Knowing a New City Can Be a Walk in the Park… Literally.

We literally just got here, and we already had a day off for a holiday. I’m not complaining! Yesterday was Feria de San Isidro, a Madrid-only holiday (and definitely the biggest one). There were a bunch of things going on throughout the city that reflected the culture of Madrid. I wish I could say that we took full advantage of it and went to all of the big festivities, but we’re still in the process of getting settled, and a few wrong stops on the metro can mess up your schedule a bit. Here’s how things went: I was supposed to meet up with my friend who lives here, Sergio, who I met at Pitt in the fall, but kind of showed up 40 minutes late. Went the wrong way on the metro, fixed that, then finally got off at the right stop (Iglesia) but didn’t actually SEE the iglesia, so walked too far one way, and realized the mistake way too late. Yeah, he had left by that time. Woops. Instead, Robyn, Liz, and I took a ride over to Parque del Retiro, one of the biggest parks in the city, so we could check it out.

Welcome to el Parque!

The boats would probably be more romantic if EVERYONE wasn’t doing it.

Honestly, I still don’t know how this was real. They didn’t even look like they were trying that hard.

Two of my roomies, Liz & Robyn, taking a bench break

I LOVED this little area. I’m pretty sure we saw less than 1/4 of the park, though. It’s seriously gigantic.

After the Sergio mishap, we decided it’d be a good idea to finally go get our Spanish phones. We went to the ginormous department store that’s all over the place, El Corte Inglés. I’m pretty sure you can find literally everything you’d really ever need in that store. They take over entire blocks. We went to the one in Puerta del Sol, which usually looks like this at all times of the day…

There are constant protests going on that are part of the 15-M Movement.

Robyn and I also bought our tickets for Rock in Rio! We’re going June 6th for “La noche electrónica” where David Guetta and Pitbull will be playing. I might die of happiness. Speaking of happiness, I’d like to express my love for the metro again.

An empty metro – beautiful just the same

I feel like I spend a majority of my time underground, but it’s so easy to navigate, it’s probably worth it.

After a quick stop back home, we rounded up the troops to check out the last possible part of the San Isidro festivities that we could see: the fireworks! We just had to go back to Parque del Retiro, with the rest of the city, it seemed. Unfortunately, we all seem to be running on Spanish time and showed up almost 20 minutes late.

We arrived in time for me to take a picture of literally THE LAST firework. 😦

To make up for that disappointment, I can say that we finally got some tinto de verano today (back story: it’s the name our apartment’s group gave itself when we did our pre-Spain class)! It’s a mixture of red wine, lemonade, and clear soda. Obviously, it’s delicious and oh-so-refreshing.

We managed to actually find Sergio, too, but I keep looking at the sites that people have been showing us more than taking pictures of them, so that outing might have to be redone. Definitely been doing a lot of walking!

Well, I actually have homework for my Spanish class (weird, right?), so I’ll wrap this up. There have been a lot of random little observations I’ve been making already, so hopefully I’ll get to those soon!

– Alexa


4 thoughts on “Knowing a New City Can Be a Walk in the Park… Literally.

  1. Love how the places have the same names as in Argentina! You’ll feel right at home 😉
    And you WOULD get mixed up on the metro hahaha (I like the word ‘subte’ better though..)

    • Agreed. Subte sounds way better. There are soooo many places that use the same names as we saw in Argentina. I guess it makes sense, but it’s kind of confusing. There are even stops on the Metro like República Argentina and Buenos Aires!

  2. Pingback: It’s Kind of a Funny Tattoo-Related Story | it's about argen-time!

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