Tales of the times in Madrid
04.06.2009 - 07.06.2009 24 °C
We arrived in Madrid and immediately noticed a difference from Barcelona. Madrid feels bigger. It feels like a business centre, and definitely has a different atmosphere than the laid-back café meets beach feel of Barcelona.
Nevertheless, that is not to say Madrid is not a nice city, and it was still undeniably Spanish. We went out for dinner at 9:00 pm, and still felt early. The corner store by our hotel had wine and tapas. People understood us easily and we understood them. So far so good.
We mostly did the same thing in Madrid that we had done in Barcelona. Wander randomly and eat as we saw appropriate, with a slight effort exerted to the see the sights, which were again, mostly European architecture which had mostly gotten old the first time we were in Europe. We did, however get to see statues of Don Quixote and Sancho and were interviewed by a group of schoolchildren that were doing some sort of assignment.
We were, at one point feeling particularly daring and decided to take the train out to the nearby Parque Warner (Warner Brothers Amusement Park). The trip there was brightened by a old Spanish man roaming up and down the cars shouting “Viva España,” singing bits of flamenco, stomping his feet and twirling his cane. He seemed to have to no desire for money; he was just Spanish and really happy about it.
The park itself was nice. We went on some roller coasters, and ate some overpriced amusement part food, and enjoyed some free shows. Including a stunt show (that was surprisingly exciting), and a batman show. The batman thing isn’t random; there was a whole Gotham City section of the park, as well as a batman themed rollercoaster. Although it was quite good in and of itself, the highlight of the batman show was probably a really little Spanish boy, dressed up like batman who was absolutely in awe to see batman in action.
We also had a chance to visit Madrid’s famous Retiro Park. Somehow we timed it so that it just happened to be during a book fair where hundreds of stalls line up in the park with books. Also, we managed to show up at the park during the time of day when everything is closed down. So we did miss out on books, although there was an interesting photography display along one of the paths. The theme was air and the pictures were really cool, but we eventually groaned when we saw a picture of Alberta. The oil sands. That’s right…the Spanish know what we are up to.
Time in Madrid drew to a close and we headed south to our new home, in some tiny obscure village in southern Spain to start work.