Madrid Part 1

Trip Start Aug 15, 2005
Trip End Oct 12, 2005

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Our flight landed in Madrid on Thursday afternoon. We hopped on the metro and made our way into the city where we were told that the hostal had been overbooked...fortunately, they had booked us a room somewhere else. That evening we visited David Peso(an old friend from Saint Louis University) who took us out to dinner where we dined on some tasty tapas. On Friday we went on a small walking tour of the city through the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and stopping at Retiro Park where we enjoyed a few cafe con leches. In the afternoon we stopped in at the Reina Sofia art Museum for a few hours to look at paintings by Picasso, Dali, and Miro.

To really get to know Madrid, however, you must participate in what is known as la marcha. La marcha is the nightly ritual of hitting the town, hopping from place to place until the wee hours of the morning. On Friday, after enjoying a delicious paella with David, we participated in the marcha by going to several places we could probably never locate again. At one point we were out in some village party in a field in the outskirts of the city. We quickly discovered why Spaniards love their siestas in the afternoon. So...after a late Friday night on Saturday we felt obliged to participate in the siesta as well for purely cultural reasons.

After siesta time David took us by the Escorial Monastery that was commissioned by Phillip the II. Afterwards we visited the lookout point used by Phillip the II to oversee the construction of the massive Escorial. Around 11 o clock at night it was dinner time again and on to a club that had a wild entourage of live music and dancers. When we left the club at 5:30 in the morning there were people still in line to come into the club and the streets were packed with cars).
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