Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 208 - The Eight Hour Bus Ride from Barcelona to Madrid

It's been a while since I've had to ride on a bus for 8 hours...I think the last time was in Turkey, but it wasn't too bad, given the conditions of the bus and the fact that it wasn't packed full. It makes such a difference if you get the whole row to yourself! We headed out at 10:30am, and made three stops along the way to Madrid, twice for food breaks, and once to pick up new passengers. I was unlucky to have to sit in front of a baby (why do they always cry and kick the seat in front of them???), but I slept much of the way there anyways.

Upon arrival in Madrid, I headed to my hostel, which was right in the center of the city near the "Sol" Metro Stop. The weather was much colder here compared to Barcelona, since it is right in the middle of Spain, where Barcelona was near the Mediterranean. I noticed a lot more Christmas spirit in the city too. Everything was lit up all around the city center. There were Christmas trees in the plazas and lights hanging through all the major streets. The cold weather added to the festive atmosphere as well. For some reason, prior to my arrival, I assumed Madrid would be less cosmopolitan than Barcelona and maybe a lot older, but walking around, those feelings definitely changed. Tomorrow, I will actually do some sightseeing.

I've only left four nights in Madrid, and secretly, I think I've been too focused on the excitement of coming back home that I might not really appreciate the city than if it were a visit in the middle or beginning of my trip. I hope I give it as much attention as I can...A friend back home said that the high of coming home wears off pretty fast...we'll see...

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