I was blessed with great weather at my last minutes in Madrid. However, having only half day to explore the capital, I promptly came to a plan that I would just walk around the city as far I could, as long as I didn’t get lost with the help of A3 size free local map pasted with various ads behind it.
I chose the main bus terminal as the first destination. It wasn’t for any fancy or historical reason, but saving myself one midnight bus ticket to the airport.
Done that, I stirred direction to few main attractions; from the Royal Palace all the way to Prada Museum. From this point, it I felt awesome.
Royal Palace is something you hardly miss every time we talk about popular places in Madrid. However, for the sake of saving approximately 15 euro that time, I skipped enjoying its (said) thousands magnificent rooms, pasted with history and artistic decorations. Instead, I enjoyed the sight of people who were also admiring the classy Baroque architecture of the broken white dominated palace from Plaza de la Armeria next to it.
Walking about 3 minutes away from the Royal Palace, gloriously stood Almudena cathedral (Catedral de la Almudena). Despite the mass which was held that time, the main Roman Catholic cathedral in Madrid was accessible for anyone. I soundlessly stepped up to its splendid main altar.
After Almudena, I got no idea where to go next, and then I just rambled through the main road and made numerous stops for taking pictures or enjoying the moment when I stumbled upon something interesting.
I did enjoy strolling around the striking Madrid, but somehow, sometimes, I felt like lacking of something.
I recall the time I entered the lively San Miguel Market (Mercado de San Miguel). Despite the crowd, the hectic, the excitement, the madness over the infamous Spanish tapas, I felt tiny hole, somewhere inside.
Should not I? When as far as I could see was the stream of people who were enjoying the tapas with friends or lovers. No one was alone, but me. It was nothing at the beginning, but after finishing one cycle of the market and got none of the merchant offering tapas for one person. If there was one, the offering was not good enough.
Adding to that, I had no friend to share the table with and laugh over tapas (as you can see, tapas came with more than one toothpicks). That was one time I felt lonely for having meal and drinks alone, even though mostly food was delicate.
As I stepped out from that popular market, I marched further. I captured more moments.
As far as I remember, my sights along the road were always lovely and enjoyable.
I ended my Madrid downtown trip at Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado). It wasn’t coincidental, but a plan destination because I already knew that Prado museum charged visitors nothing for entering the museum on its designated times and designated area.
Nevertheless, as you know, nothing comes (completely) free in this world.
I came to the gate about more than an hour before its free entrance schedule was opened and got myself standing far away from the main gate. The queue was already unbelievable long and its getting infinite as the opening time was getting closer. But my determination of enjoying the free ride of awesome museum kept me there for more few hours until I got my turn to mesmerizing myself in the world full of valuable art. Despite its challenge, visiting museum that coasted me nothing was one of my amusing experiences in Madrid. I’d love to do it again someday. 😀
The enjoyment of being a tourist, a guest, or a visitor in Madrid was ended in Prado Museum. I had little energy left for surviving one night in the airport. I was limited in funding and had bad relationship history with the early flight or airport, that was why I chose to sleep in airport than to spend money and (or) to be late. So, there was me with all the memories of my whole month in few places in Spain.
It was full of tribulation and challenges. However, if you asked me whether I regretted it,?
No, I have no regrets.
Have you been to Madrid? Or any city in Spain? Was it a roller-coaster ride? Or a plain one? Please share.