A Travellerspoint blog

Chapter Fourty

Our closing remarks.

Today is our last day. We are a little sad and a little excited to go home!

We got up and went to El Rastro, a very overwhelmingly packed flea market open only on Sundays.
Next we shopped for any last mementos or souvenirs and wandered along Gran Via one more time.
Later we went to stand in line one last time to get in free to El Prado, another big art museum containing lots of Goya and Velasquez paintings. The line was huge but luckily we are very good at standing in lines and we had nothing else to do!
No photos allowed.. But we saw some really great Spanish art! Las Meninas, Goya's 'Black Paintings', more paintings of Jesus than we thought possible and some of Bosch's weird creatures...

Afterwards we got dinner, got Anna some Bueno bars to take home (these were very important..).
Now, we are going to pack and get ready to get up at 6 to catch our plane home!!

We'd like to leave you with a few things we learned in our travels:
1. People are weird.
2. Gelato is the cure for everything.
3. When in doubt assume it's smallpox and get off the train.
4. Stereotypes exist for a reason.
5. If you want to see famous art, get up early! Really early.
6. Always ask multiple people for directions and don't always believe your map.
7. Never take the train with a hangover...
8. When a creepy man on the street comments in a foreign language as you walk by assume it was a lovely complement about how your dress brings out your eyes and move on.
9. Don't forget your comfortable walking wedges!
10. Eat it anyway.

In short, we have a new appreciation for the good ol' USA and Apple products in general. We will never complain about AT&T dropping calls again!
We are excited to return home to our showers, hairdryers and clothes we haven't worn 100 times. (noticed any wardrobe trends yet?)
As for advice on hostels, it is basically Russian roulette... Good luck.
We have had a wonderful adventure and have learned much much more than those ten morsels of knowledge above.
All in all we advise you to try new things, go new places and meet new people- just be warned, they might poop on the floor.

Posted by dillam7 11:22 Comments (1)

Chapter Thirty Nine

More exciting news from the front!

Haha, so I guess we've had our fill of excitement from Ch. 37, these are not the most exciting days...
We slept in and took it easy again since Allison was still sickly.. Anna ventured out to get food for lunch..

We waited until late afternoon to visit the Reina Sofia museum of art because it's free then.
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It is a huge museum with tons of paintings, including Picasso's 'Guernica'. We spent almost two hours there seeing 4 floors of exhibits. One was an Asian artist who made a black light room covered in sticker dots, it was fun to walk through..
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Of course, again, no photos of most of the museum... But there was lots of Picasso, Miro and Dali plus a Kandinsky or two. It was divided into interesting exhibits, like one on post war art from artists of all types.
Guernica was not nearly as packed as we expected, no more than 30 viewers there..

Afterwards we walked back and picked up food to cook for dinner. We cooked and went to bed early, happily noting that our roommates were packing... :)

Posted by dillam7 11:06 Comments (0)

Chapter Thirty Eight

Post poop..

Well... After our fun adventures last night we slept in and awoke unsure of whether we should return to our room or not...
We decided to return the keys to our temporary abode and sucked it up and opened the door to our old room. We had been wandering the hostel with our little blue sleep sacks and were feeling awkward and exhausted..
The poop was gone and that was the end of that. (read ch. 37 if confused..)

Allison had come down with some gross cold/cough during the night so we took it easy.
We got showered and dressed and left our still smelly room for the bright outdoors.
We got brunch and headed toward el parque gran retiro. This is a massive, Central Park, type parque. We gathered fresh fruit and had a nice little picnic by the lake in the park.
Here's a man making enormous bubbles there, and the cute little lake.
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We walked through the huge park and then got very lost trying to get home...
Allison was feeling rough so we just rested and had dinner and went to bed early.

Posted by dillam7 10:46 Comments (0)

Chapter Thirty Seven

HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!

This morning we woke up, ate some more bread for breakfast, as usual. I am never going to eat bread for breakfast again after this trip. If you are what you eat, I am a piece of toasted bread with jam.
Today we decided to do some museums and search the city for all the Goya we can find. First we went to the Palacio Real to check out the apparently gaudy rooms. It was quite interesting and just as gaudy as described.
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After the palace we went to the Teatro Real and ended up on an hour long tour with a little old Spanish woman. It was interesting but definitely could have happened in 30 min. We had some girl in our group who was writing everything the guide said in a little booklet and kept asking her to repeat herself. Finally the guide told her to look on the internet and stop asking questions. Way to lay down the law!
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Once we finished the longest theater tour ever we headed off the map to a little church where Goya's tomb is. Neither of our maps have the church on them so we kinda wandered around until we stumbled across it. You weren't allowed to take pictures but in typical Allison style, she snuck some while the guard was away. Now, for your viewing pleasure:
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Thennnnn we headed to find more Goya as the Basilica but sadly, after walking probably 5 miles to get there, it was closed during siesta time. Ugh. So we headed home to rest for a few hours.
After a short break we walked down to Goya Street and did some shopping as usual. We need to fill our bags up while we have the chance!
We got a late dinner and walked back home to hop in bed and get a good nights sleep. Little did we know, we were about to have the worst night ever...
I would like to preface this: if you are squeamish, pregnant, have heart problems or become nauseous easily, stop reading here.
I warned you.
Here it goes.
Around 2 am our two female roommates return from some club they decided to go to. I (Anna) am awake and see them come in. One girl is very drunk and has to be assisted while changing clothes and getting in bed. This is pretty funny to watch while I pretend I'm actually looking at my phone. The lights go out, Allison is sleeping soundly and I'm drifting off when I hear a loud 'plop!'. Our drunken roommate has fallen out of bed. Her friend gets up to help her but to no avail and ends up leaving her on the floor. Her head bangs up against my bed when she rolls around but I eventually fall asleep.
Around 4 am I find myself strangely woken up and am not sure why...the room is dark and I am suddenly overwhelmed by the worst smell I have ever smelled in my life. In my half asleep state I rack my brain to try to figure out what that smell is. I look around and can only see that the drunken roommate is now off the floor and in the bathroom. I decide to turn my flashlight on to figure out what is happening and as I do so, my light lands on an impressively large pile of poop. On the floor. In the middle of the room. That's right, our roommate pooped. On the floor.
What are you supposed to do in this situation?! I sit there in shock for a little while then finally decide I have to wake Allison up. But I have to be quiet! I grab her phone and open the little iPhone notepad and write 'i am pretty sure our roommate pooped on the floor.'
I go over and tap her arm. She wakes up startled and then reads my message. From then on it becomes a sort of blur. By this time, drunk girl is back in bed. We sit there messaging each other back and forth for a while. We message Suzanna for advice who says to wake her up and make her clean it up. About an hour passes as we decide how to handle the most awkward and strange situation of our lives.
Finally we get up and go down to reception. It's around 5:30 now.
We now have to tell reception we need a place to sleep because our roommate pooped on the floor.
They kindly give us a new room after a few shocked looks and we go there to find a snuggling couple in the bunk bed next to us. At least its not poop.
We get to sleep for a few hours and in the morning it feels like a dream. That is, until we return to out room that smells horrible still but strangely the poop is gone and nobody says anything to us...
So yeah, that happened.
And for this of you who still don't believe it (I didn't really this morning), here is a picture:
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Well...as the saying goes, shit happens.

Sorry if we have offended anyone, we warned you. That story couldn't remain untold. Maybe you understand the chapter title now...

Posted by dillam7 11:34 Comments (0)

Chapter Thirty Six

Not sure this is even worth reading...

Today we leave for Madrid!!
We woke up early, packed up our growing backpack, said goodbye to all our favorite bed bugs and headed out to find the bus station. We got to the station, had trouble buying tickets (it wouldn't be a traveling day without a little hassle), got some breakfast and got on the 5 hour bus to Madrid. Now there are a few things we definitely wont miss: the painfully slow customer service just about everywhere and the smell of public transportation. Maybe we just get put next to the smelly people but I swear people who ride trains and busses don't shower.
Anywho, we rode the 5 hours to Madrid and took the metro to our final hostel!! After the bed bug scare, we are getting a little tired of this whole 10 bunk beds in one room thing.
The rest of the day was spent walking around, visiting little shops, and walking from Puerta del Sol to Plaza Mayor. The city is quite big but very easy to walk around.
Sorry we don't have any pictures to post...kind of a boring dayy!

Posted by dillam7 07:48 Comments (0)

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