My flight from New York arrived in Madrid in the morning.
When I was buying my tickets, I wanted to plan the trip such that I would have a day to check out Madrid when I got back. We weren’t otherwise going to be stopping in this city on our trip, since it is so far inland and it requires driving through mountains, so this was my one chance. So I planned to arrived in Madrid around 10am, and I booked the midnight bus to Almeria where Philipp was waiting. This way I would have time to explore, and I could sleep during the 6-hour bus ride to the coast.
What I forgot to factor in, however, was the fact that I am a human and humans need a certain amount of sleep in order to function properly. I left New York at 9:30pm, and I got zero sleep during the six hour plane ride in my super-cramped seat. When I arrived at 10am Spanish time, I was mega tired and felt like crap. There was no way I was going to be able to face the task ahead of me in this condition. I was not going to be able to navigate an entirely new city in the freezing cold wearing flip flops and dragging around my giant backpack and hand luggage without at least an hour or two of sleep. So I decided to search for a quiet corner of the airport where I could curl up on the floor and take a nap. And nap I did, for about two hours. Then I was ready to set out.
I walked around all day from place to place. I saw the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, and walked down the Grand Via. They were all jaw-droppingly beautiful.
I have to say, despite how awesome these sights are, I really wasn’t too crazy about Madrid in general. It’s just not my kind of place. It felt super metropolitan: it was mega crowded and hectic and it felt like everyone was a stranger to everyone. I didn’t find anything that I thought was extra special; it just didn’t seem to me like the city has very much character.
Of course, it’s possible that my opinion was affected by how tired I was. The weather wasn’t so great either: cold and gray. The grayness sucked because it ruined all my photos, and the coldness sucked because, me being me, I was wearing flip flops, and as the day moved towards evening I began to become pretty uncomfortable. I ducked into this market. I always love markets. This one was pretty inside, but everyone was packed in like sardines.
Around 9pm I decided that I had enough. The adrenaline rush of the challenge of being in a new place was starting to subside and I was beginning to really feel like I was about to collapse from exhaustion. I dragged myself to the bus station and found a cafe to sit in while I waited. The bus station was pretty inside. Lots of plants.
The challenge now was to make sure that I didn’t fall asleep and miss my ride. I walked in circles, did some crocheting, talked to my sister on the phone, absolutely anything to keep me busy. Somehow, I pulled through and got myself on the bus at midnight. The day’s adventure/ordeal was finally over and as soon as I sat down in my seat I passed out, and at 6am I woke up in Almeria.