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145: Madrid (walking tour). 2012/9/23

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[Hello again, Madrid = photos.]

I joined the walking tour this morning, although for me 11am is really not “morning.” This is a free walking tour organized by a guide associated with the hostel, although from the very beginning the smoking British guide made it very clear that it’s very tip-based.

Well, the sky is as blue as can perfectly be.  Somehow it feels a bit ironic.  On Sol Square were quite some people dressed as big cartoon characters.  The tour guide very nicely reminded us to be careful about our wallets and everything, since Madrid, just like Barcelona, doesn’t have a very good reputation when it comes to pickpocketing.

The tour guide didn’t exactly intend to show everything.  Instead, and I guess this is nice, she meant to provide some historical contexts and show certain things that people may and may not see.  For instance,

Why the cathedral was built with such a sober style;

But on the other hand, the back of the cathedral tells quite a different story;

Why Madrid has a number of “malicious houses,” whose feature is that it’s difficult for one to discern exactly how many floors and how many rooms there may be;

How many times that famous Plaza de Mayor was burnt down and why;

And in the end she also showed us an alley with nice small restaurants.  The one restaurant she recommended really has very nice “menu del dia.” I was surprised that the table wine doesn’t stop at one glass – in fact I was given a whole bottle! And the squid was done very nicely – just the way I like it.  The paella isn’t great, but that doesn’t amount to some reason for real complaint.

Oh, btw, after I called so many times yesterday and today (and I was to be told later on the following Monday, Ms Pu from our embassy also called a billion times for me) and heard nothing solid, I finally got the luggage today.  Damn Iberia.

This evening when I went to a “fruteria” (fruit shop) run by some Chinese lady, and I saw 康師傅 – Taiwanese instant noodles that went super famous in China.  Simply couldn’t resist to get that last bowl on the shelf.

地鐵:1.5* 2 + 1= 4
Premium -:13
總計:45.58 EUR


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