an Irish Pub.
We made it back to the hotel just fine and wanted to get up early the next day so we could see more things. A phone alarm goes off and we all think it’s like 8:30am. Turns out its 12:30pm we were still sleeping! Those flights really screwed with our internal clocks a lot. We all jumped out of bed, got ready, and left. This time we went into this beautiful cathedral, walked around some residential streets and then ended up in Parque del Retiro. The best way to describe this park is that it is the Central Park of Madrid. Beautiful trees, paths, and scenery. It felt like you were in a different world altogether. It was really nice!
We felt like partying afterwards so we went to the hotel, changed, ran back out, and went straight for the ME Penthouse rooftop bar (this was one of the suggestions that the Delta Air Lines crew gave us). We get there and it’s amazing! Expensive drinks with a Mojito costing 12 Euro (around 15 dollars), but for the place, one drink was worth it.
After that we go somewhere else and have some more “fun” there. We headed back to Plaza del Carmen and I met up with my brother to go party as one big group. We hopped around bars and danced the night away.
It was 3am and we hopped on the bus to go back to the hotel. We wanted to take the metro but it was closed so the bus was the next cheapest thing. We got to the right stop and made it to the hotel. Through out our journey home, no one knew where we were going expect for me so I felt like the group navigator! (I know, I’m a dork).
I fell asleep but the other three stayed up until it was time for us to go to the airport. It was a three hours nap and once we got to the airport, we didn’t know if we were going to have seats or not. We finally got some and guess what they were!? Business class seats! I could lie down almost to a lay flat position and they gave us noise cancelling headsets to use. The food was amazing! Perfect food for the morning after. We landed in JFK and then went from there to ATL. It was a great trip overall. I can’t wait for our next one together.