When in Spain you… Taste new foods. Meet new people. Hear different languages. And discover different places.
I would have to say that my favorite day of the Spanish trip was probably the last one. Which is kind of sad, if you think about it. The last day was when I became closest to a few of the students traveling with our school.
We had finished all of our sightseeing as a group, and were given several hours of free time to do what we pleased. So naturally, being a group of teenage girls, we went shopping. But mostly for last minute souvenirs for our friends and family. Halfway through our shopping, we decided to split up. Sabina, Corrie, and Katrina would stay in Sol, by all the touristy shops, and Aubrey, Misa, and I would take the Metro to Gran Via, where most of the big clothing shops were.
Looking at maps of the Metro, Gran Via seemed easy to get to. Just buy tickets for the three of us and head one stop north on the blue line. But, of course, that’s waaayyyyyyy too easy. The entire blue line was closed and we ended up walking all over the Sol station trying to find another way to get to Gran Via before Misa (her being the only one of us to really speak Spanish) finally plucked up the courage to ask a security guard how to get there. But we finally made it, after he explained twice which trains to take, and we never had to pay more than needed! I’m not sure if I remember correctly or not, but I’m pretty sure that he recommended the path that I originally said would get us there, but whatever.
In Gran Via, I got the backpack I had been contemplating getting (apparently my suitcase was only big enough to hold everything I brought over, and nothing else) and Misa, Aubrey, and I spent the rest of our time there walking blocks and blocks searching for a wallet for Misa’s dad, which she eventually did find.
Now to my favorite part of that day. We had finished all the shopping that we wanted and needed to do, with still another hour or so left before we had to meet up with our tour group for tunas and tapas (not the fish, tunes and food). Before we had separated from our group, Pete, our tour guide had suggested some activities besides shopping for us to do. One being to visit the Parque del Buen Retiro (basically the Central Park of Madrid, but smaller). We weren’t able to see the whole park, what with the time-restraint and how large it was, but we did get ice cream, took lots of pictures and got to take a row boat around a small pond in front of the King Alfonso XII monument. The boat ride was the most fun. All three of us took turns rowing and we even met two guys from New Zealand who were trying to get on the Ellen Show by traveling the world and taking pictures of themselves with random people wearing a cutout of her face! (So, I could be on the Ellen Show…)
We were having so much fun, that we lost track of time! Looking at our phones, we found that we only had ten minutes to meet Pete and the rest of our group. But it would take ten minutes just to get to the Metro station, and we had to row to the opposite side of the pond to dock the boat! I rowed the boat as fast as I could, Misa and Aubrey guiding my way. We reached the dock, hurriedly thanked the attendants, and ran out of the park to the station. We ended up being fashionably late, and luckily Pete didn’t make us do a funny dance for him like he had promised if we were ever late. But I don’t think it would have mattered if he did. I finally got the hang of traveling Madrid by Metro, and we certainly made some unforgettable memories.
XOXO Maddie Marie