May 7, 2013
After waking up super late (but then again is it really late in Madrid?) M and I headed to the Museo Sorolla. It turned out be a beautiful house with a gorgeous garden in front that belonged to the painter, Joaquín Sorolla but was later turned into a museum showcasing his works. It was the perfect sized museum and my favorite part was his drawing room. He had huge paintings that he had drawn of his family and they still had his old easels, paintbrushes and paint tubes in the room – all pretty fascinating for a wanna-be artist like myself. Everything in the museum was written in Spanish and as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get it. That’s when we spotted a tour guide speaking in English. So we discreetly started following them around, looking at one painting while secretly listening to him talk. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that this was a group of school children. So it was more so creepy and they so caught on to us.
After the museum we headed to a little café in the Salamanca neighborhood. This was my first taste of the “menú de día” (menu of the day). It consisted of one large appetizer, one even larger entrée, a small pastry and wine…all for 13€. Bam…that, in Spain, is a deal. No joke. Then we pretty much meandered through the streets (I love doing this since I get to run into things I wouldn’t normally do if I took the more touristy ones). We initially wanted to go to one bakery but it was closed for siesta. Now, when I mean “closed” I mean CLOSED. It was locked up, boarded up, gate pulled down – it looked like nothing existed. So this either means they are really light sleepers or they don’t plan on opening up for the rest of the day. Spain…so convenient. Then we stopped at a really cute chocolate shop called Cacao Sampaka; which supposedly has the best cold chocolate drinks. They had run out (kind of shocking for a chocolate shop) and had no intention of making anymore for the rest of the day. So that was that. My favorite spot though was this cute Libros y Vinos store. It was a coffee shop, bar and bookstore all in one – I could seriously spend all day here. Now, I just need to figure out how to transport this place into my future home.
Then we walked onto Gran Vía, a huge shopping street in Madrid (it kind of reminded me of Times Square). I was really good…I mean really good. I came out with only 2 dresses and walked into the H&M (noticed how ridiculously gorgeous it was since it was built inside of an old bank) and walked out. Yes, I conquered cute European fashion.
Then we headed to the Royal Palace and cathedral. The palace is really only like 2500 rooms; I mean it’s so small compared to the homes that I’ve lived in. After this, we hustled our booties to the Temple de DeBod to catch the sunset. We grabbed some cervezas and chips and sat down for a mini-break. This is where I noticed how ridiculously chill and unphased the policía (police) are here. While we’re sitting there, we saw the same two cops in their tiny little car circle us at least 8 times in like 20 minutes – one kept staring out at us each time and then his creepo side kick was licking a lollipop…also staring. They weren’t even doing anything except randomly circling around then all of a sudden turning on their sirens and driving the car uphill to break up something, not even getting out and then driving right back down. I mean there is no law enforcement here what so ever. There was even one time where this young (stupid) couple couldn’t keep their hands off each other and these same two cops pulled the car right in front of them (probably about a foot away), parked and just kept their lights on this couple. The best part neither parties stopped what they were doing. Awkward. That is all I will say.
The sunset was nice but what was even more beautiful was the color of the sky at night – it was like a bright, navy blue. It was definitely hard to leave that area (more so because my shins were on fire from walking around all day). Now, stuffed with Thai food and chocolate, I’m about to pass out.
I do have to say that it’s a bit weird coming from all the chaos of Marrakesh to Madrid, where everyone is so chill, no one is bribing you to come to their store or coaxing you to buy anything. Here, for lack of a better word – they just don’t give a f*ck. I’m not going to say that I like it like this but it’s interesting to see how different these two places are. Even though Spain is more of a developed country than Morocco, it just seems that Marrakesh was more like a city you would find in the U.S. Where people actually work all day, are customer-friendly and it’s convenient. Honestly, it’s just fascinating to kind of see that.
Tomorrow is my last day in Madrid but we’re headed outside the city!