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May 1, 2012

Adventures in Madrid

Hello Blog Readers! If you don't follow me on Twitter, you missed out on the fact that I went to San Francisco this weekend. Oops. Full details on that to come later this week.

Now that I'm back stateside and on the East Coast, it's time to do a little recapping of my Madrid adventures. It's crazy to think that I was in Madrid only a week ago because it already feels like a month ago. Jetting off to the West Coast less than 48 hours upon landing back in the US will do that to you.

So let's talk about Madrid.

My mom and I flew out of New York on Wednesday night and landed in Spain early Thursday morning. Super jet lagged, we checked into our hotel and passed out before meeting up with Ally and her sister to explore the city a bit.

Wandering the Streets of Madrid

I had read that the best place to start a trip to Madrid is in the Puerta del Sol so we ventured there to get our bearings, do some shopping and wander around the city.

Plaza Mayor
Friday morning, Mom and I headed to the Expo to pick up my race packet. From there, we went out to explore the city some more and just kind of let ourselves get lost meandering through the city. We found the Palacio Real and explored the Santa Maria la Real de Almudena.We went to the Plaza Mayor and had a delicious tapas dinner at a restaurant on one of the side streets off the Plaza. We stumbled on the Mercado de San Miguel and found the after work crowd coming out to play. The Mercado was absolutely incredible and my mom said that she would go back to Madrid just to go back to that market. We explored for what seemed like hours before heading back to our hotel and calling it a night.


Plaza de Oriente
Saturday was a shopping day! I bought a gorgeous dress for graduation and some unbelievably cute shoes for ridiculously cheap. For dinner, Mom, Ally, Rachel and I headed to the top floor of El Corte Ingles, Spain's premier department store, for a carbo loading session before calling it a night.

Sunday...well, you already know about Sunday. Post-race, I passed out. I have never fallen asleep post-race...I don't  nap. Ever. The fact that I slept for nearly 3 hours after crossing the finish at Madrid was further proof that I was absolutely spent going into that marathon and that maintaining the pace I did until Mile 20 was a miracle in itself.

We all went for a post-race celebratory dinner that night and went to bed. I didn't sleep well at all on Sunday. My body was more sore than it had ever been post-race and I ended up sleeping until almost 12:00. Getting out of bed and starting my day was brutal but somehow I managed and my mom and I headed to the Museo de la Reina Sofia to go see the famed Guernica painting, which I did a project on in college. We meandered around the museum and then stopped in the museum's square for lunch. There were a few things that I had seen along the race course that I wanted to see up close so we did that before calling it a day. Dinner was early and close to the hotel as Mom and I had an early flight out the next morning and Ally and Rachel, an early train.

The view from the Museo de la Reina Sofia
Plaza de Cibeles
Tuesday morning, I left Madrid and hadn't even returned to my New York apartment before I was on a West Coast bound plane...but you can read all about that later.

I loved Madrid. If you're looking for a European vacation, I highly recommend Madrid. I had heard that people typically love either Madrid or Barcelona and hate the other and having been to Barcelona and not liking it at all, I can attest to that statement. I had so much fun in Madrid and it was the first time in ages that my mom and I got to go on a nice long vacation together.

Me and Mama post-race
Madrid was unlike any city in Europe I had ever been. It had the charm of Paris, the down-to-earth feel of Prague, the history of Rome...it had a little bit of everything that made it both similar and unique to all of the other cities I had been. I absolutely loved it. The people were wonderful. The food - spectacular. I'll definitely be back...but next time, it won't be for a marathon. 

3 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a great time.
    I spent a summer traveling in Spain, and Madrid was my second favorite city there.
    My first being Granada, I just loved the African influence mixed with the Spanish.

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  2. So glad you had a great time! I want to go there now!

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  3. Looks great! I was in Spain before but never made it to Madrid or Barcelona. Definitely on mt to do list!

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