I slept most of the way to Madrid. We took the shuttle bus to the airport and then cabbed downtown to our AirBnB. The airport to the AirBnB was maybe 20 minutes, so we were surprised. The AirBnB was adorable and kind of kooky. It was the top floor of this nice building. It was loft style with a severely slanted ceiling. It was actually really cute, just not at all functional if you wanted to spend a lot of time in it. We dropped our stuff off and went to go explore.
We started at McDonalds which was the best, then I obviously had to hit a Starbs to get my energy juice. We were staying a block off of Gran Via which is the big shopping street that runs all of the way through Madrid, so we obviously had to get some shopping done. In the first block, there was a Nike store, Zara, Pull&Bear, H&M and Primark sooooo it was a match made in heaven. I was relatively responsible. We walked pretty far down the street to a Cathedral-ly type building – we didn’t end up going into it, just capitalized on the Photo Op. #Classic
I had never been to a Primark and have no desire to ever go back. It’s essentially a 5 story, 80,000 square foot slightly more stylish Walmart where people go to make a mess. It was so overwhelming and cheap, and people were leaving with DOZENS of bags. The lines were so long, the store was so messy, I was ready to scream about 12 seconds in. So we ditched. But we did come across a store called Lefties that was smaller but pretty stylish and dirt cheap. I got 2 shirts – 1 for 2.50 euros, another for 4 euros and they mad cute. It was a jackpot.
We went back to get ready and try to be cool for a night. Some other Canadians that were in Valladolid with us also stayed in Madrid so we met them for dinner and drinks at the Hardrock (my favorite) at 8:30 which I thought was insanely late for dinner. I got Sangria and a burger and then Tamara wanted to get a Rum and Coke. We tried to explain to the waiter what it was – and we agreed on a Captain Morgans and Pepsi. I got one as well. The sangria was 4.50 Euroes which isn’t awful for the Hardrock but the Captain Mo’s and Pepsi was TEN EUROS. Insanity. Rum and Coke aint a thing in Europe so beware. We tried to look for a “Dance Club” and it ended up being an office building so we split up. It was Monday but everything online ensured us it was going to be popping. Tamara and I found this other club called something Animals and we walked in at about 10:30 – literally no one there, no bouncers, no bartenders, no people, just music. SO WE LEFT. We walked to the Casino which we couldn’t get into because we didn’t have our passports but asked the lady where we should go and when people actually show up to go out. She assured us it would get busy between 2 and 4…. Ummmmm Grandpa Ryan was not going to last another 3 hours before people even started to show up. We found this little rooftop terrace where we went for a drink – I got a wine and Tamara got another Rum and Coke. He literally brought the bottle of Captain Morgans to the table and poured her easily a triple and then barely topped it off with a little Coke. It was actually a really night place – it was called Loft 39 – and I highly recommend, except for the part where the Rum and Coke was TWELVE EUROS. My wine was 2.50. It was actually hysterical. We walked around a bit and then went home to bed.
Neither of us had any expectations for Madrid but it was actually really cute. The architecture was a great mix of modern and historic, there were endless cute, amazing restaurants and stores down every side street. It really is a foodie town, and a big city. I really enjoyed it.
Tuesday morning we went for a coffee and then for Tapas! The place we went ended up being a bust – even the Patatas Bravas (my favorite dish in the whole world) wasn’t good. We got lost trying to use our paper map about 1000 times. We saw the palace and saw part of a mass at the big Cathedral across the courtyard from the Palace. It was really neat. The Cathedral was not gaudy, it was really tasteful – it had a similar brick wall and mouldings as a palace… it was interesting architecture and design, especially considering the palace was 40 feet away!
We found the main pedestrian street that runs perpendicular to Gran Via and we ran into the other Canadians. Tamara and Mario (one of the guys on the Canadian DMT team with me) had talked about getting tattoos while we there, so when we saw them, they talked about going. I had said I was interested in getting a tattoo (which I am) but didn’t know what or where I wanted it. But I had also been thinking about getting my ears pierced for like ever. So I thought, what the hay! We went to like 4 different tattoo/piercing shops before deciding on one. Tamara went first and got her tattoo and then Mario wanted a big piece so the guy told us to come back in a few hours, so in the meantime, I GOT MY EARS PIERCED. Legit. They’re pierced. I couldn’t decide between actual rings or studs, but we decided studs were a less tacky start to this adventure. I was shitting my pants and the lady didn’t really speak English, she just asked me “where?” so I pointed to my ears. The place was super legit and clean, that’s all I cared about. They didn’t use a gun, but she pull out this fat needle and I was like k I’m going to die for sure. It didn’t actually hurt that much – and once they were pierced it was totally fine. I really like them right now, but I’m intrigued to see if I like them still when the novelty wears off. I’m confused 24/7 when theres something on my ear, but im mad edgy now. We hung around that street most of the day – in between people getting tattoos and piercings. They all turned out really good! It was a lot of fun! We packed and ordered our cab for early the next morning – my flight was at 7:30am so we had to leave by 5. It was rough, but I’m happy to come home and get back at things. Bigger and better than ever – with some stylish studs in my ears!
Thanks for following the adventures!!
Until next time,