Brendan's Tour of Europe travel blog

Some friends we met at Madrid

Myself with the palace behind


"Menu Quatrro"

"Pepsi?"

"Ci Ci"

And with that my first attempt at Spainish was a success, admittedly I had only ordered menu item four from the KFC board but it was a start.

After arriving in spain at about 11am local time we had successfully unloaded our bags on the hostel (which we initially walked straight past) and ventured our into the big bad world of Madrid.

We spent most of the first day walking around the city coming across interesting buildings and sites. Of course everything was in Spainish so we had no idea what we were looking at but if it was interesting we stopped and had a gander.

Amoung the higlights were a large park complete with boat rowing lake crowded with little boats. We also saw the 'Temple de Bod' which dates back to Roman times (I assume).

Back at the hostel that night we met a nice couple from Melbourne who had been at it for 8 weeks already, they gave us some hints about where to stay and where not to and we ended up having dinner with them that night and later playing UNO with half the hostel guests.

The second day couldn't have been any different from the first we set off early to sort out train tickets, the couple from yesterday said they had spent 2 1/2 hours getting tickets but we were confident that we could beat that. We started at the wrong train station (domestic only) and found it hard to communicate but eventually a nice rep who spoke good english told us that we were in the wrong place and pointed us in the right direction for the internation station.

We found our way there and began the wait, they had a good system where you took a number and waited for it to be called. We took an international number and were only 11 places from the top spot. After waiting for at least half and hour and the spots going up 3 places we decided to get some lunch and come back down after lunch. Needless to say as soon as we got down after lunch they were serving one number above us and our place in the queue was lost.

Eventually we did get served and our improptu Spainish did the trick "Une billete Lisboa manana, por favor". I had a rail pass and had to organise it seperatly so ended up in a different car to Kylie but thats OK. Its an overnight train so hopefully we will be able to sleep on the way and save one nights hostel stay.

After that painful day we spent the last day in Madrid hanging around in the park and soaking up at sun (it had been a while). We managed to upset a guard somehow who wouldn't let us out of the park (there was a royal building nearby), eventually we did make it our and made it to our train and after a very restless nights sleep abroad the train we arrived in Lisbon.



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