I arrived to my hostel in Madrid last Thursday evening in the most anti social mood. A poor Canadian guy asked me if I wanted to go on a bar crawl. I said no. I wanted sleep and that was all. The next day I felt better and left the hostel for an apartment so I didn’t have to sleep in a bunk bed.
There isn’t really a whole lot to do in Madrid but lots of cool architecture and if you’re like me and you want to just walk around it’s a great city. Although it’s absolutely boiling! There’s cool little squares and markets, lots of bars and there’s a park with a boating lake that people seem to love but I hate boats so no thanks.
Back in the euro things were expensive. On Saturday it was apparently an important football match for Real Madrid. Being the avid football fan that I am this was super important to me. “A once in a life time experience” I was told. To be fair it was a cool atmosphere leading up to the match, slightly sombre when it was 1-0 and then absolutely crazy when they won. There were SO many people on the streets chanting and swinging scarves and all that jazz. Cars were beeping and people were very happy about life.
In the midst of all of this, whilst enjoying a rum and coke (extortionate) I found out about the London Bridge attack. This is one way to ruin a great atmosphere. And so we watched that unfold whilst in the middle of this huge celebration, thinking how different it was where we were. Then I started to feel anxious about the fact we were in this huge crowd, next to the metro and the road and I realised that there have now been so many terror attacks recently that I actually worry about them happening around me. So that was a sad realisation. Luckily everyone I know and love was fine but another very sad day for the UK.
On Sunday we travelled on a super clean and efficient high speed train to Toledo, the old capital. It’s only 30 mins from Madrid and it’s great. Medieval, Game of Thrones style kinda place with an old town and some cool historical stuff that I didnt spend as much time as I should have learning about.
Walk about 25 mins from the city and you get to the viewpoint above. I love a good view and this one was excellent. Also you can climb up the cathedral and get blown away but it’s a great view and there’s a pigeon family there you can hang with.
We did receive some terrible customer service in Toledo and I was raging. Being British and very polite leads to upset a lot of the time. One guy told us we couldn’t have a drink and sit outside, or inside, and could only sit down if we wanted to eat. Another woman completely ignored my existence and then completely ignored the order despite being asked several times about it. There was also a lot of rowdy children in Toledo. Party central it would seem! Toledo is a great day trip and if you like to take photos it has some wonderful architecture and little streets.
On Monday it was too hot to do anything so we found a local outdoor pool to lie down by. I love to swim (and I have the UV goggles to prove it ha) but the water was SO COLD. I swam a length and got brain freeze. Genuinely thought I was going to get pneumonia. Then some sensible people came along wearing wet suits to swim. Nobody told me about that!
Finally, we found the sunset viewpoint. There’s always one in every city but we found it difficult to find this one. There’s a sky bar but you have to queue and pay to go up there, no thanks, so we set about researching where to go. Cerro del Tio Pio (which is so fun to say) is where you should go to watch the sunset.
And that was it for Madrid really. Today I went to H&M to buy a hoody because I came away with two and now have none…no idea where either of them went. Also lost 2 bikini bottoms. Doing well.
Currently at the airport waiting for a very long 16 hour flight to La Paz to start my South America trip. Next stop: Bolivia! Let’s hope they have an abundance of good films on this plane…