while spain is one of the slightly larger countries in europe, i was always under the impression that it was very small in comparison and everything was relatively close together. with this false assumption in our dreamy heads, cade and i boarded a bus from barcelona to madrid, looking to finish up our spain trip with a little time in the capital. we settled into our seats, pulled out our harry potter and tetris game, and took off. about twenty minutes into the bus ride, the driver got on the speaker and made a long, loud message in thpanish. not understanding any of it, i watched cade's facial expression change from yay no nay. the announcer was telling the bus that the non-stop trip to madrid was going to take close to eight hours- so we had better get comfy. it was a good thing we bought a chocolate bar before we came on because we were stuck on the bus until 1:30 in the morning. around 11, the driver made an unexpected stop and we dashed from the bus to use the bathroom and buy some chips from a vending machine. it was insane! but don't worry, we rolled into madrid at 1:30 with no place to stay and no plans.
we thought it would be easy to get off the bus and just ask around for a hostel or hotel, but as we pulled in- we realized we were pretty much outside of the city. some one pointed us towards the metro line and told us our best chance for finding a place for the night was to take it into town. we bought our passes, jumped on a train and headed towards the city. realizing we had to change metro lines, we got off our train and sat down to wait for the next one which would take us the rest of the way. the only problem was, there was no 'next one.' the metro had stopped for the night. but as you can see in this picture, we sure sat down there hoping and praying one would please come and get us. you'll notice we are the only ones down there.
we thought about sleeping in the metro, but i have seen too many movies to know what happens when you do that. we finally surfaced to the road, flagged down a taxi and paid one zillion dollars to get into town- but by this point it was one zillion dollars well spent. when we got into town, it was a party! it was 3 in the morning and by the looks of it, you would think it was 7 at night. the streets were packed with people, most of which were waiting outside clubs or just socializing. i couldn't believe it. cade and i wound our way through the crowds with our packs on trying to see a hostel with a vacancy sign... it seemed like everything was full!! we finally walked into a hotel and asked the front desk if he had any rooms at all. he told us they were booked. we were crushed! where were we going to sleep!? we were getting desperate, so cade turned to the guy and asked again if every bed in the hotel was full. the man laughed and told cade he had lots of beds- just not for married people. he apologized again for not being able to help. confused, cade asked again what kind of beds he had available. the guy replied that he had plenty of rooms with two twin beds in them but nothing for couples. we started laughing, gave the man our money and let him know that at 3 in the morning- we don't care if we sleep in the same bed. what a weird guy.
we slept like little babes in our twins that night and woke up in the early afternoon ready to see the city. after the long bus ride and sleeping in so long, our stomachs were sucking up against our spines. lucky for us, a burger king was right down the street- and even luckier, they had a great family deal going on. we ordered the family meal that is suppose to feed a family of four and gorged in the goodness that bk had to offer. it is kind of funny to think that in the middle of a historic city with such beautiful sights, cade and i cherish the memory our beast feast at bk.
turns out, there were other cool places in madrid besides the bk. i looooved the park!
there is the most beautiful park in the center of the city that was so fun. it was so full of culture, families, and friends. it seemed like a utah family night at the park for every family in madrid. the street performers put on little plays or juggled on unicycles for the kids while everyone our age gathered in the center to participate in the drum circles. people were dancing, playing hackysack, playing with those stick thingys (i hope someone understands what i mean by that) and every other hippie activity. we had fun people watching at the drum circles; but after being asked if we wanted to buy hashish a few times, we moved on. aside from the drugs- i really did love this park. it made me want to build a place like that back home. a place where culture is so alive and families are together. what a great park!
we didn't have much time in madrid but we loved sightseeing and the food. it was a great end to spain.