Exploring Madrid

Trip Start Oct 14, 2008
Trip End Jan 14, 2009

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Friday, October 24, 2008

October 23-24, 2008

So this was the first day that Nihar had to start working after our vacation. We
both were able to enjoy some breakfast together, wander around a little and then we had to pick up Nihar's Visa for India. We departed at the station. Nihar was off to give a talk at a University out in the suburbs of Madrid while I explored the city. I decided I wanted to do a little shopping so I went to the main Puerta del Sol, which is where we were the night before for tapas! Before I knew it, it was late evening so I went back to the hotel to get ready to meet Nihar and Antonio (a friend of Nihar's at the University) for a night out. Antonio took us on a historic walk throughout the city before dinner. It was quite amazing that we covered so many plazas and sites within such a short period of time. We walked through several parts of Madrid. We had
dinner at a small Middle Eastern Restaurant and then took another walk along the city. We convinced Antonio to take us out for the famous churros of Spain at the Chocolateria de San Gines, just a short walk from the Puerta del Sol. All of us were quite full so we had it without the chocolate, so sad. The churros here are not like what we are used to in the US, they are actually unsweetened and the chocolate that people typically order with it is there version of a hot chocolate, that is slightly bittersweet and thick, like chocolate soup. Nihar and I will return for a taste another day!

The next day Nihar left first thing in the morning to visit another University in Madrid and to give another talk. So today I explored the city on my own till dinner when I meet up with Nihar and a few other friends of his. I think I probably walked several miles that day!! I walked all along the Paseo del Prado. I walked pass the famous Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Museo del Prado, wandered through parts of the town Sevila, Chueca, Plaza Mayor and many others. I stopped for menu del dia in a small Urban Restaurant in this neighborhood called Chueca, which is a gay neighborhood that has a lot of boutiques, great restaurants and bars/clubs. I went a little shopping and headed back to our hotel to get ready.

Tonight we had delicious tapas with Nihar's friends from the University. We went to supposedly the best tapas bar in Madrid, according one of our friends called Casa Lucas on Calle de la Cava Baja. We had delicious olives, which I think both of us have forgotten to mention in a while (the green ones here in Spain
are just so flavorful, delicious......yummy!!!). We hit a few other tapas bars, visited a few bars and danced the night away and before we knew it, it was 4:30am when we went to bed. We had an amazing time with Anna, Maty and Antonio - thanks to them for a great night in Madrid!!
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