News flash: we’ve finally, officially, definitively found our favorite (and best hostel) of this trip! Today was spent mostly taking care of laundry and resting in the hostel , plus another free walking tour of Madrid to explore the city.
After our overnight bus arrived, we checked into our hostel Albergue Juvenil Madrid, and it was jaw-droppingly amazing. Brand new facilities, a pool table in the common room, computer rooms, a cafeteria, nice showers, outlets and individual lights next to each bed, and really nice staff. Everything we could ask for in a hostel and more. It actually felt more like a swanky hotel, minus the bunk bed part, all for less than $20 a night. We later found out that this hostel was subsidized/started by the city of Madrid to promote tourism. I’ll give them kudos for that.
Our afternoon walking tour with Sandeman’s was history-rich, with much more emphasis on the kings and queens of Spain and how Madrid was basically a small town throughout much of its history, overlooked by many rulers who preferred capitals and big cities in other parts of their empire. Still, we saw some pretty cool sights, including Plaza Mayor, Teatro Real (The Royal Opera House), and the Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace was built to emulate the opulence and splendor of Versailles, and even though it’s similar in architecture, it just didn’t quite stack up to the original. We didn’t get to go inside but we snapped some picture before finding a new attraction to head to after the tour – the Teleferico.
The Teleferico is a system of chairlifts hidden in a park that took riders across a forest of trees to reach Casa de Campo. We searched for it and finally found it – except it seemed pretty abandoned and old. Still we got tickets for it and the ride itself was pretty cool. We were able to see Madrid from high up and caught a glimpse of the Royal Palace and a bunch of other buildings.
When we reached the other side, we chilled and explored the area, eventually stumbling upon an empty children’s playground. We sat on the swing set and ran around the slides – fun times and made me miss being a kid.
We grabbed dinner at a restaurant called Museo del Jamon (Ham Museum), where (you guessed it) we enjoyed some ham and I ordered a pork chop.
Tomorrow is our free day in Madrid so we’re planning to explore the inside of the Royal Palace, the Naval Museum, and the famous Prado Museum.
Stay tuned and read about my other adventures in London, Paris, Berlin, Italy, and Spain!
Steps taken: 17,951| Miles walked: 5.94
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