On the first day of arrival, I walked around everywhere with not much purpose. On Day 2, I decided to wander around Old Madrid with Royal Palace and Mayor Plaza as my main spots to visit. Here goes my photo diary!
I decided I wanted to save some energy walking over from where I was staying (I was sick so I didn't want to over exhaust myself). Took the Metro instead :) The closest station to me is Chueca which was 1 minute walk from my hostel :)
Bought my ticket which was 1.50 €. (Click for all fares info for Metro in Madrid)
I arrived at Opera station and the moment I came out it's a whole different experience! :)
The Teatro Real (also known a Royal Theatre) is a major opera house in Madrid. Today, it is one of the great theaters of Europe. They offer guided tours in several languages, including the auditorium, stage, workshops and rehearsal rooms, maybe I'll go next time, I was more interested in checking out the Royal Palace!!
Yay!! I made it to the Palace Real (aka Royal Palace)! I might do a full post on it! However, I wasn't allowed photos inside but I learned quite a bit! It's absolutely astonishing!
That's how I walked around all day - with an umbrella! The sun in Madrid is strong!! There are tons of open spaces and I didn't find much shade. As a person who's over-protective over my skin, sunscreen isn't enough, I need to create my own UV barrier! hahahaah
I think it's important to note that the majority of street signs in Madrid are very unique and artistic!!
They are placed on buildings of different heights, have paintings on them and most likely in different fonts from one another. Unlike the street signs in North America where ours is rather easy to locate, I had a hard time sometimes locating myself while I was lost. This souvenir shop, carried a variety of street signs to purchase. I really couldn't narrow it down to one, so I took a picture instead. They ranged from 3.90 € to 9 € each.
Another shop I thought looked cool on Calle de Mayor
Walked by Plaza de la Villa! I knew it was around Royal Palace, didn't realize it was so close! It's a small square that hosts Spanish buildings from the 15th to 17th century. The largest building, which is on the right hand side, of the plaza/square is the former Town Hall known as Casa de la Villa. There's a ton of history here as I dig up the research. In 2007 the more impressive 'Palacio de Comunicaciones' took over the role of Madrid's town hall. I highly recommend coming here at night for a beautiful shot.
Mercado San Miguel was a surprise find for me as I was walking randomly. Little did I know Mayor Plaza was 2 minutes away but it took me 1.5 hours of wandering around before I found it. hahaha! Tons of food and drinks here, a busy market with lots of locals and tourists. I will be doing a fuller post on this later =)
Oldest Operating Restaurant in the World according to the Guinness Book of World Records. This was my surprise find as I was walking randomly in the area. Their window display was pretty cool, it shows the interior over the years. They opened their doors in 1725 and it's still running. I didn't eat inside because they were "resting" at that hour.
Right when I was exhausted, feeling super lost and still can't find Plaza Mayor, I found llaollao, the popular frozen yogurt chain. They had free wifi so I can finally locate where the heck I was. Turns out I was only 25 meters away. Thank goodness, I was seriously feeling dizzy and tired and super sick by then. *sigh, the struggles of travelling alone and sick*
Found Mayor Plaza at last! hhahah! I guess sometimes it's fun to get lost, I mean why not right? Embrace everything during your travels. I will be doing a separate post on Mayor Plaza. Meanwhile, check out this spiderman! hahaha He's a street entertainer, he eventually went home 3 minutes after this. Just thought this was hilarious!!
I also went by a supermarket called DIA; a weird amusement of mine, is going into supermarkets of cities. I like to observe their prices, their unique snacks, different flavours of things and their homeland wines. Which reminds me, I should totally blog about Aeon Supermarket in Narita, Japan!! I seriously thing supermarket shopping is awesome, you're shopping and it's essential so it's kinda not a waste, RIGHT?!?!
Finally got super tired, and I still wasn't feeling well that day. Walked around everywhere and wanted to go rest. I couldn't find Opera Metro station so I gave up and finally found De La Latina Metro Station instead. That's it for the day!! :)