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In case we didn’t mention it before, Madrid is a party city, and our hostel does a very good job at reflecting that attitude in it’s various events that it offers. Although we tend to stay away from the crazy ‘wee hours of the night’ party sphere, we did decide to take advantage of the walking tour graciously offered by our hostel.

The walking tour was a great way to get to know the city a bit and learn some of Madrid’s history, including it’s not so exciting city symbol of a bear eating some fermented fruit from a tree. I, (Ivana), thought it was a cute bear actually, but our tour guide didn’t seem too enthused.

When the tour was over, our guide gave a couple of suggestions of where to get some good Spanish lunch. She mentioned a place that she was heading to and a big part of the group actually ended up going there. It was a little pricey and we already had picked out a place the night before (which we had diligently found on trip advisor), but seeing that we had a personal recommendation from a local right before us and she would lead us there, we decided to join them. Much to our surprise and immense pleasure, when we arrived at the restaurant, we realized it was the same one we had picked the night before! The restaurant was called Rosi La Loca. The menu del dia was 11.50 euros and consisted of a smaller appetizer sort of dish, a main dish, a small glass of sangria, a drink of your choice, and coffee or dessert. The Spanish enjoy lunch as their bigger meal, followed by a siesta in the afternoon. We both ordered Paella as our smaller portion of the meal and chicken with lemon sauce and French fries. For dessert, Ivana had arroz con leche and Kathleen had some flan. It was a very good meal!!
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We sat with three people from our walking tour group. We met Blaine and Caitlyn from Utah and Kathy from Vancouver, who is currently a teacher for primary school in London. We all hit it off almost immediately! It was so great to talk to fellow Americans and a Canadian. 🙂 We all shared our travel stories and experiences with each other. We hit it off so well with them that we ended up spending the rest of the day exploring the streets of Madrid with our newly found friends!

As for the restaurant, it was a very nice atmosphere and the service was great, not to mention the delicious food we enjoyed! Our waiter was a very sweet young man from Peru who made a very notable effort to communicate in English with us all and Ivana tried her best to translate here and there. Being our second day in Madrid, we really appreciated his welcoming kindness!

After lunch, as mentioned earlier, we walked around with Blaine, Caitlyn, and Kathy. We first went to visit the Palacio Real because we had been told they had free visiting hours between 4 & 6 p.m. However, because of some event or something, it was not open for visitors after all.

Next, we walked for a good while until we reached El Parque del Retiro, a beautiful park with a glass building called Chrystal Palace. After our lengthy walk, we decided to head back to our hostel to get some dinner and then some rest. We stopped off at the grocery store and bought a tortilla de patata con cebolla, which was like a potato patty the size of a plate, with onions in it. We then put a whole avocado on it, enjoyed with some cheese, and of course, a pear. 🙂 When we got back to our hostel to eat our dinner, we were happily surprised to find Kathy, Blaine, and Caitlyn there and so we enjoyed our dinner with them.
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iAdiós!
❤ i&k

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europost_22

Madrid!

Going to a new country is always so much fun, it’s amazing how different each country and city feels from the others. It’s like stepping into a whole new world.

We arrived here very late last night, and went straight to bed. Our hostel is right next door to the metro stop so we didn’t get lost even for a second trying to find it, quite a feat for us. 🙂

Our first day in Madrid was Ash Wednesday. Because we would be fasting, we didn’t plan anything too vigorous for the day. First, we went to mass at the Catedral de la Almudena.

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The mass was beautiful and Ivana was able to understand the homily because she speaks Spanish like a rockstar. 😉 She filled Kathleen in after mass that the priest was saying that while it is important for us to seize every opportunity to grow in holiness during lent, e.g. make the little sacrifices that make us uncomfortable, take the time to pray more, focus on the season; it is also necessary to remember what we are preparing for, Easter, the moment of our redemption!

We walked around and sat in the sun in front of the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) which is right next door to the cathedral.
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We then went back to our hostel to make some lunch. Not a baguette, you will be pleased to hear! Because this hostel has a full kitchen, we were able to prepare ravioli with cheese sauce and crusty cheese bread and a pear for lunch. It was so delicious and definitely a welcomed change from our previous meal choices.

After lunch, we went back outside. We explored further past the cathedral and the palace into more of the heart of the city. We passed a very cute cafe/restaurant where we hope to go for lunch one of our days here.

For dinner we had a yogurt. Soon afterwards we headed to bed, we were tired from walking around all day, but are excited to see what tomorrow will bring!

iAdiós!

❤ i&k