A pickpocket, Zack's 21st and more
Most of our 6 flights on fall break were early morning flights, meaning we were up very early some days. Our first day in Madrid was one of those days. However, we were quickly woken up upon arriving.
We stepped of the metro and began taking the escalator when it jerked to a stop. Next thing we knew, Isabelle had just been pickpocketed - but she knew who did it. He had pressed the emergency stop button to create a distraction and was getting away as we realized what just happened.
None of us really knew what to do, but I began tracking him - trying to be calm and not alert the thief. However, he knew he was being followed - instead of taking the exit, he tried to shake us by going to other platforms. Thankfully, he took the time to see what he had stolen - when he realized there was no money or cards, he dropped the passport into a trash bin which I luckily saw, otherwise we would have never found it! Isabelle was really shaken up, but its a quite common occurrence - so please travel smartly: wear a money belt, keep your bags in front of you and be aware of your surroundings.
Thankfully, that was the low point of our visit to Spain's capital city. Literally the center of Spain, Madrid became the capital in 1561 under Philip II as he aimed to symbolize Spanish unification and centralization. Today, the city is a mix of old and new - boasting great museums, parks, architecture, shopping and a reputation for partying hard and late.
Other Madrid highlights include: (pictures below)
- Celebrating Zack's 21st birthday - "If I pass out, take my wallet and phone so someone else doesn't"
- El Rastro flea market - Europe's largest outdoor market
- Palacio Real - has more rooms than any other European palace
- Parque del Buen Retiro - hanging out, drinking wine and watching the sunset at the lake
- Museo del Prado - one of Europe's premier art galleries
- Gran Via - the beautiful, bustling main street
- Eating delicious gourmet food for bargain prices at upscale restaurants Bazaar and Public (same owner - also owns La Gloria de Montera and La Finca de Susana)
- Fat Spiderman!
Visiting the Museo del Prado
Celebrating Zack's birthday
At the Palacio Real
The Catedral Nuestra Senora de la Almudena
Parque del Buen Retiro
Hanging out at the park
We were there for a while...
Eating dinner at Bazaar