08/31/19 – 09/04/19
So. I’m in in my bunk bed, just got out the shower, I’m incredibly tired and stuffed with unhealthy food (McDonald’s choc chip cookies are never a good idea).
I woke up on the couch in Valencia for the last time (cry) at 5am. My friend Juliette who would join me in Madrid for a few days l, slept in my bed. We had breakfast and made our way to the train station. We took a national train which meant a 7 hour train journey BUT that way I didn’t have to pay extra (no regrets. You’ll see).
Here’s a tip that will save you a lot of unnecessary stress at 6 in the morning. If you’re doing interrail and wanna get on a national train through Spain, you still have to go to the ticket office and get a ticket. It’s free and that way you can pass the entrance to get to the train. I got that information 5 minutes before the train left and had to queue to get my other ticket. Made it tho :).
On the train:
- we slept
- counted rabbits
- played cards
- listened to music
- enjoyed the incredible view
It went from green fields to forests to mountains to cliffs to sunflower fields to drought.
When we arrived in Madrid we went to the hostel (generator hostel 9/10) it’s very very good and prices for a bed are relatively cheap but the other stuff like breakfast and bar are hella expensive. But we had an ensuite and everything is clean!
After checking in we wanted to see the city so we randomly walked around a little. I had some places written down that I wanted to see like the barrio Malasaña, which we went to. At 5 we were hungry on the verge of hangry. We always turn into an old married couple when we are hungry which meant that we had to get food. Pizza it was. And it was delicious. 📌 plaza del dos de mayo.
The next day I actually slept in (til 7) which was surprising cause I usually wake up at like 5. So that was an incredible start to the day. Juliette was still sleeping so I decided to head out to see the sunrise. 📌 Gran Via obviously wasn’t the best place to see it and I was surrounded by drunk people on their way home from the club. But I took some pictures and went back to the hostel.
We found a breakfast spot the day before which was healthy, cheap and close to the hostel so that was the obvious breakfast choice. They opened at 9 we were there at 8:58. 📌 Fit fat food (if it wasn’t for the prices, healthy options and location I for sure would have went for the name). I got a Café solo and the oatmeal with red fruits and peanut butter. So SO good. And I only paid like 5€ as well!
After the very filling breakfast the first point on our itinerary was 📌 El Rastro. It’s a giant market in the neighborhood La Latina. It was crowded (af) and we wore our bags on chest. On our way there we crossed Plaza Mayor 📌 and discovered a really cool cinema called 📌 sala equis (I think)
You should really go there before 11 cause in streets that were more narrow it was almost impossible to move! The idea for lunch was to have a picknick in the park 📌 El Rastro, so we went to Lidl and walked to the park.
The way lead us through some sort of wall street- spanish style aka much prettier.
In the park we found a spot in the shade and had lunch. Afterwards we went to a house with statues in them called 📌 Palacio de Cristal which was really cool!
In the evening we went really spanish and went to 100 Montaditos 📌 and ordered food for 15€. Now. You might think that’s hella cheap but you have to keep in mind that one bocadillo costs 1€. And. we. ate. it. all.
The next morning was Juliette’s last day in Madrid (cry) and her train was leaving at 12 which gave us half a day to explore. We were up quite early, before any spanish breakfast place would open, so we decided to walk to 📌 Palacio Real which was a fantastic idea. There was no one and the rising sun was shining right onto the palace (is that english? Sorry I only speak spanish.).
We got breakfast (THE BEST BREAKFAST OF ALL TIME) in my favourite barrio 📌 Malasaña. It’s very hipster-y (is that a thing?) with many vintage shops, independent cafes and bars. We went to a place called 📌 HanSo Café. The cofre was the best thing ive ever drank and the toast I ordered must have been from another planet. It was too good. I had the bread with peanut butter and banana and a cortado. Played about 7€. Very fair price.
Afterwards we went back to the hostel, got our things and walked to the station. Juliettes train- taking- situation was a little stressful but it all worked out and she made it to Valencia!! While she was stressing out I was sitting on the floor at the information office and had to wait for an hour to make a reservation for the train from Madrid to Bilbao. Cost me 14€ which is an okay price.
Afterwards I was hungry so I went to the supermarket, got a yogurt and some fruit and sat in a greenish space in front of the hostel. Afterwards I was craving ice cream and I found a place called 📌 Zùccaru which turned out to be right next to the Palace again. So I sat in a little park and enjoyed my pistachio and mint chocolate ice cream!
When I got bored I went back to the centre and remembered that there is a roof top terrace at 📌 El corte ingles. So I took 9 escalators to the top of the building and took some pretty cool pictures. Don’t buy food yp there tho. A slice of semi good looking pizza costs 6€.
On the escalators on my way down I wrote this in my notes:
This is what I experienced while taking the escalator down at corte ingles while the song hey now was playing
9. Rich families eating slices of pizza for 6,50€
8. 3 girls sitting on a bed taking selfies
6. housewives comparing prices of saucepans
5. A girl crying in the towel aisle
4. A couple asking a guy in a suit working there for the best wine glasses
3. A little girl trying on backpacks for school
2. A hot guy with tattoos looking at cameras
1. A hot guy on the escalator in front of me going down
0. People sitting on sofas on their phones (free wifi)
-1. Huge ass rolls of toilet paper
In the evening I was craving pasta so I googled cheap pasta and places that sell a portion of spaghetti for 10€ were shown. So I gave up on google and decided to see for myself. Found a place called 📌 Papizza and got tortellini for 5€ and a cool view of Gran Via!! Afterwards I decided to walk to Malasaña again which somehow got even cooler in the evening!
Welcome to today. I have 3% battery but I’m too lazy to move closer to the outlet. So I’m tipping this as fast as possible. This morning was the first proper day by myself. I stayed in bed until like 9, got ready and went to the supermarket to by yogurt and fruits (2€) . I packed my oats and reusable cutlery and had breakfast on a bench at 📌 plaza de san ildefonso.
10:15 Breakfast at Plaza San ildefonso
Okay so I’m sitting on a bench when this weird old lady punches my arm. This is what I understood:
Mira los chicos
Welcome to the 21st century bitch. Wtf
On my way back I to the centre I walked past some shop. I took notes on my phone throughout the day in case you were wondering why I have exact times of the day.
10:45 one night fob or panic!
📌 Brandy Melville & decathlon
Tried on a couple bits n pieces, didn’t buy anything, so proud of myself.
On my list I had the barrio la Latina without the market so I went there again.
12:45 walked around 📌 La Latina. Not ma fave. A lil dirty a lil boring. I realised that I have been there before for the El Rastro market.
Just got out of Lidl now bought lunch for under 3€ and I’m walking to the park I was at yesterday.
02:15 just woke up from a nap on a park bench while listening to a podcast. Describes my current life pretty well.
Afterwards I walked back to the hostel and chilled for a good while, watching YouTube videos and basically not moving until I got hungry. On the first day I discovered a cheap healthy place called 📌 buenasaña so I went there. Got a delicious burrito and homemade lemonade for 5.50€.
It was a bit awkward trying to eat that burrito right by the window with hot spanish people walking past. Never looked that inelegant in my life.
After dinner I walked around the metro station 📌 San Bernado for a bit. On my way back I ended up at the place we had pizza at on the first day AND I found carrot cake icecream for only 1,50€. What a great evening. Sadly I was still peckish afterwards so I went to McDonald’s and got a cookie. Now I have stomach cramps. But all in all a great first city!!