21.09.2010 - 24.09.2010
We took a train from Bordeaux to Madrid, stopping at the Basque town of Irun. The train went through the Pyrenees Mountains. We got into Madrid at 10pm, and took the easy to manage metro to our accommodation - Hostal America. One difference between France and Spain, is that the Spanish seem to be more laid back and less image concious. There is a cosmopolitan mix of people including a South American and Filippino population. The next day we looked around and did a walking tour. Chris got his beard trimmed and hair cut at the oldest barber in Madrid. Madrid has numerous brick buildings painted in yellow, orange and red filling the inner city. We found it strange at first getting used to the opening hours of busineses to take into account siesta. The busiest part of the day seems to be between 8pm and midnight. Jade quickly took to this lifestyle, having a siesta during the afternoon and then staying up until late. On our second day in Madrid we continued to explore the city, joining another walking tour, where we were shown bars that had been continually operating for over 150 years, and the old financial centre which boasts many grand 18th and 19th century government buildings. In the evening we went into the Prado museum (free after 6pm) which houses some of Spains best paintings including those of Goya. On our way back to our hotel, we walked through the main park in central Madrid, which is laid out in a series of formal gardens with many monuments throughout. The next day we headed to the bus station where we caught a bus south to Granada.