Written by Stamie Turner on June 25, 2013
Arriving in a city early morning is great way to see it stirring and coming alive and/or being put to bed. I arrived in Madrid early morning as the produce trucks were pulling up and unloading their goods for the day. And then, there it was, The Semi Naked Party Bus. I giggled and pointed it out to my taxi driver and we both agreed, “loco”. But, yes, they were semi naked, all ages, all nationalities and it was unloading at 9:00 am. Were they arriving from a late night? Probably….this is Madrid!
Madrid is lovely. People in the streets and the city is waking up. I head to the hotel where I have no reservation. This trip is being built upon faith, intuition and serendipity. No agendas, no real plans, no reservations. When the taxi driver pulled into the cobblestone calle, I knew I was in the right place. Calle is “street” and this was a cobblestone street in a perfect part of the old city. At the end of my cobblestone street, a Greek restaurant and a Greek hostal. Hehehehe!
My small luxury inn was in the middle and was just delightful.. I am seeking off the grid boutique hotels that will meet the approval of a particular woman. This one did and all was well in my world.
The city is in full bloom with not only the flora and fauna but also with tourists. I spent my first morning participating in a fabulous private Paella and Sangria class at a local Spanish restaurant. The husband/wife team owners spoke no English and loved having the three Americans in their kitchen. A wonderful woman from Virginia and her lovely niece who is studying Spanish in Segovia.
After the class, we spent our afternoon on a little tapas crawl and wandering the cobblestones of Madrid. And then I hit my wall. Traveling is about preparation and I try to prepare for the jet lag that can be inevitable. I choose flights that will arrive early morning. I hit the ground running in a serendipitous manner of wandering the city with no plans until I meet opportunity. I loved my first day in Madrid, opportunities, new friends and then….Hello wall.