Adventures in Spain

In Madrid with a low budget

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Madrid is a beautiful city in the heart of Spain. I’m glad I got to explore this city in July. People would say that it would be a bad time to go to Spain in July because it’s too hot in July. I, on the other hand, liked that it was so warm.

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Some days we felt like it’s almost impossible to be outside because of the heat but we enjoyed that we didn’t even have to take a jacket with us when going outside. Even at night, it was still so warm that you could easily wear shorts and not be cold.

We got to Madrid from Barcelona. When planning the trip from Barcelona to Madrid we had many options from where to choose from. There’s an option to go with the night bus which is quite cheap but it rides for about 7 hours so we decided to look at the other two options.

So we had to choose between a flight to Madrid or a speed train. With both of these options, the ride was supposedly about 3 hours. Also, both cost almost the same. But to add the time it takes in the airport before the flight and after the flight, we decided it would be easier and more time-consuming to take a speed-train.

We bought our tickets on Renfe Train website in advance so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting the tickets at the train station. The return tickets cost us about 78€ per person which was about 3 times more expensive than the night bus but a bit cheaper than the plane ticket.

As it turned out the train station in Barcelona was very huge and it took a little time for us to figure out where our train is leaving. The train was so long and we had to go in from the right door. For some reason, we ended up in a wagon where everyone seemed to be businessmen or women and then there were us: two 20-year-olds in shorts and t-shirts on our summer vacation.

On the train trip, we saw beautiful landscapes from the window. It was such a great time to just rest and look out from the window to see beautiful nature that is so different from nature at home. I’m so glad we chose to take the train to get to Madrid.

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On the train, there were a few TV-s above the aisle so that everyone could see the movie that was on. Every seat had a place where you can put your earplugs in so you could either listen to the TV that was on (in Spanish) or you could change it to radio channels from the buttons that were right next to the plug-in unit.

When arriving in Madrid we saw that this train station was even bigger than the one in Barcelona. We found the toilet, paid the 20-cents and discovered that the toilet was so modern. One woman couldn’t even understand how to get the soap out so she asked me. Inside the toilet, there was a button, if you turned it on it automatically cleaned the entire toilet seat. We were amazed that this kind of toilet is at the train station.

In Madrid, we had booked our place with Booking.com once again. It wasn’t a hotel. More like an Airbnb. It was one Spanish woman’s apartment which had three rooms that she rented out and one kitchen which was for everyone to use.

Even though there was shared bathrooms and toilet, we discovered that there was a well-working toilet inside our room as well. The bathroom was just next door so it was also very convenient. And there were two or three bathrooms.

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The host was very friendly and even though she could not speak English that well and we didn’t understand anything in Spanish, we communicated quite well. At first, it was kind of strange to us. When we arrived at the apartment we had to ring the bell and she let us in and greeted us. It was as we had gone to visit someone we didn’t know yet. On the other hand, it was a very interesting experience for us.

The apartment was right in the old city which was very convenient for us. There was a little food store right around the corner. We went there and bought our first tortillas. We went back to our apartment, took some cutlery and went to our room to eat it.

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After our lunch, we went out to explore the old city we were living in for another 5 days. We saw the Plaza Mayor which was quite near to our place. It was a square which was surrounded by a house. There were many restaurants and caffés by the square.

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We had bought 2-days Madrid Tourist Ticket prior to our trip, which allowed us to use any transportation (bus, metro, etc.) vehicle in A zone for 2 days. The ticket cost only 14.20€.

Most of our day we just walked around the city and went to different parks and sights. We saw the King’s castle, the wall covered with plants and the rose garden. We also wanted to experience the ride with the cable car. So we searched it while following the map and finally found it.

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King’s Castle.

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Wall covered with plants.
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Rose Garden.

The cost to ride for another side of the city and back wasn’t much, so we paid the price and got inside the tiny cubicle. It looked pretty old and it squeaked a little so it was a bit terrifying.

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The view was great though. We could see the road and railway under us and we passed close to the high apartment building which was pretty cool. As we kept coming closer to our stop it seemed like we are arriving in the desert. The ground was so dry and yellow and there were only some trees growing there.

Farther that way there was an amusement park where we could hear screaming from time to time. When walking on that dry land I saw a little rabbit quickly hopping away. Since it was so hot during the mid-day there weren’t many people walking around so we felt like we’ve found a secret place that no one knows about.

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On hot days like this we always had our water bottles with us and when these got empty we quickly bought new ones. Gladly, the water was very cheap in Spain. We got the package of 6 bottles of 0,5 ml for under 1€.

Before going to Spain I read a lot about the country and many people warned there would be a lot of thieves around Madrid and Barcelona. Even one random person in Madrid’s metro station told us to keep our things close to us because there are a lot of thieves around.

One day when we were walking on a street which was empty of people we passed two policemen who stared at us and kept talking to each other. When we were further away from them one of them called: “GIRLS! GIRLS! Hold your stuff close to you, there are a lot of thieves around here!”

Another day when we were just walking on the busy street, four big Spanish guys who were probably drunk came close to us and said something in Spanish. They also showed something with their hands which seemed like they wanted me to go with the guy who was talking and my friend with his friend. We just passed them really quickly and said: “No, thank you!” Gladly, they didn’t follow us.

Near Plaza Mayor, we found a nice little café where we went to eat churros (or porros) with chocolate. I have to say it again, it was sooo good.

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Keep traveling!

 

 

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