Friday, August 14, 2015

Return to Madrid

We ended our summer in the US, and then we embarked on a quick trip to Spain to see J's family.

One of the best things about visiting J's family in northern Spain is that we have to pass through Madrid on the way. Have is more like we luckily get to stay in Madrid before we take the train to Galicia.

Just thinking about flying to Madrid makes my heart beat faster; in a good way. Madrid is my favorite city in the world. I spent two wonderful years living in Spain's capital, meeting all sorts of characters, traveling the continent on budget airlines, improving my Castellano (Spain's Spanish), studying a Master degree, drinking sangria..... and oh yeah, meeting my future husband.

Needless to say, the city holds countless memories for me. Each street reminds me of some earlier adventure.

It's so nice to touch down in Madrid because I know how to arrive anywhere in the city. The metro works like a dream and almost any hotel is reachable within short walking distance from a stop. 

I was anxious to get our journey on the way. However, our 9:00 PM flight from Manchester was delayed. 2 hours. Sigh. To make matters worse, the "very crowded" Ryanair flight forced us to check our carry-on bags under the plane. Upon boarding, I couldn't help but notice all the open overhead storage bins. After landing in Madrid at 2 AM, we had to wait around in baggage claim because the Ryanair luggage handlers were on strike. Just the Ryanair luggage handlers.

Our only bit of luck was catching the 24 hour airport shuttle to the city right before it left the airport. As it was the middle of the night, there was no traffic and within minutes we were unloading at Cibeles Plaza. The usual crowd of rowdy night-goers were out. I smiled. We were back.

We instinctively started making our way on foot to our hotel in Puerta del Sol. We tossed down our luggage and walked right back out into Sol. If you've got to arrive at 3 AM in any city of the world, it might as well be Madrid. We walked around the streets adjoining Sol, declining offers for free entrance to the bars and discos. It just felt so nice to be outside in the warm air and people-watch. 

Climbing the stairs to our hotel, I saw a sign for an English teaching company located on the bottom floor. Tempting...

Madrid by night.
My Madrid!
3AM arrival to Madrid? No problem!
Puerta del Sol!

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