Madrid is ok.. my first impression of Madrid was horrible when I arrived at my hotel. I had a very bad impression of Madrid. I am staying in Gran Via, the center downtown area of Madrid.. well part of the downtown area. I chose this place because it is a 3 blocks from the gay bars so I can stumble home drunk safely. To the north of my hotel is all casinos, to the south all sex shops and female sex workers and strip bars, to the west is the gay area and to the east is all these sketchy little streets that are dirty.... So yeah this was my first impression of Madrid. Madrid was a very productive tourist trip, I did my own tours out of my guidebooks. this whole trip,
I have seen a lot of things in Madrid and if I had to see another painting of Jesus, I will have to kill myself. I think I have seen over 200 paintings and statues of Jesus. I visited the Convento de las descalzas reales (Convent of the Royal barefoot nuns), Iglesia de los jernimos (St. Jerome's Church), Museuo nacional centro de arte Reina Sofia (Queen Sofia National Art Center), Muso del Prado (Prado museum), Palacio Real (Royal Palace), Parque del Retiro (Retreat park, one of the biggest park in Europe), Plaza Mayor ((Main square), Pueta del sol, and plaza de la villa and more......Quite a list eh?
After I adventured out to my first tourism session, my opinion of Madrid changed. I have seen the cleaner areas of Madrid. I also arrived during a holiday, Inmaculada. It is an holy day, the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. So everything was closed on Saturday, the day I arrived. There was not much to do, so I roamed around and walked around aimlessly and find things.. which worked!!! I also hate the concept of siesta, well I would love it if I lived in Spain, but yeah everything closes down from like 2p-4p so people can nap and stuff. Banks, museums, churches are closed. This doesn't help when I don't wake up till 11 AM. but heck I wouldn't mind that be a part of my life. Like the convent I went to, their siesta was from 2-4 pm and they close at 5:30.. so after the siesta they open for 90 mins and that is it.
My Spanish is ok. I thought my Spanish was good, not very good, since I took 4 years in high school and now it is 3 and a half years later since I last sat in a Spanish class. a lot of it came back to me actually, but I know enough Spanish to BARELY get me by.. I wonder what would Paris be like, since I don't know any French.
I went to 1 bar, it was expensive so I never went back, it was 5 euro a beer...Funny thing is I met an SIT student there, he was an SIT-Spain (Language, Community, and Social Change). We talked about ISPs, language, the structure of SIT, it was pretty funny.
I met a few Spanish guys which were nice to talk to and have a meal with and I met 2 other Americans. One is another study abroad student and the other works here as a English teacher. I realized I tend to make friends when I am in a place without anyone.
Also, a lot of sex workers (female) tried to pick me up when I am out at night, which is funny.
Pictures will be up prob Wednesday night, the internet connection at my hotel is not that great. it's free so I am not complaining.
Well it is 2:30 AM, I am off to bed, I need to be out of the hotel by 11 AM so I can make it to my 2 PM flight, even though the airport is close. I am flying with easyjet, they have an interesting thing there is no assigned seating. the sooner you check in (or choose to pay the extra 6 euro which is like 10 USD), the sooner you get to board the plane and pick a seat to sit in. It is only an 2 hour flight so I can deal. maybe if I have enough juice on my computer I can play Diablo II ;) well my plan is to be at the airport early anyway so hopefully they have plugs so I can use my laptop, there is no internet (well there is but it is 9 euros for 1 hour, I am so not paying for that).. that way I can play video games!!! oh video games how I missed you...