Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Thing Thursday: Madrid

One summer, I was itching for a big adventure of the independent lady variety, so I booked a plane ticket to Spain. Like most of my solo-gal trips, this one was part of a group tour of the rowdy US/Canadian/British/Australian twenty-something variety, but that didn't make me feel any less awesome when I landed and had to find my way to the tours meeting spot alone.
Me, on a bus at the Madrid airport. Likely soundtrack in my head:
Girl, I di-in't know you could get down like that; Charlie how your Angels get down like that? Throw your hands up at me.

One Thing to Do in Madrid: Navigate the subway

OK, I know this one is lame. But, the sands of time and a few too many sips of sangria whisked away most of my Madrid memories. However, I think that maneuvering through public transportation in a country whose language you claimed to know, but hadn't actually heard since senior year in Senora Ruiz' class; with a giant backpack; alone is a soul-building activity.

I remember getting off the plane, exhausted and with ankles like tree trunks, and examining the subway map. Rojo, azul, verde lines scrawled all over a huge wall in the airport. I consulted the little note card I'd jotted my tour information down on and found my stop. It didn't look that hard and I'd only have to transfer once. Off I went into the bowels of the Madrid public transport system.

I felt so proud as I stepped back into the sun right in front of my hotel. I may have celebrated with a slice of chocolate cake from a bakery next to the hotel we stayed at. I had come to Madrid and the city was happy to have me.
You know it was 2004 because I clearly thought a jean skirt, some Diesels and a little beer gut were in style. Weren't they?

For the rest of our short stay in Madrid, I led our bizarre little group through the subways to the bars they found in guidebooks, after the tour guide had gone off duty.  We had tapas and mojitos and danced until the sun came up, only to get up a few hours later to stroll through museums and soak up some culture. Despite all the good times I know I had in Madrid, the tiny victory of finding my own way around a strange place is what stuck with me the most.

If you have time for two things in Madrid, see a bullfight.
I'm in there, trust me.

Now, I hate to see an animal in pain as much as you, but dude, bullfights are amazing. They are hypnotic and graceful and at the same time, horrifying. The crowd watching is just as good as the fight, too. Families are there, just hanging out for the afternoon and having a great time. It's sweet.

So, there, I said it. I like bullfights. Please don't go hatin' on me. My cat is from a shelter and I  always buy free-range chicken and eggs. Does that balance out?

1 comment:

  1. We're trying to get over there this year! We'll probably do a little wine buying and site seeing. But no bull fighting for us.

    Looks like you had fun!



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