|It took DIESEL fuel!|
We've got our party of Ibiza figure out now, and the airport was a lot closer than I remembered, so we were there plenty early. Returned the car with no problems. Yay for no accidents this time around - of course, since I paid extra for insurance at the last minute.
There were two large tour buses of old people unloading as we were walking in, and I was not happy about probably having to wait behind all of them. We found our gate to check in on Vueling...and a giant line of people. But our line was completely empty! The airports here have separate lines for separate flights, not like the US where there is one United or Southwest check in desk for all flights. So we totally lucked out again. The lady at the desk tried to talk us in to checking our bags, saying it was a completely full flight, but I really don't like waiting at baggage claim, and we had packed to carry on, so I told her no. :)
Tour bus line (counter 8) vs our line (counter9)
Made it through the self-service security again, and had to throw my oj away! I was going to try and sneak it on, but they caught it. Dang it! We found a little cafe to have some juice and croissants, and I passed out on the table. Just exhausted. Matt woke me up once they announced our gate, so we headed that way and waited in line.
Once we boarded the plane, I was out again. But one of the workers came by and pulled Matts suitcase down and said it was too big! His is bigger than mine and doesn't fit the "proper" way apparently. You have to put it in the bin long ways to get the door to close. So he took it and said we would have to get it at baggage claim in Madrid since the flight was full. Ridiculous. All the bins weren't even full! I would have argued with him if I would have been more awake, but, again, exhaustion had set in. I went to sleep and didn't wake up until the plane hit the runway in Madrid.
Another big and nice airport. Found the bathrooms and waited at baggage claim. My least favorite thing to do, haha. We didn't research the bus and/or subway systems here so we had to take a cab to our hotel. No line at all, and our cab driver seemed to know where we wanted to go (I had the address printed out). 30 minutes and almost 40 Euros later, we pulled up in front of Posada del Dragon down a little one-way street. Most expensive cab ride ever. I think we will be investigating how to get back to the airport a little cheaper tomorrow morning!
The entrance to Posada del Dragon
Our room was super cute - and we got to pick it! It's all turquoise, of course. (The purple one wasn't clean yet or I might of chose that one.) Turquoise floor, desk, chair, phone, wall, etc. Flat screen tv, super comfortable bed, normal towels. Awesome shower and normal bathroom. Free wifi in the room. LOVE it. I could stay there for awhile...
The hotel has three floors and 27 rooms in all. They all open up to a courtyard kind of area and there is a bar / restaurant below. So cool!
Looking up from the enrance (right) and Matt sitting down below in the red shirt (left)
We dropped our bags and set off to find the Sunday flea market, El Rastro. Nice day, but clouds looming and a chance of rain in the forecast. Walked by lots of cute shops with cool shoes I wanted to look at, but they're all closed on Sundays! Stopped in a grocery store around the corner to get water and some snacks.
|I love grocery stores in foreign countries. They're always so interesting to figure out!|
Had data turned on on the phone to find the market, but somehow walked several blocks down hill past our turn for it. Wasn't fun to turn around and walk back up. We were close to the area according to the map on the phone, but still couldn't find the actual market, so we went in a mall and asked a lady - who spoke very little English. But she managed to communicate that the actual market was across the street behind the building we were in.
Talk about a disappointment when we saw it. It was literally a flea market. I mean, I know that's what it said it was, but I thought it would be more like a hand-made stuff kind of market. No, it was all second-hand used junk. Literally. Used car parts, trading cards, old books. Just junk - and lots of it!
I couldn't figure out for the life of me why so many people were there...
We walked around a little and down several streets, but decided to leave and head to Plaza Mayor to meet up with the 2pm Sandemans free walking tour (like the one we did with Ricky Lee in Barcelona).
Took our time walking there and looked in some shops, bought a hand painted tile from a guy painting on the street and saw some street performers.
Bought a painted tile from this guy - he paints with his finger!
Threw some change in this guys bucket and he opened his eyes and looked right at me.
How in the world he stayed like that for so long is beyond me!
Got to the plaza just in time for the rain to start and we didn't have our umbrella or jackets or anything. Luckily it didn't last long at all, and we set off on our tour of Madrid. Our tour guide, Angel, was not near as good as Ricky Lee. We actually didn't care for him at all, and he stopped twice within the first 5 minutes to act scenes out from history. I mean he had props and everything. He chained a guy up and made him lay on the ground. It was all just too weird. So in the middle of one of the acts - which we couldn't even hear him anyways - we decided we would just sneak off. I got about two steps in and he saw me and I jetted back to line behind Matt, haha. Not so sneaky I guess! We stayed a couple of minutes longer, but when the group moved to another sight, we snuck in to a tourist shop and died laughing about it all.
Plaza Mayor in Madrid
|Signing up for the free walking tour...in the rain|
Decided to head it back to the room to get our Spain Lonely Planet book and do some research on our own. Grabbed some lunch at our hotel. "Broken eggs" as appetizer - fried egg, potatoes, and Iberian shaved ham, and then the most delicious ribs with pineapple chutney.
Changed in to some running clothes for a jog later and set off to see the cathedral, palace, and whatever else along the way. (I didn't bring my phone on this part, so I'll have to get the pics from Matt's phone and upload them later.)
I had my eyes on a great park about a mile away, but after our walk to the palace, we were much closer to ..., the largest urban park in Spain. It looked giant on the map, and I couldn't quite tell about running trails, but we decided to go for it. We started on a nice paved trail along the water outside the park, but when that ended, we ran back to an entrance to the actual park. It was big and dry, and the little dirt paths seemed to just randomly end. Not the best park for running, and I wished I would have went to the other big green one we drove by on our way to the hotel (and that I had already found running paths along). Oh well. We got 4 miles in (Matt took a little break), and we were both just dying of dehydration. It was dry there and pollen was blowing around in the park so much that we both had yellow stuff stuck to our arms and our mouths felt like they hadn't seen water in days. Not cool.
We grabbed a water at the first place we saw (we only had 2 Euros with us) and chugged it as we walked back to our hotel. Found an awesome little market along the way - which was very close to our hotel - and decided to maybe check it out for appetizer before dinner that night.
We had both been so excited for this night in Madrid. We had heard so much about the awesome food. Did some research and looked up reviews of restaurants nearby, and were ready for our first glass of sangria.
I hopped in the steaming hot shower after eating a few pieces of licorice while Matt chatted with his brother and roommate. And that was the end of my night...
I started not feeling well towards the end of the shower. Got out, and it was all just coming on so quickly. I didn't even get dressed. I just crawled in bed. And 10 minutes later, I was on the toilet. Every few minutes. Diarrhea, which turned in to vomiting, cold chills, fever...the works. I was trying not to be too dramatic, but I made Matt google American hospitals in Madrid. I knew my body was shutting down and I was already dehydrated from not drinking enough water on this trip. With all the fluids exiting my body now, I was worried for what was ahead.
I did eventually manage to get some clothes on, but stayed in the fetal position on the wet bathroom floor (the shower leaked) for several hours. Matt was the sweetest thing ever and went out twice to get me medicine, bread, Gatorade...anything I asked for. And he didn't complain once about not getting our fancy dinner that night. I eventually made him go down and grab some food from the restaurant at our hotel, but that was it.
At least he waited until I had clothes on to snap the picture of my night
At some point during the night (after 2am), I fell asleep. I took three anti-diarrhea pills (two didn't do the trick), two ibuprofen for the fever, and chugged as much of some re-hydration packet thing mixed with water as I could. And choked down a piece of bread that he went out and got for me.
The way my stomach was rumbling, I thought maybe I had some sort of stomach bug, but I ate and drank the exact same things Matt did the whole trip. I honestly think it was some sort of combination of lack of sleep / lack of water / lack of healthy food. Maybe after the run - which I was already dehydrated before - then the licorice and the super hot shower...my body just shut down.
NOT how I wanted to spend my last night of vacation...and my only night in Madrid. :(
Heading home tomorrow...