¡Hola! I’m actually here in Madrid! Can you believe it? I have seemingly a million days to catch up on, and I worry this post will read like, “And then I did this and then I did this,” rather than being interesting or well-written, but if I don’t write it now, I’ll never get around to it!
I arrived Thursday morning (Wednesday night your time), and going through customs and getting my baggage was pretty simple. I got a Fanta Naranja while waiting for my shuttle, because that was my favorite Spanish drink when I was here before, and, to be honest, it wasn’t as good as I remembered, but it was still fun to buy. I successfully asked (in Spanish) two people at information booths about getting to the hotel shuttle, and I eventually found it, and there I met up with Allie, another girl from EAP who was staying in the same hotel (the Best Western Hotel Atlántico).
My first impression of Madrid this time around was that it was way more crowded and industrial than I had remembered, but I realized that it’s mostly the area closer to the airport that’s that way, so my fears that I would actually hate Madrid this time were quickly assuaged. Upon arrival at the hotel, it turned out that we had reserved a room for the night before, which could have been disastrous, but, fortunately, they had rooms available that night as well. Soon after settling into my room and setting up my computer, my power converter burned up, shorting the electricity and destroying the converter. I went into a bit of a panic thinking I’d be computer-less until I could manage to find a new converter, but I realized I could use just the adapter. This, however, did not fix the problem that I had no power (actually, the TV and air conditioning came back on, but the lights wouldn’t), and I was worried about telling the front desk what I had done, but eventually I got over that, and they fixed it easily, and all was good. In between breaking the hotel and getting it fixed, I took a nap and a shower (in the dark), and had a bit of a, “What the heck am I doing here if I can’t even figure out how to plug in my computer?!” moment.
That night, Allie, her friend Liza, who’s also in my EAP group and was staying at the same hotel, and I went out for dinner. Madrid by night is amazing, which I remembered from the last time I was here, and walking around the street after dark made me remember just why I chose to spend a year here. The buildings are lit beautifully, tons of people are out and about even at midnight, and it all feels so alive. We ate at a seafood restaurant, and I ordered tortilla española, my favorite Spanish food. I’m glad I got to eat it for my first meal in Spain. After dinner, we walked around some more, checking out this pretty park and talking to some drunken middle-aged Americans from Chicago for a bit. Aside from that, we walked up and down various streets, enjoying sightseeing in our new city.
The next day, Friday, we checked into our new dorm and I met a lot of people from the group, but more on that later. How are you guys? How’s the U.S.? If I haven’t subscribed you yet and you’d like to get email notifications when I blog, just comment and let me know.
Ah, yes, photos! I was originally going to upload them to the Coppermine gallery I created, but, since most of you are my Facebook friend anyway, and since those of you who are not can still see my photos, here is my first Spain gallery. Enjoy!