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Off the Beaten Track

Toledo: Day Trip from Madrid

overcast 45 °F

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Little did I think I'd be able to see sights from soaring heights in little o'l Madrid. Instead of hitting the city streets once again and visiting some of the museums, I made a trip (i.e. tagged along with a fellow hostel-mate) out to Toledo, a city that boasts architecture and buidlings from the Medieval period. The trip wasn't without it mishaps, absolute blunder with using Spanish, confusion lining up for last minute tickets and being suprised with some cold . There were loads of churches, plazas and winding stairs to see and to take, which brought us to various parts of the area. Round-trip tickets only cost EUR15 and in about .5hour I was away from the city life and thrown into narrow cobblestone streets, 360 vistas, and edifices that were ornate and rich with history.

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All in all, the sights, the hikes up and down the streets, and the local tapas was quite special. I had the morcilla (a local favor of susage made with pigs blood, rice and onions), it was chopped and fried with mushrooms and served with a fruit jam and crusty bread. It was marvelous and the flavors wonderful, the fat was nice and cripsy and rich. Additionally, also tried the cocillo madrileno, a stew with chickpeas, pork and chorizo - savory. All together it really a treat (especially when I hadn't known about the place to being with). While I ruined my only pair of contacts and only had about a total of 3 hours sleep, overall my day was quite memorable. Evening was also quite lovely, again, went to the market with room-mate and dinner was lox with toast, a potato fritada, cheese and salad. It was accompanied by wine and later all tried a "custard apple," which I was really happy to learn was a soursop.

Packing wasn't all that fun until I decided to listen to my Ipod - first time during the trip. DJ Joanie was spinning and the playlist was great. Most of the songs brought about memories of good times and others became new additions of my fav list. It helped the task a great deal and before I knew it was done. Heading off to my week long program with Pueblo Ingles in Cazorla, Andalusia. Missed most of my orientation but did ended up getting basic information I needed to prepare for the trip. Yet again, 'net access might be scattered but I'll post soon enough!

Posted by EveZangel 18:17 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Bar Crawl

An Irishman, Indian-Canadian and an Asian-American walked into a bar...

sunny 61 °F

1st day in MAD was nice. Needed a siesta after walking about. Totally slowed down in comparision w/ my pace in Paris. Oy, thinking back I really was zooming from sight-to-sight trying to fit as much as possible during my stay. Woke in time for breakfast, which was less than stealler - toast w/ butter and marmalade and ceral, no more coffee or tea to be had as the cleaning lady came and locked everything up at 9am. Didn't leave the hostel until 11am. Hit it off with one of my room-mates and we decided to go about the day together.

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Met some folks during dinner at the hostel and figured I'd forgo sleep and headed out for tapas and beer at midnight. Suprised how last call was around 2am thought I'd be later. Didn't get to much tapas but totally downed 2 beers, tasted ("American Brewed Guiness," and had to chase it wth a diluted Sangria instead - wow, tolerance in Europe is quite different. Totally got the munchies but the 1st bar was the only place that had tapas, the second gratis chorzo, salami and olives, the third simply was just a pub w/ no food to offer. The group wanted to hit up a McDonalds after we were asked more than once to leave, as we were the last folks about but thank goodness it wasn't 24 hours and was closed. Instead had wafers and slices of salami at the hostel. Decided to head to Toledo for a day-trip the next day with my new found "(North) American"friend, instead of simply strolled around the city on my last full day in Madrid. From Toronto and armed with a thick stack of ""printed (research) from work," I guess he'd have more of an idea what's interesting to do in at or around Madrid than I would (as I've anything research or idea what do to except recommendations from ppl at the hostel and notable hightlight on a map I got at the tourisim office). Medival castles and only 30 minutes from the city, that's what I'll get to see...as long as I wake up in time to rendezvous and would be able to pick up a last minute ticket from the station. Wish me luck!

Posted by EveZangel 21:58 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

"Oops-ey Daisy in Paris!"

Great "hostel-ing"

Latest Customer Reviews for Oops! Hostel

80%
Oops!...I'd totally do it again! Well, before you're mind goes there - and you might've if you've instantly got the Britney reference - the hostel was just pure clean fun. The location, staff, character and cleanliness of the hostel was stellar in my opinion. I haven't been to too many hostels to begin with but overall I was extrememly pleased with the place. Mario and Luz were the best during my stay! Common area is a tad small, can't imagine how they would handle a full-house i.e. summer.

Angela, from USA ~ 5th Nov 2009

Posted by EveZangel 21:34 Archived in France Comments (0)

MADrid

It is HOT in here!

60 °F
View EuroTrip on EveZangel's travel map.

The flight from Paris to Madrid was quick, took about 90 minutes. Had a hard time finding the metro at the airport so I had to bust out the high school Spanish and ask, ¨por favor, donde estas el metro?¨ Nicceee...of course then the person went on in Spainish and I just looked a dumbfounded. Ha. He ended up speaking fluent English and was also on the way to the metro so he walked me there (and gave me some tips about getting my tkts). Yeah!

As for the hostel, I sorta liked the one in Paris better. They don´t have the essentials here like: maps and general tourist infomation. Was actually really tired when I got into the city. Met one of the girls (though I think she´s older, maybe in her mid-30´s) and we went to find a market and dinner. Had a DOUBLE Doner Kabab (same as what we´ll call a gyro or grilled meat with pita). Scarfed it...and washed it down with an Iced Tea and tangerine (I got from a fruit stall). The good thing here (that I´ve noticed is) things are a lot cheaper and more convenient from the hostel. Guess Madrid will have to win me over within the next two days I´m here. For now, I still think the heat is on way too high and that it sucks that the toliets are not in our ¨ensuite rooms.¨ Boo.

Posted by EveZangel 15:10 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

Au Revior, Paris! J't'aime

Point of Heart

rain 55 °F

Last day in Paris and it was one of the most relaxing days I've had. I'm glad because packing got the best of me this morning. Yikes! What made today great? Well, first, I didn't have to rush the days plans, was able to stroll along the avenue de plantees, visit a couple of sights around the Bastille, and made my way to the isle that connects to Notre Dame (and had Fig and Gingerbread cookie gelatto while walking in the rain). It was fitting to end my last exchursion in Paris at "Pointe Zero," sign identifies where the center of the city is in Paris. I didn't find the sign and had help from a limited English-speaking French policeman who made me laugh and tried his best to give me directions. I eventually found the sign and after taking a couple of pictures was

Posted by EveZangel 05:01 Archived in France Comments (1)

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