A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about madrid

Day bus to Lisbon

semi-overcast 14 °C
View SEP Pre-Trip on seaskimmer's travel map.

After segovia on Saturday, we ate at home again. That was lots of bee hoon, and AM's philipino macaroni!! Haven't had that in ages. Will make sure I cook it in Hamburg, it's an easy one pot meal. Crazy though, we only started eating at ten pm, and all the friends stayed til like 4am before sleeping. Apparently that happens almost every Saturday when everyone is off work. I went off to sleep first at 1 plus, I was so tired.

In the morning we woke up to go to El Rastro. Except that it wasn't, so I was pretty disappointed. We went to the nearby one that was also huge, but it wasn't the famous one at la latina. Sigh should have done my research properly. Oh well, I bought two long sleeves and a bag. I was counting on the flea market to make some purchases cos all the zara and pull and bear and mango were much too expensive for me. More shopping at the second hand store in Hamburg :D hehe.

Went to AM's church after that, the guys went to Bernabeu to try to get tickets, and to do some shopping. Everyone was really nice! But predictably (oops) I fell asleep during sermon. In my defense I was truly very tired, and it was also half in tagalog so I couldn't really understand anything. Haha. After that they had weekly lunch banquet thing, I finally got to eat adobo (black sauce thing with meat and vinegar) and rice again. Rice! <3 oh how I've missed you.

Walked around sol and gran via a while, lamented at my lack of buying power, went back to chill and shower. After that was Bernabeu, which I've already recounted.

This Monday morning we awoke early at 7 to pack and eat. Sweet AM got up to make tuna sandwiches for us. Ate, metro to estacion bus del sur, am on the 7 hour bus to lisboa now.

Before I say anything else, just let me say how appreciative I am of AM and her friends. They've cooked dinner for us and given us their food and beds. They've been just so nice and welcoming. Obviously we've tried very hard to repay them, but a lot of our efforts have been rebuffed. Oh well. Haha.

Okay, and I really wanted to do a on the way trip stop at caceres or something. Don't want to just do big cities. But late planning resulted in limited travel options. We could totally have taken the night train to Lisbon! Haha that would have been awesome. And then a day at caceres. But it was not to be. We missed booking that train by a day or so, and that's why we're on the earliest (10am) bus direct to Lisbon.

Also, update on the travel partners thing, it's getting better. I think I've learnt to chill and see good sides. It's getting more fun now!

More later, ciao!

Posted by seaskimmer 16:15 Archived in Spain Tagged church spain madrid lisbon portugal Comments (0)

El Clasico

semi-overcast 10 °C
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We found out on Friday night about the El Clasico match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, in Bernabeu itself while we are in Madrid! The stadium is only like ten minutes away on foot?

So on Sunday (today) afternoon, the guys went down to attempt to get tickets, with a 200 eur budget. They returned with sad countenances just as I finished showering. But we rushed off to the stadium to try and catch the players as they arrived. After pushing our way through to the front, getting a few dirty looks, and waiting for what felt like a century, people up the road began to cheer and cameras popped out (like daisies! Reference anyone?). Some police cars and two darkly tinted buses drove by. There was a stunned silence and then everyone started to ask the security guy if that was it. And that was it. Everyone was extremely disappointed but stayed in the crush for another five minutes before hopes dissipated and the crowd dispersed.

We slowly made our way back home, booked our bus tickets to Lisboa, ate some leftover macaroni, and went off to find a bar.

We ended up in this cute little bar with lots of iberian hams hanging on the sides. So something between a butchery and a bar maybe? The guys wanted a better view of the big TV so they went to the back to stand. On the other hand, I dragged a chair right up almost underneath the TV to look up at it. I'd rather sit for 90min and have a weirdly angled neck. After all, can't be worse than belaying someone on a project (sorry J hahahaha that was a long one).

There was a mix of barca and madrid fans, so excitement at every turn. I sat there looking up, laughing at the animations of the people around me. Like seriously, I think it's hilarious when people scream at the TV, and especially so when there's a goal!

And a wealth of goals there was indeed. What an amazing match, as each side almost took turns to score. Not only were there tons of goals, but there was also a lot of drama with the penalties and that red card! Oh my. And I can't believe Madrid lost, what a pity (even though I'm neutral). The barca fans were screaming away happily while everyone else grunted grumpily or had head in hands.

What a stroke of luck. A fantastic match up nearing the end of the la liga season. A decisive match. And a home game as well! In a small local bar :) what a night.

Summary of the rest of today's events will probably come in about 24 hours haha.

Posted by seaskimmer 16:03 Archived in Spain Tagged football barcelona spain madrid Comments (0)

Sol y Luna

overcast 9 °C
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Let me post this before I fall asleep on the spot.

Where did I last stop? I think before we left for the bus station in barca.

DB and I had two cheeseburgers each for dinner, while hungry TZ had three. One euro each. And we were drinking the grocery store sangria haha.

Bus was cramped and draughty. A little sleep here and there, by the time we got to Madrid estacion sur it was 6am. And by the time we got to Tetuan by metro it was almost 7. AM met us there, brought us to her place not far from the station.

We ate a little, talked, attempted to plan a bit. Then AM went out to work and we took a bit of a nap which was perhaps not the best thing to do. By the time we'd sort of decided what to do for the rest of the day, it was pretty late and the guys were hungry and insisted on eating straight away, so. Instead of a great tapas place somewhere in town, we ate a a lame fast food place called Nebraska, wasn't even cheap. Sigh haha. I want tapas.

Took metro to try the teleferico (cable car) but it wasn't as spectacular as people had said it was, so a bit of a let down. It was pretty at the stop though, I enjoyed it.

Took metro into sol, walked around and basically saw all the main interests, but without some historical background it was kind of dry.

Dinner at AM's place, she said we'd be having paella cos I mentioned that I liked it. It ended up being a giant feast, and we couldn't finish a lot haha. Her roomies are so nice and funny, Jodel is this big guy who cooked the paella from a YouTube video haha. We ran out and got some vino (2.35eur!) and a few small bottles of sangria. Then also a box of strawberries mmm.

We helped to make some of the food, while hanging out with Marlo and his adorable 3 year old nephew James.

The final food tally stands as recorded:

Platos uno
Jamon, the small round kind

Platos dos
Big pan of paella, unfortunately only one side edible cos they don't have a fire stove. As such it was a bit uneven, but the edible side was yummy.
Pincho (bites), bread with smoked salmon, mayo, crabmeat, hard boiled egg
Fried tang hoon
Filipino fried pig cheek
Fried or sautéed prawns

Platos tres
Strawberries and whipped cream/condensed milk
Biscuits we bought from sol

Vino with soda water
Beer and vodka I think for the guys later on

As per Spain custom, dinner started at about 8 plus and ended at 10 plus! I was so full. Yum.

More research on what to do for the next few days, our original plans a bit different especially due to tomorrow's el classico match! Real Madrid vs Barcelona, and the stadium is 15 min away on foot. The guys will try to get a ticket if they can, highly likely to have sold out a long time ago though. I shall content myself by going to a bar to watch, or I heard there's a big screen outside the stadium. It'll be cold though, 9pm. So exciting!

Today (Saturday) we had churros for the breakfast. Seems that most people dip their churros in melted chocolate, while the sugar option is available too. I found the chocolate not sweet enough. Didn't really taste much like chocolate either. So I spammed the sugar haha.

Then we spent the day at segovia! 1.5h bus ride from principio pio. We walked around, everything was pretty and interesting, but it was quite cold up there. Ten degrees and a fast freezing wind. Saw the aqueduct, the cathedral, the palace. Didn't go inside cos we need to pay. Lunch was pretty cheap, bakery bread was like 5 for 1.20 eur etc. I also bout Portuguese egg tarts!! The inside is like custard, not so solid like in sg, I kind of prefer the sg one. Segovia was alright. Something else to see and do, but in the end it's another cathedral, another palace.

I think what I really enjoyed was spending the day with AM! For those who don't know, she was our helper for ten years, from when I was 7 (right after Holland). She's working now in Spain, doing the same thing. I didn't realise I've missed her so much.

And it's interesting, because there were definitely times in the past when I was really annoyed at her. AM was given the authority to scold us, so she did. Looking back, I don't know why I got so angry. Haha I always got scolded for reading in the toilet (when I should be showering) or taking a long time to eat (when younger I was hardly ever hungry. And obviously in a Chinese household I was stuffed with food.) or taking too long to come down for dinner ('later', 'soon' haha. Mostly last time cos I was reading).

But any grievances seem to have faded over the years. Now I'm just glad to talk with her. :) and I'm so excited, cos she's planning on a holiday to the Philippines in July, and will be coming to sg for a week or so in August, when I'm already back :) can't wait! She'll get to eat all the sg food again also haha.

TZ and DB are aspiring photographers and as such both have bug cameras and spend an inordinate amount of time adjusting for a photo haha. Which means that they're really slow when we walk down a street. But okay must admit that their pictures do turn out well. They also spend a lot of time discussing the manual setting stuff, which I'm totally fine with as it leaves me alone to enjoy myself.

Still on the way back to Madrid now, and as usual I've been looking out the window thinking about how to describe the country. Spain reminds me of Ireland in its verdant wildness, but Spain really feels much more Mediterranean. While Ireland seems more at home in the relative warmth of its temperate, mild, oceanic climate, and it's that Irish lad I've spoken of before. On the other hand, in Spain everything looks like it's made for the summer heat, like it belongs and would thrive in it, despite the cold now. I can just see a cowboy (I know that's American) on his horse kicking up the dust as he gallops across the plains.

Last words for tonight: we passed through two arches side by side in segovia. One was carrer de la Luna (street of the moon) and the other was Puerta del sol (gate of the Sun). I liked the poetry in that.

Posted by seaskimmer 17:04 Archived in Spain Tagged spain madrid family Comments (0)

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