Sunday, 16 April 2017

A Trio of Traumas: Spanish Edition (Part Two)

Hello! I’m back and ready to reveal the outcomes of my trio of traumas in Madrid. Spoiler alert: it’s a happy ending.

Stood on the rooftop of Círculo de Bellas Artes
For those of you that have a restricted memory like me, I’ll recap the three boughs of bad luck I experienced within these 4 days:

  1. Loss of mascara
  2. Phone robbery
  3. Missing the bus home

So let’s get back to it. The first traumatic experience was resolved while I was in the middle of trauma number two. Despite having already turned Sally’s room pretty much upside down a couple of days before in desperation to find my beloved buddy yet having no luck, out rolled the mascara from under my suitcase when I wasn’t expecting it. Almost as if it had got bored of playing a game of hide and seek. Alas, things were looking up! At least from the perspective of solving issue one at least. Let’s not forget that I was still hopelessly phoneless at this point…

(Unrelated photo of the) famous Metropolis building
Meanwhile, little did I know, my Instagram followers were being contacted left, right and centre on an angel’s mission to reunite a little phone with its idiotic owner. It turned out that my phone wasn’t stolen at all! I’d simply been a prize nincompoop and put it down on the floor in the square - distracted by the brilliance of Michael Jackson - and walked away! For this I truly believe I deserve to be sent to idiot camp or something, because not only who would do that, but in a city famous for its high crime rates too?! It didn’t take long for me to find out that my phone had been discovered rather than robbed, and the next day was able to travel across the city in Chariots of Fire style to embrace my precious phoney-woney. And hark, my phone is back where it belongs: with its idiot.

Oh look, there's the idiot...
With traumas one and two resolved before the third one even occurred, a speedy solution was almost certain. Obviously it’s not the end of the world if you miss a bus or a train, or even a plane. So we simply bought a ticket for the next bus back to Murcia. And when I say we I mean Sally, who insisted the whole mix-up was her own fault and ever so kindly paid for the ticket. The brilliant part was that the bus I ended up on meant I spent the most luxurious 5 hours possible travelling across the country. Complete with plug sockets, individual self-select TV screens, and – the best part – free stuff!

So there we have it, my second round of stressful situations times three. All over and done with *phew!*. From this experience I am once again reassured that something out there is watching over me. For this I’m humbly grateful.

Palacio de Cibeles (Cybele Palace) - City Hall of Madrid
And as promised, I’ll now share what I actually got up to in Madrid, amongst all of this. Oh don’t worry though, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

We tried the delicacies offered by the famous food markets: everything from patatas bravas and paella to kebabs and fully-loaded nachos. Of course, the weekend wouldn't have been complete without fuelling ourselves with alcohol at every given opportunity, and taking complete advantage of (yet again) perfect sunny weather. So we drank wine and sat in the square sipping sangria, and got great views of the city from the top floor of El Corte Inglés at nighttime and the rooftop of Círculo de Bellas Artes during the day.

Kebab stall at Mercado de San Ildefonso
Excited faces of Faye and Sally at the prospect
of those amazing nachos (just look at them!!!)
"Glasses" (more like bowls) of Sangria = happy Emma
We visited various beautiful squares, which acted as little pit stops as we wandered the centre dotted with more amazing buildings, cute side streets, fountains, statues and the like.
Statue of Felipe IV in Plaza de Oriente outside Palacio Real
View of the Royal Palace from Jardínes de Sabatini
Puerta de Alcalá, Plaza de la Independencia
We marvelled at a sunset picnic in the Parque del Oeste which contains the Templo de Debod – a temple that was donated to Spain by the Eqyptian government in the 1960s but was actually built in Ancient Eqypt over 2,200 years ago. The park also seemed to boast its fair share of the cutest fluffiest dogs of the city, a great view of the royal palace (which we also visited), and even some practising circus acts: tightrope walkers and hulahoopers.

View of the Royal Palace from inside Parque del Oeste
The Templo de Debod
View of the buildings at sunset from Parque del Oeste
Sunset inside Parque del Oeste
We strolled through the beautiful Parque de Retiro, which was full of lovely paths and gardens, a glorious rowing lake and the marvellous Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) – a giant greenhouse-type building certainly worthy of its name, simply lovely both inside and out.

Both pictures taken from inside the Palacio de Cristal
With Sally by the boating lake inside Parque del Retiro

I had a great weekend full of fun and laughter, and spent in fantastic company!


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