|Madrid was my last stop on my big month of traveling so I much admit I was quite tired and not fully into the traveling at that point. Spain also doesn't have any sort of youth or student discount on the trains so I opted to fly from Barcelona to Madrid because the flight is an hour instead of 5 and costs the exact same. I even got to clear customs! No really, once when I left the Barcelona airport and once when I arrived in Madrid. If that isn't bureaucracy at its finest I have no idea what is. I even got my passport stamped - quite a difficult feat within the EU.
I went and visited the Palacio Real which is pretty much amazing and so I have concocted the plan that I'm going to turn Spain back into a monarchy and convince the king to move back into that palace. For whatever reason I guess he choose to move into a smaller one on the outskirts of Madrid! Who does that.
My hostel was really great in Madrid there was a huge bar in the basement and the night I was there they had a live salsa band and they were selling giant beers for one euro. I met a whole bunch of guys that spoke English and they were playing some sort of outrageous drinking game, which to be honest I still don't know the rules but evidently I was quite good at it. I think it was like screw the dealer but the cards had boobs on them and that changes everything. Post salsa party (so like 1am) it was FINALLY time to head to the bar. You have to be fashionably late clearly! We ended going to this bar called the Palacio (which suited me quite nicely). It was 15 euros to go in!!! But actually completely worth it. The bar itself had about 10 rooms and looked a lot like many of the museums I had been in with high vaulted ceilings and giant paintings on the roof. It really seemed like it should have been illegal to smoke in the bar because it was ruining the beautiful building but I assure you the Spaniards were not bothered. I had an amazing night dancing to this mix of salsa and techno and have no idea what time I got home and we managed to lose half the group. My hostel did have free breakfast that stopped at 10 so I met up with most of them in the morning and I guess everyone had a really good night except for one guy who somehow woke up in a bus shelter with a bump on his head - I think he got mugged. Kinda scary.
I had to go out and buy pants that morning because mine were so absolutely gross and smokey from the bar that night that I couldn't bare to wear them again and it was much much much too cold in Lille to wear shorts. Rough life hey? I HAD to go shopping.
I then took off for Paris again and because Spain makes perfect sense I did not pass through customs at all on this flight. There was however a very irritating man sitting next to me on the flight (he was singing before we took off... like singing out loud to himself!) and then when the plane landed and we were taxi-ing in, he was standing up and leaning over me because he couldn't wait to get off I guess. Hello! Safety first buddy!