Friday, January 31, 2014

Just me, myself, and I

Hello to all of my six blog followers. I know it has almost been a week since I have posted about the things I adore and my adventures. I have just been trying to stay on top of my weekly schedule so I have not spent too much time thinking about my blog. Today, my weekend has officially begun so of course, I am lounging and relaxing, which is a perfect time to update you about my past weekend. 

Last weekend, I did not have any sort of agenda. I just had an entire weekend to myself, which I definitely needed. I have not done too many outings on my own before, except on my weekly runs last semester (which I stopped doing after a while..oops) but I enjoy it. I am always incredibly absorbed in my surroundings and for this reason, I had a great weekend. On Saturday, I tried waking up early and failed. I do not know what it is because I am pretty sure I am no longer jet lagged after three weeks, but I cannot get out of bed early. My body and mind completely reject that idea so without hesitation, I press snooze. Luckily, I know myself so well that every night I have to set about four to five alarms to make sure I will actually get out of bed at some point in the morning...Anyways, I got ready and set out for a day in the sun. I was originally headed to Parque del Retiro, but decided to get off two stops before to explore Palacio de Cibeles. I originally thought this was a post office because someone said you could buy stamps and mail letters, which is not true at all. Unless, I totally missed that floor. I realized it was a free admission except to see some art exhibitions inside and to go to the top floor. At the top floor, you are able to see an entire view of Madrid, which I hope to do soon. 

Regardless, I went inside and the interior was as beautiful as the exterior of the building. I decided to see how many floors I could explore until someone asked me if I had bought a ticket. The whole time I felt like I was not supposed to be in certain areas since I did not buy a ticket, but I just went with the flow. There was a floor I enjoyed the most that was exhibiting photography on victims of war, addiction, and violence in foreign countries. A photographer had captured the smoggy desert between the border of Mexico and the United States. Another had captured the compassion between a recovering drug addict and a HIV victim at a rehabilitation center in Spain. A different photographer fearlessly photographed images of the violence in Syria. These images were really unexpected as they reminded me to appreciate my life as well as to not forget the struggles others endure. I spent a good hour or two in the Palacio. I really liked it aside from the exhibitions. There was an area on one of the floors where you could study. There, I saw a couple cuddling on a red couch, taking a nap (so jealous). After, I decided I should explore Calle de Alcalá, which happens to be the longest street in Madrid.

Palacio de Cibeles

View from inside the Palacio (Metropolis in the distance)
I went over to the Metropolis, which is one of the most famous buildings in Madrid, as it is used on practically every post card. I loved the gold detail at the top, it makes the building stand out more than it already does. I decided to keep walking down Alcalá when all of a sudden I heard a familiar tune. Ok so for starters, I used to be really good about keeping up with music, as I used to spend hours looking up new bands on my free time. Now, not so much. So I decided to make an effort recently. Last week, I updated my Spotify and added songs I had Shazamed on my phone while shopping around. Also, lucky for me, my boyfriend offered to show me some new music, so I am all about reestablishing myself as a lover of music. So back to my story...I was walking down the Calle de Alcalá and I heard this song that I was listening to the day before. I wanted to dance, right there in the middle of the street. I looked up beyond the crowd of people and there was a commercial shoot going on. I was not exactly sure what it was for, but there were hired actors walking across the camera. The main focus of the commercial was a man dancing to "Happy" by Pharell Williams in front of a metro stop. I wish I could have been a random participant in the commercial, maybe even have my own little segment to dance around and show my moves. It was unreal that a commercial was taking place and really cool to see the whole production. The director, who might I add was a complete stereotype dressed in all black with his beanie and ripped up clothes, was directing the hired actors and the dancer. The assistant was running around giving water to the dancer and monitoring the traffic flow on the side walk. People were yelling "action!" I stayed for a while and crossed the street to watch another dancer (who was much better than the first) dance to "Happy." Let me just say, that song was stuck in my head the rest of the day.
♪ Pharrell Williams-Happy 

His feet are happy
After, I made my way over to Parque del Retiro. This park is absolutely beautiful. In the center of the park, there is a large pond where visitors can rent a boat and float along the water. I bought some watermelon flavored sour candies, my taste buds were immediately infatuated with them. The sun was beginning to set, but that did not stop the tourists and locals alike from visiting the park last week. There were vendors of jewelry, art work, and snacks all along the park sidewalk. Families, couples, and friends walked around me. All of a sudden, I recognized someone that I met here in Madrid and so I spent the rest of my time with him and some of his friends. We stayed until the sky was an array of pink and orange. I went home in time for dinner and my Saturday was complete. 

Parque del Retiro
My feet look large

On Sunday, I set out for El Rastro. El Rastro is a very popular open air flea market in Madrid that takes place every Sunday until about 4 pm. I got there a little later, but I was still able to get some shopping in. They have anything you can think of from clothes, antiques, artwork, household items, souvenirs, and even some iPhone covers. I liked Parque del Retiro so much that I ended up there again and bought the delicious watermelon candies from the day before. I think I would be lying if I said I did not go back just for the candies...then again the park is also worth the second trip.


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