Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Madrid Experience

Today I bought calcitines (not sure if I spelled that right). Sounds exciting doesn't it? Well it's not; I bought socks. They are very nice socks, but socks nonetheless. That was not the highlight of the day, in fact, today was such a full day I am just going to start from the beginning. I even took notes so I wouldn't forget anything.

Journey was pretty hungry after a day of walking!
We got a bit of a late start by American travel standards, but we were right on time for El Rastro, a Sunday market. It was full of all sorts of strange things. It was like a cross between a garage sale and a farmer's market. After experiencing all of the smells, sounds and people, and after Kate's fantastic purchase of an owl statue we were off to find lunch. Kate took us to this shady place where you had to ring a buzzer to then go up 6 floors, but it was awesome. There was some 80's music playing with Spanish waiters walking around singing. We ordered potatoes with egg and some kind of meat that the waiter recommended. (And bread of course; the bread is soooo good).

After lunch we were back out into the cold. Yes it is very cold and windy here. I think it was 10 degrees celcius and pretty windy. There were all sorts of things going on in the streets including lots more street performers. Today we saw a tuba and accordian player on a side street, and a man playing an electric violin near "the palace." We spend the day wandering around all of the streets and stopping in stores. The buildings are old and beautiful with modern touches. It just makes me happy to be here even though I am still sick. (I have regained hearing in my right ear so that is a bonus).

As we were wandering, we came upon a Mexican festival of all things. There was a big concert going on and a market. Kate was sad that we had just eaten lunch because apparently Mexican food is hard to come by and they were serving all sorts of tacos and such. After a full day of walking and taking pictures of Journey Bear and our new friend Owl, we headed back to the hotel for a nap before dinner. (not before stopping for some empanadas though).

We closed the day with a 9:00 dinner at a restaurant called Ginger (and may I add the wine is so cheap here). For those of you who are keeping track of what I am eating. I had a mixed green salad with apricot compote and pomegranate seeds, wild mushroom and truffle risotto, tempura prawns, and penne pasta with a sweet red sauce. Yum! Soo we were soon back at the hotel to pack our suitcases. Tomorrow is a travel day. Jess and I are going to Barcelona for 3 nights and we have a very early flight. I'm not sure if I will have wi- fi where we are staying, but I'll try!