Europe Ahoy! (Bienvenido a Madrid)June 22, 2016 in Spain
Hello from Madrid! Hope our followers out there weren't getting worried about us :) We've been having an amazing time romping around the city with Nick's best friend David, who spent the past month in Madrid taking an intensive spanish class.
We're not used to having a "local" "guide" to show us around cities, so we took the opportunity to enjoy Madrid as a local would. We ate warm churros with thick hot chocolate in a neighborhood café, drank red wine in the park, dined on tapas and bocadillos (Spanish subs; Nick recommends the calamari, Rachel the chorizo), and lounged away the afternoons in the city's many plazas. Rachel's mom also happened to be in Madrid at the same time so Rachel enjoyed a nice mother-daughter dinner with her one night. We visited the Museo Reina Sofia, a renowned collection of modern art that includes Picasso's Guernica among many other masterpieces. After saying adios to David, we toured the Prado museum, the national gallery of Spain and home to everything from renaissance masterpieces to modern spanish classics.
One other note before we take off for Bologna: you often hear travelers talk about culture shock, and we can certainly attest to its reality. After spending 3+ months in Asia and Africa, landing in Madrid at 11:30 on a Saturday night and joining the swarm of locals felt like walking into a movie. Shedding the hyper-vigilance that accompanies traveling in developing countries and immediately replacing it with the relaxed party vibe of a European summer weekend night left us dumbfounded, staggering around with our backpacks in awe of the volume of people and complete lack of touts, assault rifles, and general feelings of uneasiness. It took a few days to feel comfortable, but at least we'll be better prepared to come back home now (well, maybe).
Few random pictures below. On to Italy!Read more