Jesus Lord in Heaven, after a long ass plane ride and taking the wrong subway line going in the wrong direction (TWICE), I finally made it to my hostel. I did not figure out the Metro lines for about a half an hour and the only reason I had a clue is because the subway line ended and people scurried like rates off the train to get on a different one. I stayed on and the train started heading back in the opposite direction. Of course, I panicked and got off at the next stop – checked the subway map, remembered the stations I had already passed, then found the station I needed was just two stops from where I had originally changed lines…going the other way….sigh….I got back on the Metro, again heading in the WRONG direction. Again, the line ended and the train switched directions to head back the opposite way. THAT taught me a thing or two about speaking Spanish – I now thoroughly understand the difference between Calle, Puerta and Paseo……Oooooookaaaaay then.
So, now here I am heading in the correct direction and I got off the Metro and the station I needed to in the first place, switched lines (but checked the map this time before I did….see? I CAN be taught!). Finally, I arrived at the Gran Via station, upon which I exited the subway into the bustling streets of downtown Madrid. As I reached the top of the stairs, the beautiful English Colonial mixed with Spanish influenced Architecture came into view, and I realized I had no effing clue as to which direction I needed to head in order to get to my hostel. Thus, I did what any proper American would have at that point; I turned to the right and walked down the street, thinking that someone would look familiar. Now, WHY would I think that, you wonder, when I have never been to Madrid??? I have no idea, but it sounded good, and I am notorious for just winging it, so I walked for approximately 10 minutes until I concluded that my idea really wasn’t so good after all. Considering I had no clue what direction I was actually walking, nor had I seen a street sign yet, I turned around and went back towards the subway station, in hopes of finding a map (what a concept, huh?) Thank goodness because just as I changed direction, I looked up on the side of a building and saw a street sign – my street sign – the street sign for the hostel! Yippee! I crossed over Gran Via and headed along Calle de Hortaleza to find the entrance to the hostel.
After I checked in and rested for a bit, I went to get some lunch – don’t really know what I had since I didn’t understand the menu and it came out unrecognizable, but it was good. After lunch, I toured some of the city and saw some beautiful government looking buildings, a church, slept in a really pretty park (don’t worry lots of other people were doing the same thing), got ripped off by the bank making a currency exchange, and shopped for a new back pack. The new one I had purchased for the trip made it outside of the airport before it broke on the subway. Awesome. The handle ripped and the strap broke – guess I still packed too much shit for Europe – how is that possible, I only brought a week’s worth of clothes?! I haven’t made a decision on a bag yet, but came back to the hostel to shower, since it was pretty warm today (insert I STANK!, here). Anyhoo – there isn’t one person who speaks English, so far, but I just know that finding a new pack willbe fun!
Now I am just trying to decide where to go for dinner. It is Vogue’s fashion night out tonight, and since I am in the gay district (holla!) things are hopping already here with excitement.