The trip began with an early flight from London to Madrid. This meant that we got to Spain midday and gave a chance to look around before we checked into our hostel. Instead of taking the metro directly to our hostel we noticed that the Santiago Bernabo was only a few blocks from Madrid's central station and thus the wondering began. After seeing this great stadium we decided to head towards the hostel to drop our bags off, but with very limited directions and no map this was a tougher feat than we imagined. We knew it was near the Tribunal metro station but that was pretty much it. We therefore relied on the crudely drawn metro maps that were placed outside each station. The hostel was south but that's all we knew. Now, some people reading are probably wondering, "why didn't you plan this better?" and that's a good question, however our goal was not to see every world class museum or go on any lengthy tours. Our goal was to experience the city through discovery, and believe me, it didn't let us down. In fact one of our mottos through out the trip was, "all I've got is time."
In our semi-aimless wanderings (I say semi-aimless because we would choose a rough path for the day and see where that took us) one of my favorite finds was right near the La Latina metro station. Completely by accident, we stumbled into a popular spot for people our age to socialize, play with a football, and have a few drinks in the amazing spanish sun. The find was perfect, and we decided to hang around there for a little while to soak in the culture. Unfortunately neither of us are very strong spanish speakers and that made it a little tough to sustain any meaningful conversation. It didn't matter in the slightest, we just enjoyed the surprise that was La Latina.
What can I say about Amsterdam? It almost looks like a fake a city at Epcot Center. It was absolutely beautiful. Every intersection was picturesque, and at one point we decided to see if we could find a bad part of the city; we failed. I can't say enough about the beauty of Amsterdam, but it was by far the most touristy. It was almost as though they didn't have any real stores besides gift shop. It is likely that this is just because we were in the tourist section, but if that is the case, then the tourist section encompasses an enormous part of the city.
Finally, we spent 2 days in Munich. At this time on the trip we were both pretty worn out, but it was still nice to walk around the city and relax in the nice weather Bavaria. I big part of their culture is the beer and they are very proud of their local brews. we joined in on a small tour that brought us to different bars with a different local brew at each of them. It was a great way to try the different types available while in the presence of a guide who knew what he was talking about.
With that our trip was over. 8 days, 4 cities, and a lot of great memories. It was a blast and was a great change of pace from the research papers due prior to the trip. The trip also got me in the right mindset for my final papers due after my return.