Country: Spain, Uganda

Community Development, Social Work

Maneuvering Madrid

April 28, 2014

In one weekend, I am fairly confident that we covered the majority of Madrid. All the travel was easy, as we took Alsa Bus straight there from Granada.  Once we arrived, we attempted to take a taxi but the driver was not familiar with the street the hostel was on, and we elected to brave the Metro which, despite some silly mistakes, turned out to be fairly simple as well.  Our luck ended there however, as finding the hostel, RC Miguel Angel, proved to be nearly impossible (and I don't recommend it).  Not only is Plaza de Celenque, the alleged address, only a nickname for Plaza de San Martin, but the hostel was not in a plaza at all.  After an hour of searching, we somehow stumbled upon it on Calle de San Martin.  It was a chance find, considering the only place the name appeared was in 2 inch lettering on a sheet of paper inside the doorway.

As we entered the "hostel," it appeared to be less of a hostel and more of a mix between a bed and breakfast and staying overnight at a long lost aunt and uncle's spare bedroom.  The older couple that owned it also lived there, which was clear as we walked in to the main living room area, complete with dining room table, Christmas tree, wedding photos and her great uncle sitting in front of the tv.

As though it was not already the strangest "hostel" I had ever stayed in, our room only added to the effect, with puke-pink walls and, in an alcove on the wall, a poster of a waterfall behind Plexiglas bordered with a mustard yellow faux velvet curtain.


After somehow settling into the hostel, we set of to conquer all of Madrid.  In one weekend, we saw Goyas and Lopezs at El Prado, Picassos (including La Guernica), Rafaels, and Dalís at El Reina Sofía, toured El Palacio Real de Madrid, soaked up the sun in El Jardín Botánico, watched the sun set at El Retiro, fought through the crowds at El Rastro, and returned to El Prado with our homemade bocadillos to eat lunch in the sun while listening to some beautiful guitar.