Monday, February 6, 2012

Days 27-31: Madrid: Part 1

Madrid. The capital of Spain, seeming center of the country if you look at it on the map. Largest city in Spain, best place ever for tapas (but we`ll come back to that) and home to 2 of the cutest kids in Europe. Seriously, you should see these two. Squat. My visit to Madrid was planned to visit a cousin of mine, R, who has settled just outside of the city. I got to enjoy being in a real house for a few days and it made me not want to come back to Harlow!

Click through to hear about the travels! Be warned, this post is picture heavy.

I started my journey to Madrid on Thursday, after finishing classes at UH for the week. Wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it to Gatwick, where I hadn't flown out of before. It was much easier and faster than I expected, which was nice. I'm pretty happy with the fact that I'm getting used to traveling and finding my way through London's extensive tube and train system. 
So, I was really early and bought a book to pass away the time while waiting. I still really don't like how the gate isn't announced earlier for EasyJet flights. I like being prepared but it's always a mad dash to get to the gate and get in line. The flight was out at 5, which left me with a beautiful sunset from my window seat. I slept but woke up shortly before we reached Madrid. The wind caused a little turbulence, but the creepiest part was watching the plane tip back and forth just before landing. I literally thought it was going to tip too far and crash. I'm not a nervous flier, but I am paranoid. R arrived perfectly on time to get me, since the flight was actually early. It was very strange driving back to her place, since it was actually rush hour for the city. It was bout 8-830 and apparently that's what time people head home. Spain has a very different work-life balance than most North American cities. Both of the girls were up when I arrived, but headed to bed shortly after so I didn't get much sooking time. Didn't realize I was hungry until R asked me, so it was a late soup/sandwich supper before heading to bed. In a room of my own, with my own big bed. Sigh. I miss having a big bed now.

trusty suitcase
super full bus.....
bakery/cake decorating store on the way to St. Alban's
I've forgone the rest of my scarves, clearly.
pb&j for the train ride.
random passing train station.
stupid not informative screen.
airport that looks like mall.
ben and jerry's, in a vending machine.
sunset as we left Gatwick
up the ramp at Bajaras
Friday morning started late. I slept a lot, needed it from the previous morning and all that traveling. R's husband Gil was off to work and took Sofia to daycare, her first day back since they got back from vacation. R, Clara and I lazed around the house a little and I got to play with the little Miss. I had to stop myself from squeezing her. My cheeks were hurting after playing cause I was smiling so much at that little face. We headed out to a nearby mall around 1 to start some shopping. My goals were a winter coat and boots or shoes, but didn't find either that I liked. Found more things from Zara, and one of the sister stores Stratavarius, that I did though. I love that store, and having a personal shopper was pretty awesome too. New wardrobe additions to be shown at a later date.
Being that I'm used to eating on my own schedule of reasonably timed meals, Friday was a little strange. Light breakfast followed by shopping then late lunch. I had to indulge in a little Starbucks fix while watching Clara, while R went to get Sofia from daycare. Gil met us around 3, which is a normal lunchtime for Spaniards. Typical workdays have a lunch break from 2-4 then the hours are added on to the end of the day. I like the lunch thing, but I'd go insane. I like to work, finish up, and go home lol. I could get used to it there though, what with all of the delicious food. Lunch was typical food, but I got to try croquettas, a deep fried ham/cheese thing, similar to a mozza stick shape. Quite tasty. Lunch lasted til around 530, after which we all headed back to the house to nap.

my bedroom. loves.
living room.
The many faces of her!


Starbucks fix.
sleepy girl.

Part 2 of  Saturday and the happenings in Madrid city centre to come!

Til next time!

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