Monday, November 7, 2011

{{ TPE - AMS - MAD }}


Time to get on the plane. This is my first time flying KLM and to be totally honest, I was very very impressed. The service is better than all of the other airlines I've ever been on. The food is surprisingly delicious.

Flying from Taipei, we made a brief stop in Bangkok, and continued to Amsterdam. From there, I got the stamp entering EU in my passport (woot!) and transfered on another plane to Madrid, Spain.

This was my first time in Spain. I did not know a single word of Spanish, which is a little surprising for someone who's lived in Western Canada. Also, the Spanish really don't like to speak English. I'm not if it is because they don't know how or they just refuse to. There were some interesting moments when I did try to speak spanish from the phrasebook in my hand.

I stayed at a hostel (which is a lot nicer and cleaner than most hostels that I'm aware of in North America). The location was perfect. It was a block away from Plaza Mayor and a few from Puerta de Sol.

I absolutely love the street signs. These tile street signs are hung on the walls of the buildings. Aren't they adorable?

Palacio Real

Catedral de la Almudena
The plan of the cathedral is actually quite bizarre...

The later the night, the more lively it gets. Around 9pm is when people start coming out for dinner. Madrid is a very energetic city.

Madrid is quite cheap for food. This place has the best calamari sandwiches (bocadillos de calamares). I spent 2 euros for the sandwich and 1 euro for a beer. 1 EURO FOR BEER! I swear this is all I drank in Spain..

Of course they are also more pricy places as well, mostly for tourists. I was a tourist and after hours of walking around, all I wanted to do during the siesta hours ( ~ 2-5pm) is to have paella, drink sangria, and people-watch. That, is exactly what I did.

A trip to Spain is not the same without tasting the famous churros! Chocolateria San Gines is in every single travel book for Spain (at least the ones I've ever flipped through). Unlike the churros you can get in Canada that's covered with cinnamon and sugar, most people here like it plain with just icing sugar. Since I was at a chocolateria, I figured it'd be worth my dollars, i mean euros, to try their chocolate. The hot chocolate sauce you dip into with the churros is delectable. It's extremely rich and thick, in the best possible way.

Lots of scooters. Lots of vespas.
Why not? It's the perfect weather for it..

Told you Madrid was cheap...

I followed Minnie for awhile...

We spent two days in Madrid, Spain. I wished we were there for a couple of days more to visit the parks, the museums etc... but now it's time to take the Renfe and move on to our next destination.

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