As we flew in to Madrid, yesterday morning, I had all these thoughts about how life is simply what we make of it. We are daily given the chance to write the pages of each chapter. We are given the chance to choose what story we write in this life. I have always had this ideology, but as our wheels touched down in a new city early that morning, I felt the reality of it. I realized this trip could take so many directions, but what was the direction I would want it take?
It by no means is an overly comfortable experience for anyone to go on a trip or take a journey, I am not a big a fan of flying (surprising? Yeah it surprises me too as well, but ask Mike), sleeping on planes, and I especially hate the plane food. What makes me work through all the discomfort is that moment you step out on the street for the first time after your flight, you hear the sounds, feel rush of being in a new place, and then immediately feel immersed in that culture. I live for that moment. Every city offers a new feeling, but the rush of getting to where you are going on your own and figuring it out as you go is what I love.
Sure enough, when we landed in Madrid it was the same. I had not done a ton of research about how to get from the airport to our hostel, but what I had done is at least downloaded a map that would guide us there.
We opted for a taxi because after a small amount of sleep on the plane and hungry bellies, we felt it was best to avoid the confusion of how to get to the metro and simply take a taxi no matter the amount.
Once arriving at our hostel we flopped down, drank some water and passed out for 3-4 hours. Thankfully the Spaniards live for great mid-day siestas and life really does not move too quickly for them before noon. After some rest we felt ready to head out and explore.
Before we left I made sure to place some key points on my map app, I used called City Maps 2 Go. I plugged in restaurants, key points, and major areas to wander through as well as our hostel. We then hit the streets and began wandering and getting lost so to speak. It’s perfect for us because it can track your location without using cellular data. How it does, it is beyond me, I’m just happy it does.
I truly believe that the best way to get to know any place is to simply wander, get lost, and then somehow find your way back. It may sound scary, which is why I made sure to at least have my phone charged with the location on the map before we left, but there is no better way to learn.
We ended up wandering to the Royal Palace and along the way stopped for lunch and coffee at a cute cafe called La Rollerie and seriously had one of the best coffees I have ever had. Maybe it was because I really needed a pick me up or what, but it was really awesome!
From there we continued to wander over to the palace and wandered down tons of beautiful streets. During our wanderings we came across the Mercado San Miguel, which many of you wisely told us to stop at. Even though we had just eaten, we were instantly salivating at the amazing tapas, paella, and other fresh food in this gorgeous place. It was top-notch and a foodies paradise. Also a goldmine for people watching. We plan to stop back in when we are back in Madrid at the end of our trip.
Once arriving at the palace we were struck by how beautiful and quite grand it was. It felt very similar to the Versailles Palace but with a only a little less glitch and glam. The gardens around the palace were also very fun. We wandered through the hedges, sat for a while, and then continued to wander into the north end of the city.
Beside the palace we took some time wander through the gardens nearby and enjoyed the quiet of the city on a chilly afternoon before the hustle started for the afternoon. It was absolutely beautiful and very calming.
By this point it was nearly 5 o’clock and the city was coming to life. The cities filled with all types, from geriatric protestors, mothers with children, tourists, families, school kids, university students, and the list goes on. The plazas we walked through were alive with people hugging, greeting one another, and asking about their days. The sun beamed through it all in the plazas. It was truly beautiful.
We slowly made our way back to our hostel to add on some more layers, as it was getting chillier, and recharged everything before we headed out for dinner. From some research on various blogs and my favorite, Lonely Planet, I discovered a tapas place that was near us in the city, so we decided it was the right fit.
We took the quick walk to Taberna Matritum and at nearly 9 PM we were the first table to be seated for the night. We were silly tired at this point, but we wanted to keep on their schedule and enjoy a meal in the Spaniard fashion.
Honestly, I am not 100% sure what we ate last night, but I know that it was amazing and the wine was spectacular. We so enjoyed the experience and simplicity of the night. It was a little heavier than I wanted, but the chilly weather and being tired made me really want those cheesy potatoes.
As we wandered back after dinner, we talked through some deep questions about the next steps for Wild Measure and where we want to be this time next year. The answer all around was quality over quantity and to focus on being our own best version of ourselves and our best self together. I feel there will be a lot of talk about this over the next few weeks..
This morning we are took the high speed train to Seville for the weekend and spending time with friends here. I cannot wait to explore this city and share it with all of you. Thank you so much for all of your recommendations!
Happy Friday my friends! Choose to write some great lines of your story today.