Tapas and Paella

Trip Start May 10, 2012
Trip End Dec 03, 2012

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Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 97:  After our long 11 hour train to get to Madrid, we arrived at around 10pm and since it was a long day we pretty much crashed as soon as we got there.  We had a 4 bed dorm room but were the only two there so that was definitely a plus.

Day 98:  This morning we got up and went for a walk down to the park just down the road, as this is pretty much the only park in the city there were hundreds of people running around and playing ball sports, it was really nice.  There was also a large man made lake where people could hire boats and paddle around, there were also sculptures and that around the lake and through the park.

We eventually made it to a church which we took a look around and left just as the priest came out to give his sermon.  We then continued to walk around the city for the rest of the day and had our first paella in Spain for the trip and was really nice, will probably have it just as much as I had pizza in Italy.  On our walk back to the hostel we saw hundreds of people crowding around a stretch of street so went up to take a look and it was a parade for the Assumption national holiday, in the parade there were floats and people dressed up in fancy dancing clothes and it is to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin.  Afterwards there was a big street party so we hung around for a while and had some sangria and then went back to the hostel.

Day 99:  For breakfast today we made our way to a tapas shed (San Miguel Plaza) and had some pretty nice potato omelettes and some salad.  Here we also booked our flamenco dance for the evening, a little expensive but it comes with free drinks so cant be too bad.

We then went to the Prado Museum where they were having an exhibition on Raphael, Emma really wanted to go so we went and ended up spending about 5 hours walking through.  It was mostly full of painting depicting Jesus and other religious scenes but there was also a few sculptures to look at.

That night we went to the flamenco dance and it was much better then the one that I went to a couple of years ago.  They had two different dancers (a male and female) as well as a couple of singers and guitar players, it was a small, cosy place so only about 20 people where there which made it much better.  At the end a couple of the musicians sons got up on stage, they were about 6 and 8 and they sang in the same style as the others and they were actually really good and got plenty of cheers.  Afterwards we got a free sangria from across the road at a different bar and then went back to the hostel.

Day 100: Today we planned to head to the bull ring, so we walked there which took an hour or so but when we finally arrived we walked through the gate just as the doors where closing, it was only 2.30pm and we were very confused why it closed so early, we just blamed it on the Spanish siesta.  Since this was a bust we just went into town and did some shopping where Emma bought her new Pandora bracelet where she will get charms from different places now instead of just a complete bracelet.

As this was our last night in Madrid we decided to go on a tapas tour of the city where we got to meet a lot of other people from our hostel as well as from other hostels, we met some other Australians (they are getting more common), Americans and Brits.  The tapas themselves were OK at the first place but got worse as we went along, by the end they just gave us macaroni and sauce and tried to pass it off as paella.  After the tapas tour we went on a pub crawl, this was fun and Emma came along this time and was definitely better this time as I remembered it all.
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