As I mentioned in my previous post, due to the high cost of airfare to Morocco, we ended up getting round trip flights to Madrid and then using the discount carrier, Ryanair to get to Morocco. This meant we had a 24 hour layover in Madrid. Amazing.
|Streets of Madrid|
Madrid is a beautiful city and we had great weather. Unfortunately, RS and I had had a bit of a rough flight without much sleep and perhaps a bit too much fun and needed to take a long nap after arriving at 8am. AM headed off to see the a few sites and then met up with us around lunch time to enjoy the rest of the day.
I had already been to Madrid during my Spain trip in high school, so it was nice to be able to just enjoy the city without feeling pressure to do a bunch of sightseeing. We had a great time walking around and taking in the scenery and marveling about how sunny it was there. Seriously, so much sun. It didn’t even start to get dark until around 10 pm.
|El Retiro Park|
Our first stop was the El Retiro Park. The place was full of people out enjoying the day but it wasn’t overly crowded.We were able to rent a row boat for about 5 euros so we could paddle around the pond for an hour. And by paddle, I mean AM rowed us while RS and I tried to get some sun. You may have noticed by now that I love boats. I don’t know what it is, maybe its in my blood, but I will use any excuse to get on a boat and I try to on almost every trip.
|Row Boats in El Retiro Park|
Our next step was the Plaza Mayor – the main square in Madrid. As luck would have it, we were in Madrid during one of the largest soccer matches of the year. So the place was packed. Full of fans waiting for the game to start and demonstrating the superiority of their team. I think it was Italy vs Germany.
|Fan in the Plaza Mayor|
|Crowds in the street before the game|
Of course with all those crowds, the worlds largest profession was booming. After lunch we spent a few hours people watching and noticed the quiet the operation was going on by our hostel.
|Worlds oldest profession|
After dinner, we headed to a Flamenco show at Corral De La Moreria and enjoyed some sangria. The show was amazing and we were surprised to leave the show and still be in broad daylight. After the show, we went to a church service at the Basilica de San Francisco before visiting the nearby palace and enjoying a street side churro for dessert.
All and all a wonderful day in Madrid. Sadly, the soccer fans celebrated (or drowned their sorrows) late into the night and I didn’t get much sleep before our 4 am wake up call to head to the airport. At the airport, every available floor space was filled with exhausted fans waiting for their flights home. We stepped over them and headed to the Ryanair terminal for our flight to Marrakesh.