Day 10 - June 17
We woke up around 7.15am and started preparing to leave. We had made arrangements with Rafa (the kind person who picked us up from the train station when we first reached Granada) to pick us up from the cave-house and drive us to the train station as it was not easy to get a taxi from where we were staying, and dragging our luggages downhill is out of question :P.
The cave was freezing cold in the morning again! We quickly packed and moved to the common kitchen, where it was much warmer:
Sheryl’s sad about leaving again… or maybe because it’s too early to wake up? :P
Rafa soon came by to pick us up!
Did I mention that the streets of Granada, Cordoba and Seville are generally quite narrow? Here’s a recording as we drove towards the train station in Granada, we missed the really narrow streets but hopefully this gives you an idea of how narrow it is, and also a quick tour of Granada through the streets :).
Soon enough, we were in the train! The train ride was going to take about 4 hours, so we decided to make our ride as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Firstly, we had to grab some food and drinks:
Nice cafe in the train.
We bought a salmon sandwich which was really tasty! Completed unexpected and we were happily surprised! Hehehehe. Update: I was informed by Sheryl that this was the Iberian ham with cheese sandwich (which was really good too!), not salmon as I previously wrote.
Sheryl’s orange juice and my coffee.
Once we were done eating, we were ready to sleep again :P. Here’s one of the shots we took during times we were awake…
And before we knew it, we were in Madrid, the 5th city we’re visiting in Spain!
We took the metro to get to our accommodation in Madrid and arrived around 2.30pm :). We were looking forward to this as the place looked really good in the pictures, and Magui, our host, has been very helpful even before we arrived, helping us to liaise for some of the activities we wanted to do in Madrid and also giving us lots of tips and advice on getting around Madrid.
I must say the place was great! Magui gave us a warm welcome and walked us through the place, and also provided us with maps and basically lots of walking directions on getting around. Her place is about 5 minutes from the Gran Via! Here’s a walkthrough we did of Magui’s place:
We did not have much planned for the day as we wanted to mostly relax and just explore what the city has to offer. We stayed in Magui’s place till around 5pm before heading out. Again, we took the opportunity to wash our clothes, and basically just relaxed. Her place is great!!!
There was a place selling very nice clothes just under our lodging, and Sheryl immediately became a shopping freak. She tried on this top and bought it:
At this point in time I should mention that every single city we have been to in Spain felt very different, as though we were in different countries altogether. Granada, Seville and Cordoba has some similarities (all part of Andalusia), but even then they give off very different vibes!
We reached the Prado museum and were given free tickets (I think it’s free after 6pm)! Woohoo!
I believe in Korea it’s considered lucky to see this bird…
Sheryl and I are both not very artsy folks, so we didn’t know what to expect. Nonetheless, we decided to try our best to pull off what we think would best reflect the inner artists in us, and this is what it looks like:
A Belgian guy also spoke randomly to us while we were taking the photos, and he also photo-bombed us:
I’m not sure what Sheryl is doing there…
There is a lot, a lot, a lot of sections within the museum. We didn’t take any photos inside. The experience was overwhelming and draining at the same time. We read the history of the art pieces that we saw, and it was interesting to catch a glimpse of what life was possibly like during those times. It is hard to describe the experience, but we’d probably need half a day at least to fully explore and absorb what’s inside the museum. We took some photos outside the museum as we left.
After the Prado, we headed to what is possibly one of the most active yet serene parks I’ve seen, the Retiro Park. It was around sunset when we visited, and it’s quite an experience to just be there, soaking it all in. You have people jogging, people walking their dogs, young and old folks hanging out, the whole place was just alive! Yet beneath all that action, there is a certain peace to being in the park.
Entrance to the Retiro Park.
This is quite possibly, my favourite shot of Sheryl for the entire trip. She was just posing alone initially, and just as I was about to take the shot, the dogs entered the photo!
Thumbs up for the Retiro Park! Beautiful place!
The sun was setting as we left. Unfortunately part of the view was blocked, but it was still beautiful (and unexpected) to witness the sunset.
Next, we decided to head to the bar at the top of the Bellas Artes Center that Magui had recommended to us. The sun was still slowly setting…
Perhaps we didn’t really understand the instructions, but the tickets we bought were supposed to entitle us to the bar at the top, and also to some restaurant. However, we realized that the restaurant that we were allowed to go to was not the one at the top, but the one of the first floor (it was a very pricey restaurant by the way, so we didn’t even go in the end). Nonetheless, the view from the top was great!
We bought some drinks anyway (again, very pricey) and enjoyed the view for some moments, before to the Gran Via to find a place to have dinner before heading back to the lodging. We decided to try out the Cafe & Tapas place, and we’re glad we did! The food was unexpectedly good!
3 mini servings of 3 different pasta.
3 different types of mini burgers.
After the very satisfying dinner, we headed back to our lodging for the night. The next day would be our most exciting one - the day we’re both going to (tandem) paraglide for the first time in our lives!
Other parts in this series:
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 1 - June 8 to June 22
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 2 - Barcelona Day 1-2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 3 - Barcelona Day 3
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 4 - Barcelona Day 4
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 5 - Barcelona Day 5, Cordoba Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 6 - Cordoba Day 2, Seville Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 7 - Seville Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 8 - Granada Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 9 - Granada Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 11 - Madrid Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 12 - Madrid Day 3
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 13 - Toledo Day Trip
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 14 - Last Day in Spain