Adventures in Madrid Day 3 Part 2: Plaza Sights and Sounds

After my lengthy trip to the stadium, I was indeed in need of a siesta. I traveled back to EspaHotel via metro and took a 3-hour long siesta, which was nearly equivalent to some of the full nights of sleep I have had since arriving in Spain. The benefit of a late dinner time in Spain is that I did not have to fear missing out on a meal with this lengthy nap! Most people eat dinner around 10pm in Spain and some nights we ate close to 11pm.It is not uncommon to finish your meal at 1am in the morning and see children on the streets with their parents! The lunches in Spain are much longer and larger as it is their primary meal of the day, so I was never hungry for dinner until late anyway.

Since it was a Friday night at 8pm in Spain, I knew I could not eat dinner just yet but I knew exactly where I wanted to go en route to dinner, Plaza Mayor! I had visited Plaza Mayor during the day this trip already but it is so beautiful to walk around at night, I needed to return! I love seeing Fat Spiderman and the colorful goat street performers, the colorful light-up helicopters flying in the air and hearing the obnoxious but familiar toys that make one’s voice sound like a whistle when being used, both of which they try to pawn to tourists and small children. Something about the summer air, the outside patios, and liveliness of this Plaza make it such a relaxing and yet exciting place to be.

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I walked from the Plaza to McDonald’s to grab a CocaCola before continuing my walk to Sol. I observed a political demonstration (calm, interview setting, televised) being filmed and the McDonald’s worker explained to me that it was due to the elections happening on Sunday. In Spain, there must be a majority vote to be elected and this was not achieved in the 2015 elections. This lack of a majority decision has placed even more importance on finding a leader this Sunday. You can feel the political tension with signs hung in the streets, discussions in the restaurants and demonstrations such as these that I witnessed today. People are hoping something is decided on Sunday but are unsure if it will happen. Pablo told me that Spain has two major political parties, but also two other political parties that are gaining a significant number of followers. In order of the number of seats they hold in the Spanish Congress Spain’s prominent political parties are: PP-Partido Popular (right wing) PSOE-Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (center/left wing), Podemos (left wing) and Ciudadanos (center left to center right wing).

I just came back to this post to see the election results and PP won the election of 2016. You can read more about the election results here:  http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/06/26/inenglish/1466976381_921129.html  and http://fortune.com/2016/06/27/spain-repeat-parliament-elections/

I then continued towards Sol, browsing in a few stores and then some beautiful paintings caught my eye. I love to find anything “hecho a mano” or handmade, while traveling, something about it seems so much more authentic to me. I picked up two of these paintings and told the man (who initially thought he needed to speak English with me, haha) that I admired his talent. You can tell how much kind words mean to people who work so hard doing something they love.

imageI arrived to Plaza del Sol which was just as lively as Plaza Mayor with tourists, natives, and street performers. I never imagine how many different languages I would hear other than Spanish.

I got to see my favorite musical duo in Spain, Stefan and Mario Fieraru! I had the opportunity to see them last year as well and was amazed by their talent.

As you have read in my previous posts, I have needed a break from the “typical” Spanish cuisine so tonight I tried a Japanese noodles location, Udon, which is a chain restaurant in Spain. I ate about half of my portion (it wasn’t the best) and hated to leave the rest to waste but I had no choice. To-go boxes are not common in Spain and you typically aren’t even asked if you want one. I could not imagine leaving uneaten Banana Leaf back in Mason! With a “full-enough” belly I headed back to the hotel for a restful night’s sleep since Sra. Perry and I have an exciting day of exploration planned for tomorrow! Buenas noches a todos 🙂

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