First stop on our trip. We should’ve done better research in terms of selecting which dates to go to Madrid. We didn’t know until a couples day before we left that the World Youth Day Festival was going on while we were going to be there. Due to WYD, the Pope was schedule to celebrate mass in Madrid and arrived the day before we arrived. We arrived on a Saturday and the majority of the WYD attendants were headed to the Papal site (to camp out for mass the next day) via metro. Here’s the kicker it was the SAME line that we needed to take from the airport to our hotel. 😦 It was miserable. However with everyone out at the Papal site on Saturday and Sunday, it left the city open for our tourist adventures without ridiculous crowds everywhere. Can’t say the same about Monday though.
Madrid is definitely a historical city. If you’re a history buff, it’s definitely the place to go. Also if you’re into architecture, but I’d say that about most European cities. I think buildings in most European cities are beautiful. They range from historical to modern. It definitely gives the city character.
In love with the buildings
Madrid has a special place in my heart. When I was younger, I used to come to Spain almost every Spring Break for 3 years when we lived in Naples. My Godfather lived in Seville, so we would visit him. We went to Madrid on one of those trips. When we came here, my dad told me we were great great great descendants of King Felipe. Being the gullible child that I am, I thought Felipe was his last name and we were actually related. 😛 But it gave me joy to be in front of the Palacio Real again after 20 years. This time with my husband. While it’s nice going to places together that neither of us have been to before, it’s also nice sharing a city with the other. It’s a different experience and appreciation.
My favorite thing in Madrid? Going to a bullfight. While I LOVED the history and the buildings, it was exciting to do something different other than sightsee. It is a gruesome sport and I did have to turn my head away. Poor bulls, but it was fun. If you watch the Madrid video, the hubs does explain bullfights are a Sunday spectacle in Spain, especially from May to October.
Outside the bullfighting arena.
Another favorite? Trying to have Spanish contests with the husband. Whenever we had to ask a question or order something, we’d take turns and grade each other. He won most of the time. He got bonus points for speaking complete Spanish (even through it was broken) to an employee at a mobile provider store asking for data only on our unlocked phone. I observed as this conversation was going on. It well but it was definitely an interesting 5 minutes.
Least favorite thing? Dealing with the crowds and loud teenagers. I tried to tell myself, I was one at one point but that thought process was not working. 😛 Madrid would have still been touristy if WYD was not going on but I’d like to think not as chaotic at some points. Perhaps I’m just getting older. 😦
Lets take a trip via pictures shall we?
Puerto Del Sol
Plaza del Sol y Sol Metro. See the crowds and the flags? WYD kids.
Plaza Mayor. You may remember this if you’ve watched Vantage Point.
Interesting deco on the buildings at Plaza Mayor
Parque Del Retiro
The front of the Cathedral. See more WYD kids in the background?
Inside the church
Santiago Bernabeau Stadium – Home of Real Madrid
There are more photos of the various sites we visited in Madrid, but I wanted to share my favorite pictures that I took of the city. Up next is our food adventure in Madrid. It’s a goodie! Stay tuned!