After I had all my things packed (and what an explodingly full backpack it is) I headed to the rooftop of the hotel to shoot some 360 degree footage of Barcelona. What a great view. As much fun and sterotypical as the skinny and winding streets are to walk in across Europe, it is definitely another experience to see the city from above....looks like mad chaos.
So, after the stunning 360 view spanning from the mountains to the Mediterrainean Sea, I headed on to the speed train to enjoy the 300 KMPH train on across Spain to Madrid. Man, we were hauling across the desert.
After wiping away the goosebumps from my arms which appeared after stepping off this train into the historic Atocha train station, I headed to the metro to find line 2 which will lead me back to Angela's apartment (one of my couchsurfing buddies from my first stint in Madrid).
It is Saturday and after expressing my desire to go shopping (I really only shop about once a year but European clothes are lots of fun and quite cheap as well) I headed out to the stores of H&M (http://www.hm.com/us/#/startns/), Zara (http://www.zara.com/#/en_GB/top_zara/man/) and Sfera (http://www.sfera.eu/) all which are quite popular in Spain/Europe and actually a few H&M stores across the United States (just not in Oklahoma).
So, I got quite lucky because I happened to be in Madrid during the annual "Rebajas" (http://media.www.thesimpsonian.com/media/storage/paper1080/news/2008/01/24/Perspectives/Sales.And.Snoozing.For.Spains.Latest.Import.rebajas.Welcome.Change.Siestas.Take-3164016.shtml) which is an annual city-wide sale where all clothing is near 50% off to clear warehouses to get ready for the next line of fashion. Still good for me because Europe's "old" line of fashion is still 2-3 lines ahead of where America (particuliarly Oklahoma) is....so I'm set for another year but I really hope the bag is not overweight (Yes, I have an extra "empty" suitcase that I left at Angela's this whole trip to bring back clothes from shopping).
So, after a couple hours of shopping (really an hour and a half of walking and 30 min of shopping) I'm set for apacking and getting ready for my 10.5 hour flight back to the United Stated in 36 hours. ugggh. I hate that flight. The flight to Europe is done over night and sleeping is a must because you land in the morning...the flight over to the 'States is from noon to the evening and it's bedtime when you land so you're not "supposed" to sleep on that flight. It's annoying. 10.5 hours is so much longer than it sounds on a plane (for those that have never done a flight of that length).
Ok, back to my first love, Madrid.
So much truth in the stereotypes of the "skinny and winding streets" of Europe and especially in Spain. Just winding down randomly throughout streets off Gran Via and Plaza Espana. I almost want to/should just stop blogging right now in these final days because words aren't going to fully show the things i'm doing/feeling.
Tapas, mahou, Paco's, Corrientes 348, time alone, packing and thinking about OKC. What a great day.