Culture Travel

‘This is MADRID!’

Date: October 15th
Landed: That evening

I’ve been pinching myself constantly and can’t believe i’m in Spain! After proudly presenting my passport to be stamped with another Country and with no luggage to collect, I am ecstatic!

Here is my travel diary I wrote on my instagram story of the night I landed;
“Can’t believe i’m here! Staying with my friends aunty local here in Madrid. She fed me a huge plate of food, gave me clothes (because we only packed for 2 days in Poland) and such a comfy bed to sleep on. Life is one big adventure for me atm and i’m incredibly lucky.”

The next morning we needed to wake up early to go to Primark and buy some clothes as all of ours were wet still. However I remember lying in bed from around 8am just waiting for the sun to rise. When it finally did rise at around 9am, we were off! *Luckily* the aunty I was staying at lived close by to everything so we only needed to walk (much to my happiness).

Primark was huge! It was all cheap as chips, and with a massive Harry Potter section much of our morning was spent here. After Primark, I needed to be caffeinated so we got me my long black at Starbucks. Walked around the city centre, took photos, ate some food at the markets. I love Olives so I was in foodie heaven! Then on the way back to our apartment to drop off my shopping we stopped in a little restaurant to get some local Spanish food.

Starbucks guys: “Your name?” (but he said it in Spanish). Me “Mahina” – This is the result lol

The food

I have decided to dedicate this next section all to the amazing traditional Spanish food I have eaten here.
I am talking;
Spanish ham
Stuffed Olives
More olives
Fried Padron peppers
This egg fry thing

I was living my best fat life. All the weight I had lost the past few days being with a Vegan, was re-gained here. I was excused from eating healthy and she ordered everything for me. We then went home that night and her auntys and cousin had made a huge dinner party for us! You ever look back at delicious food and miss it? That is still me to this day… my mouth is still salivating just looking at these photos. Ahh such good memories. You have not lived until you have drunk Sangrias in Spain and felt Spanish ham just melt away in your mouth. Bliss. Spanish people do not make bad food – you can quote me on that.

After my strike from hunger and exhaustion was over. My friend offered to take all my shopping back home while I explored the Cathedral and Castle. I walked part of the way when my friend stopped at a salon and decided to get her hair done! Needing any excuse to sit down and not walk for a bit, I joined her however was adamant I was not going to get my hair done.

However after much convincing I got my hair done as well. I was really scared though because I have very thick, coarse, curly, Polynesian hair. Whenever I go to a salon back home in Australia they constantly talk about how thick my hair is and others don’t even know what to do with it all. So I stay away. However Missy says “This is Madrid! Look around you, you fit right in here! They have the same hair as you and trust me they are used to it!” After the others in the Salon all agreed with her I felt at ease and was excited!

My friend then told me after it that some of them thought I was rude because they were talking to me in Spanish but I was not replying until she had to tell them I was not Spanish. So we got our hair done, with fresh cut, colour and blow out. I was off to walk back to the Palace alone and my ‘personal assistant (lol)’ dropped my shopping home.

The Spanish Palace/ Cathedral

Now this is what I call a Palace!
Compared to the Buckingham Palace, this place was so much more extravagant and personal! You get to walk through the gardens and take a tour around the Palace. The Cathedral is right next to it. It is absolutely stunning!

When I arrived though I had missed the cut-off time for entrance into the Palace and wasn’t allowed in. So I just explored, took photos, vlogged (failed at vlogging) and just took in the whole atmosphere.

The guy walking around playing ‘Despacito’ on the accordion, the gypsy in the corner outside of the church begging for money, the students, the couples… it was magical to me. Photos don’t do this place justice and you really need to see it for yourself.

Plaza de toros

After my friend had dropped off all my shopping to her aunties place. She met me outside the Palace gates and there we took the train to Vestas to see the bull fighting arena! I will say that yes I know I was in Spain, but it still had not completely hit me until I was on the train and the language over the train intercom was Spanish lol.

Upon arrival I noticed on the statue the Bull had spears or something coming out of his back. In which I learnt that they actually spear the rear of the bull causing it to get angry and buck. Which you can see evident in the 1st photo on the statue… poor Bulls! But was amazing to see another iconic part of the world that I’ve only ever seen in movies.

On the way home we stopped at a local food shop so I can pick up some food souvenirs for the friends and family. We had dinner with my friends cousin and two aunties! I felt at home, I tried pipas for the first time, the dinner was so yummy and the atmosphere was warm. These are some of my best memories and what I would have wanted from Spain.

The next morning before we were dropped off to the airport. My friend told her aunty that I was yet to try Churros! After advising me it would be a crime if I left Madrid and did not get to try real traditional Churros in the heart of Spain. So at 6am in the morning she hunted down a Churros place for me! By 7am I was sitting drinking an espresso (still the best coffee I have ever had) and eating fresh Churros with fresh, warm dipping chocolate. The sun was not yet up, the guy serving us was so hot and just as delicious looking as my churro. Complete heaven.

They say the more you travel, the more you leave apart of you in all the special places you have visited and I believe that is true. I believe everything happens for a reason and nothing is a coincidence. It was the best detour, one that in hindsight I am glad happened. And I am so lucky that I got to experience Madrid with locals.

Happy to also report Ryan Air has lost $20 million and is in financial turmoil.

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