Masses of people everywhere

Saturday, December 14, 2013 @ 11:14 pm from Spain Spain
Day 171

After breakfast I started the second walking route that's listed in one of the tourist guides I was given when I checked into the hostel. This route went over to Parque del Retiro via the Plaza de Cibeles, then down to the Reina Sofia Museum, up to the Neptune fountain and then through the Literary quarter before ending up back near the hostel.

I started walking around 10:30 and already the streets were full of people. The Plaza de Cibeles was nice and then it lead to the Puerta de Alcala which was pretty cool to see. I ended up back at the Retiro park and fortunately today the weather was a lot nicer than yesterday. I spent some time there walking around before heading back to the Paseo del Prado (via some streetside bookstalls).

Back at the Neptune fountain I doubled back into the Literary Quarter which is full of small streets lined with cafes, bookshops and restaurants. It ended up at the Spanish Theater before I cut back up to the Puerta del Sol.

I bought a few things for lunch then came back to the hostel to eat. Since the hostel doesn't have an oven or a range I'm pretty limited in my cooking. I found some microwavable lasagna that didn't turn out too bad. After lunch I decided to hit up a free museum and went down to the Museo de los Origines. It was a big museum full of artifacts for the history of Madrid going all the way back to prehistoric times.

It was nice being in the museum because it was completely empty. I went at the Spanish lunch time so everyone was out eating and drinking and I had the museum to myself. It was one of the few times today when I wouldn't be completely surrounded by people.

After the museum I went down to the Puerta de Toledo (another big archway in the middle of a roundabout), but it wasn't nearly as impressive as the Puerta de Alacala. My plan was to walk all the way over to the Reina Sofia museum and try to hit it while it was free but I wrote down the wrong free times for Saturday. I ended up being a few hours early so I came back to the hostel. I'm planning on making tomorrow a "free museum" day so I'll aim to hit it then.

I've got a full room at the hostel tonight which I wasn't really expecting. Before dinner the streets really started to fill up and I looked outside the little balcony out the hostel bedroom window and the streets were absolutely packed. I don't really like crowds and having this many people out on the streets was not something that looked like fun for me.

I read for a while and then made dinner. After some wine I decided to heck with it, I'd head out and work my way through the crowds and aimlessly wander around. The streets were extremely packed and I ended up walking around several christmas markets and christmas light filled streets before coming back to the hostel just before 11pm.

Like I said earlier, there are a bunch of museums that are free tomorrow so I'm planning on spending most of the day visiting them. Then on Monday I'm still planning on heading to Toledo to check out the old Spanish capital city and to get out of the madhouse that's Madrid for the day.
Teaser photo
Palacio de Cibeles
Teaser photo
Parque del Retiro
Teaser photo
In the Museo de los Origines

Where this entry was written:

Enjoying an Antidepressant Autumn Dark Lager at the Sv Norbert monastery brewery. #prague #europetrip2013
Koeleweimolen. One of the 4 windmills still surrounding Bruges. #bruges #europetrip2013
Scottish Highlands. #europetrip2013
Free paella at the hostel in Barcelona? Yes please! #paella #barcelona #europetrip2013
Cliffs of Moher. #europetrip2013
Eiffel tower. #paris #europetrip2013
Novy Svet. Old part of Prague dating to the 14th century. #prague #europetrip2013
Pizza al forno. These just came out of the oven and are delicious. Also only cost €1. #pizza #europetrip2013
Bruges! #bruges #europetrip2013
Stephansdom in Vienna. It dates back to 1137. #vienna #europetrip2013

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Where I've been:

Good Evening… Planet Earth
All the countries I visited on this trip (in yellow).

What's this about?

Traveling is something I've loved doing for as long as I can remember. I've been lucky enough to travel out of the US a few times but never longer than 2 weeks at a time. I decided that I should go see the world and experience all it has to offer. I booked a one-way ticket to Dublin, Ireland to depart on June 26, 2013. After I get to Europe I'll let serendipity take hold and see where I end up. No schedules and no itinerary… just go with the flow. That's as close to a plan as I'm making.

Who am I?

My name's Brandon O'Brien and I'm a travelholic. Before this journey I've been to 11 countries and put over 17,500 miles on various motorcycle trips through the USA and Canada. I'm a self-employed web developer so I'm fortunate enough to be able to work anywhere there's an internet connection. That's what truly made this experience possible.

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