After arriving in Madrid by high speed train, we took the subway to where our hotel was located. We were pretty tired from traveling from Barcelona that day. There was only standing room on the train and, as we stood there, someone brought it to our attention that Milton had dropped his wallet on the floor!!! OMG, is exactly how I felt!! We were so lucky that there were honest people, strangers, looking after us!! It would have been a genuine catastrophe for us if no one had brought it to our attention!! Catastrophe averted!!
I would really like to return to Madrid one day. We love what we have seen of Spain. We stayed in the Atlantico Hotel on the Gran Via and were close to the gay neighborhood called the “Chueca.” We visited several gay bars. The biggest difference between the gay bars here and the gay bars in the U.S. was that here, they still allowed cigarette smoking in the bars. Otherwise, gay men pretty much like everywhere else having fun.
One of the things I did notice about Madrid, compared to Barcelona, is that there are fewer people that speak English! We did have “smart” phones by 2010 and, thankfully, I had a “translation” app on the phone. When we sat down in a restaurant and were desperate for some water, I used the app to remind myself of how to ask for water. (I had “known” the Spanish word for water but had forgotten that I knew it!)
On the last night of our stay in Madrid, I created a bit of a “catastrophe” myself. Somehow, when coming out of the hotel room’s bathroom, I locked the bathroom door from the inside! We could not use our own bathroom!! I called down to the front desk. Then I eventually went down the front desk. Apparently there was someone that could open the door but they were not at the hotel at the moment? I was told to use the bathroom on the 9th floor in the meantime. Somebody did eventually, some hours later, came to the room and opened the bathroom door in our room.
When I had gone down to the front desk, I was shocked to see outside the front door of the hotel, throngs of people out on the sidewalk. It must have been two or three in the morning and the sidewalks were jam packed with people having a good time. I don’t know if it is like that all the time in Madrid but this was around the Columbus Day holiday so maybe this was people out celebrating the holiday. I had no idea that Columbus Day was celebrated in Spain. It is also true, though, that people do tend to have dinner much later in Spain than they do elsewhere that we have been. We had not been to any dance clubs in Barcelona just because they open so late at night.