My lovely cousin, Colleen, had been living in Madrid since May 22nd so I decided that since EasyJet flies pretty cheaply to Madrid, why not visit some family? Allison, April and myself all had the 7th and 8th off so we went all together as a gang. The first night we stayed in Paris, grabbing some beers at the Great Canadian Pub (which about a week later would become our home for the night, getting drunk and unsuccessfully cheering for the Canucks). We crashed in our hostel for a couple of hours then grabbed a cab to the airport. Tried and exhausted we passed out hard on that flight, and after about two hours we landed in not-so-sunny-or-warm Madrid.
Unreal zucchini breakfast sandwich.
We made our way along the beautiful, fabulous, clean metro to the girls’ hostel, “Cat’s Hostel”. It was in an old palace; the courtyard looked right out of Morocco.
I don’t have too many pictures from the first half of this trip because we were too busy shopping. Holy. The shopping. I’m drooling about how good it was as I type. I forgot what it was like…
I did find a really cute garden accessory store in the middle of an alleyway though.
I also found a protest.
And a gentleman looking at old maps.
By 1:30, Colleen had finished her class and found her way to the hostel! Yay for cousin reunions! We decided to get her to show us around, so we walked/ran (in the pouring rain) towards tapas.
After a very successful tapas excursion we walked over to the Royal Palace to see what’s up, but we of course picked the one day when a royal event was going on so we couldn’t go in. Instead, we took this opportunity to have a photoshoot with the guards, police officers, and snipers.
If you look at the top of the building behind, you'll see a black speck. Yep that's a sniper we were antagonizing for way too long. Also, cousin reunion!
We hung around the castle for a long while, but it paid off because we got to see what we believed to be the royal cars driving off with the king and queen of Spain. What up.
By this time we were getting that shopping bug again so we walked over to a random district I can’t remember the name of (Colleen help me out here…) for more shopping, this time vintage! Hallelujah!
On the way there, Colleen found a random box next to the garbage and claimed it as her own. I love our family.
We had another photoshoot around some really cool graffiti only to have a man kindly come up to us and let us know that we should be hanging out along that particular street because there were prostitutes working along it. Low and behold, yep, there was just along the next intersection, fish nets, garish lipstick and all… Sorry, but I wasn’t brave enough to take a picture. I don’t think I could have handled fighting off a 50 year old Spanish prostitute.
More and more shopping left all of us with a gaping hole in our stomachs so we popped into a quirky little cafe Colleen knew of and subsequently slipped into a sugar coma.
That night we decided to split up, with Allison and April heading back to their hostel and me and Colleen heading over to her place to nap and eat. After some April and Allison shenanigans involving lost maps, oversleeping and a slow metro ride, we finally me up and make our way over to a small little bar by Colleen friend Milena’s house.
This picture is the best one out of 7. Well done April. Well done.
I thought Sepia was a good choice for the rest of the night. I blame the beer.
The next morning, Colleen and I did our own thing in order to bond and speak in our own language. Breakfast was had in a less touristy area in town, so delicious and so well priced.
SUNSHINE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN WEEKS.
Some sort of Communication Palace. It’s pretty, it’s big, it’s famous, I took an awkward tourist picture next to it. There.
We wandered around the Museum district (glorious), didn’t go in the Prado but met a nice old many feeding birds and painting pictures to make money.
My main goal was to see Picasso’s Guernica. Mission accomplished. We walked over to the Renia Sofia Museum where it’s held and – one final nail on the coffin solidifying my love for Madrid – it was free. Yes. One thing, couldn’t take pictures, but there was another really cool pop art exhibit going on where you could take pictures a plenty.
We were starving so we grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant near by. Worst idea ever. We both didn’t know what to order so we got the soup… the egg, ham, bread, fish sauce soup. It is so much worse than it sounds. Only Colleen was brave enough to take pictures of it. But I’ll use some other pictures to illustrate it’s awfulness.
It looked like this:
This is also from that pop art exhibit.
and it tasted like this:
Our trip ended successfully though, with some more beer and tapas and good chats. After a 45 minute metro ride to the airport, I was off, back to France, back to Arras, back home.