Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jake from Norway: Day 2

On Saturday morning, Jake and I began the day by visiting the Plaza de Toros in Ventas.  From there we headed to Plaza de España, then went inside the ancient Egyptian Templo de Debod.

Wall inside the Egyptian Templo de Debod

From Arguelles we took the metro to the Bernabéu Stadium, and then did the same walk up calle Castellana that I did the other week, ending at Puerta de Europa.

Jake at Puerta de Europa

I took advantage of Jake's presence (and camera) and had him take some fun pictures of me holding up the towers.

Puerta de Europa

You can tell I've been doing my push-ups, right?

Puerta de Europa

After the photo shoot we walked around the business district until we found a place for lunch.

Jake's second course

After lunch we walked to Cuatro Caminos where we then took the C2 (circular bus) to Príncipe Pío.  I think taking either of the circulars (C1, C2) with visitors is great because they can rest their feet while seeing the city.

We got off at Príncipe Pío to walk along Madrid Río.  The only time I've spent near the river this year has been in one patch of grass with Hannah, close to where she lived all year.  I'd been meaning to walk some of the river for quite some time, so it was nice to finally do so.  Being near some body of water was a welcome sight as well. 

Along the river we found some hammocks, where we sat and talked for a while.

Hammocks along Madrid Río

View of Palacio Real and La Almudena from Madrid Río

I stopped on a bridge to watch a family of ducks in the river approaching a dam, curious to see what would happen when they reached the drop.

One poor little duckling got sucked down the waterfall, and thus separated from his mother and siblings.  I wonder if he ever reunited with them.

Jake at Río Manzanares in Madrid

It was nearing 9 o'clock, so we walked to the Puerta de Toledo metro and headed back to the apartment.  Jake had kebap for dinner that night -- a must-have for a true Madrid experience.  Although the food isn't of Spanish origin, during the past five years it's become huge in Madrid.

Since Jake's flight was at 6am Sunday morning, Gregorio offered to take Jake to the airport if we went out with him Saturday night.  Gregorio was going to go out anyway, until 7 or 8am as Spaniards do.  We finished dinner sometime after midnight and got to Fuse a little after 1am.  Fuse is on the 13th floor of a hotel and has a great view of Madrid.

Around 2am, Gregorio suggested we take a nighttime drive through Madrid, which was quite pleasant.  Jake got to see Sol full of people out on a weekend night.  The drive ended at another club Gregorio often goes to.  We stayed there until 4am, then headed to the airport.  When Gregorio and I got back to the apartment a little after 5am, he dropped me off and went back out to rejoin his friends at a club!

I'm so glad Jake was able to come and visit while he's teaching in Norway this summer.  During the weekend we talked about lots of things USA/Madison-related that I hadn't even thought about in almost a year.  It gave me some more things to look forward to back home (read: bagels and Trader Joe's).

I had all day Sunday to catch up on some sleep and get the apartment ready for my next two visitors (the sister and my grandma) who are arriving in about six hours.  I'd better get some sleep!

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