The Surreal Life Part II

Trip Start Jan 23, 2007
Trip End Feb 23, 2008

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Flag of Spain  ,
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sarah and I woke up to realize we had given ourselves a "self-induced Chemical Peel" (those are pretty expensive if a doctor does it), and my forehead and her shoulders definitely came in handy while trying to land the plan... I doubt the pilot would have made it through the fog had we not been used beacons to guide his way, (That was a really bad satire of the Rudolf story, see what pressure to be funny does to me... Mrs. Klimkowski better be laughing with her coffee right now or the rest of this is going to be long)

So we spent an hour and a half in the airport (30 minutes on a train and bus), then another 30 trying to find a locker that only take EUROS, realizing we need euros, another 30 minutes walking around looking for a cambio to exchange money, of course talking to the only lady who "just started yesterday" and took a guess of where a bank would be, we were able to get EUROS, walk the 30 minutes back to the locker then enjoy another airport shower!!!! The girl selling Metro tickets (subway) planed a walking tour for us, and we jetted away on a 20th century underground bullet train. * refer to old blog about shotty used BA subte.

Upon arrival at Plaza Espaņa the heavens opened and a golden aura illuminated an all-but-forgotten sanctuary of mine.... STARBUCKS. I sent myself in to shock when I did the conversions of a 5.25 EURO Carmel Macchiato costs 23.45 pesos, basically meaning Sarah and I have to work for 1 hour and about 5 minutes... which by that time I'd probably need another coffee to take the edge of the shock I would be going through... It's a vicious cycle, I'm glad I'm in it.

We were in desperate need for EUROS, so we asked the Starbucks security guard where a Citibank was and walked around plaza Espana... After a bit of "oh it's just up the street a bit" we thought we were on a goose chase, but low and behold he was an honest person. (that little bit may sound insignificant, but compared with any Latin American person who would intentionally point you in the wrong direction... it was a great first impression of Madrid)

So we walked around... If you follow the pictures, we started at the monument to Spain's ability to conquer most of the known world, Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, and then we walked over to the Royal Palace... the Pictures speak for themselves... Mirroring the Palace was the Cathedral (just breath taking, with a very Arabic gold-leaf ceiling pattern that illuminated the place). We ate lunch in Plaza Mayor, walked around the city, I bought a new dictionary with the excuse that they are better in Spain, but honestly I don't understand my book.

The highlight of Spain (I'll tell you to keep me from rambling) was the Prado art Museum. Now I had 35 minutes to go look at art and run around the whole museum. Thanks to Sarah, we spent the money to enter the Museum (she's so nice to me).
Immediately we ran to see Las Meninas and I dove into a rich and deep explanation to Sarah of the real meaning of the painting; all facts were gathered from an Iberian Peninsular Cult & Civ class from Spring term 2005 which I was probably slightly hung-over in, only to find out Sarah had moved on and already toured the entire museum. We made our way over to Goya... and if you really want to know how he went crazy and painted his walls... email me... for everyone else Sarah said his paintings were dark.

The next pictures are of our faces after 50 hours of travel... and then I passed out in the airport... too much fun, not enough sleep, but on to Ireland!

Personal note if you are wondering about Trip II: Dan fell absolutely in LOVE with Madrid!!! (Sarah too)
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