Madrid Day 1 01/07/2012
Today has been a very big adventure, first it started with me heading to the airport at 5 am in order to catch my flight that left at 7am. Things were pretty uneventful for that flight and I made it to Newark,NJ where I saw New York as I was flying in and where I also had a 5 hours layover. I am glad that I was able to find one of my classmates, Zach because there was really nothing to do in this airport ( no wifi and you had to fight for a power outlet). We almost missed our flight because they changed the gate # without making any sort of announcement; luckily we were able to board the plane just in time and met up with another one of our classmates and my roommate for the term, Seleine. We then get on the plan and find out that we are stuck there for about an hour and a half because of a chair that was stuck in the recline position. By the time we took of I had watched almost all of the Puss in boots movie (pretty cute movie by the way).
Finally after sitting for ever we were off to Madrid, I watched as the New York lights faded into the distance and everything outside turn pitch black. For the plane ride I really didn’t sleep much and instead watched a few movies that I had never seen before and played Portal 2 for a bit and then some Bioshock as well. Other then that the plane ride was smooth sailing and we arrived in Madrid about 10:30 am there time. The first task that we had to figure out was where our guide. Miguel was because he was nowhere in sight and we searched the entire area. After not being able to find him we decided to try to call him, luckily I had his number handy so that was no big deal. The problem was we did not know how to use a pay phone in Spain……which turns out takes three foreigners staring at it for a few minutes and pushing lots of random buttons to try and figure this machine out. Finally we were able use it and found out that there was the option to change the options to read in English, which helped out quite a bit. We were then able to call Miguel in which Erik, the 4th person from our flight tried to talk Spanish to him and found out that he spoke English just in time for the pay phone to die ( because in Spain the payphone last about 45 seconds for one euro).
Luckily Miguel came to our rescue and we were off to Hostal Aguilar which is the hostel that we will be staying at till Sunday morning. The bus we took to get to the hostel was a really good way to see the city for the first time I really could not believe my eyes at how beautiful the city was everything was very old architecture and stunning. When we got to the hostel we dropped off out things, which by the way our hostel is much nicer then I was expecting, and then headed out and about the city. We soon came to find out that most of the city was closed today January 6th because it was the last day of the Christmas holiday in Spain known as The Wise Men. Since this was the case most of us went to a Tapas Bar and were treated by Miguel to a very traditional dessert that is served on this day called, which is a pastry filled with cream and topped with candied fruit that has a small figurine hidden somewhere within the pastry. After a fantastic lunch we were able to explore on our own which I did by wondering around the city by myself, very exciting by the way. After wondering around for about two hours and seeing many many different new things I ended up getting myself lost. But not to worry because I had a map…..which I usually fail at using properly and get even more lost but not this time, I was able to successfully use a map without any help…..might seem silly but I was very proud of the fact I was able to do that.
The rest of the night was spent relaxing and hanging out with my new classmates, which seem like a great group of people and I think that we will all have a great time together over the term. I think that this is it for me tonight since I am very exhausted and need to get rest for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow! Hope everyone enjoys reading my adventures and I hope to post more soon!