Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 6:31 PM in 2013 Europe
I walked around quite a bit today exploring various parts of the city. I went over to the Royal Palace and up to Plaza Espana (which was actually filled with some kind of setup for Christmas). I walked to the San Miguel market and then back to the hostel. The San Miguel market is supposedly famous for all of its tapas. It seemed pretty touristy and everything was priced higher than it should have been. It was still nice to see and smell all the different tapas though.
After lunch I wanted to check out the big indoor fruit, vegetable and meat market called Mercado de la Cebada. It was along the same lines as La Boqueria in Barcelona and Mercado Central in Valencia, except I feel like both of those were better. This one was two floors but most of the booth spaces were empty. I'm not sure if it's more populated on different days of the week but it didn't really have the same liveliness that the others did.
On the way back I picked up a box of Turron (a type of candy that's really popular around here for the holidays). The box I got wasn't actually that good. If I can find some that tastes as good as the first one I had back in Cordoba I'm definitely bringing some back to the states. The stuff I bought was oily and didn't really have much flavor.
After that I walked over to Parque del Retiro, a gigantic park on the west side of the city. Unfortunately when I got there the weather was turning south and it was starting to sprinkle rain. The park would have been great to walk around in during some nice weather. I'll probably go back later in the week if the sun is out for a while.
On the way back to the hostel the rain persisted and it's been raining the rest of the day. I've just been hanging out in the hostel for the last few hours and don't really have any desire to head out into the cold and get rained on tonight. Unfortunately this hostel doesn't have a lounge area to hang out in so I'm just chilling in my room.
I'm a bit sad that I'm ending my journey here in Madrid. Every Spanish city I've been to so far has been awesome. Madrid is just a huge city filled with massive amounts of people, trash, beggars, prostitutes, and "cash for gold" people everywhere you turn. I really wish I would have spent more time down in southern Spain and then spent a night or two here before flying out. I feel like 5 nights here in Madrid is going to feel like a long time.
Posted from: Spain