Beautiful gardens, vegan ice cream and a crazy club: A weekend in Madrid!

Monday 15th- Sunday 21st May 2017

Since placement year started I’ve wanted to go to Madrid. One of my best friends has been living so I was keen to pay her a visit. After talking about it all year, we finally got round to booking it, and I’m so glad we did.

But first, school.

Monday

First lesson put all the things I’ve learned over the past year to the test. Miriam was away so I was left in charge, eek.

Year one is my favourite year so it didn’t faze me too much,  as a class we just worked through a page of their workbooks.

Then in arts and crafts next door we made beautiful mosaic-style butterflies using little squares of tissue paper.


P5 all afternoon, was also left to me to organise as their teacher was also away.  With the elephants we went over the story, stuck the speech bubbles into the mini books and then coloured them in. Then i got the whales to stick flash cards into their English notebooks.

The last lesson was an easy gap-fill that didn’t stretch me too much, but by then I was ready to keel over anyway.

Tuesday

After a lie-in and a leisurely stroll to work, my first class wa at 12.

I’m not sure what happened last week but all the teachers had appeared to have gone awol.

3C was also entrusted to me and I got th kids practising their prepositions by putting a giant picture up on the whiteboard and getting them to identify things in relation to other things. We then had a mini competition that ended in tears but I’m pretty sure they enjoyed it nevertheless.

Sponetnaity at its finest.


Wednesday 

There is literally nothing to report about Wednesday. It was boring and I spent 90% of it researching things to do in Madrid.

Thursday

I walked to school again, as opposed to getting the bus. My first lesson was at 10 so I took the opportunity to get some exercise. I’ve decided I’m going to walk on Tuesdays and Thursdays from now on to try and increase my steps a little bit.

Before I left, I submitted my 3,300 word placement year assignment! What a relief.

In arts and crafts we made these adorable litttle clay dinosaurs, which I later came to realise are intended to be used as pencil holders. Genius!

We also made cool pictures using paper and watercolours.


Friday 

The day had arrived!

I was out the door at 5.30 and on the plane for 8.30.


I treated myself to a costa breakfast, a novelty in terminal 1.


I arrived ahead of schedule for once as Vueling are far more efficient than Ryan Air. I met Beth on the metro platform and we caught it to Gran Via. Our AirBnB apartment was just off the main high street, literally a 3 minuite walk, but it took us a good half hour to locate which end of the street it was on. In the meantime we were knee deep in prostitutes which wasn’t particularly reassuring (they don’t include that on the flat description!), so we were keen to get off the streets ASAP..

Once we eventually found the building, we were unimpressed. And that’s putting it lightly.

We hesitatingly went inside and found a man sitting in a grubby little booth (presumably the doorman, but he wasn’t doing much door holding). He spoke ZERO English but he worked out what we doing there by our desehvilled appearance and unimpressed expressions. He disappeared up the dodgiest lift I’ve ever laid eyes on and returned accompanied by another bloke who again, spoke ZERO English. Fabulous.

We were ushered into the lift, and I feared for my life the entire journey up to third floor.

The flat itself, was actually pretty good. Saved by the bell.

It was modern, had a little kitchen and the bed was decent. But there was no bin, only half a loo roll and Claire’s bed was non-existent… solid 5.5/10.


We asked the man in broken Spanish for the other bed and he magicked a bed out of the sofa, but it still lacked sheets and a pillow. I mean come on pal, get your shit together. He was also incredibly patronising and laughed when we spoke (well, tried), to speak Spanish. Rude.

Undeterred, we pushed our disastrous morning to the back of our minds and headed out to lunch to cheer ourselves up. Wagamamas was hiding from us and google maps was messing about so we found a Spanish cafe instead and ate frittata and baguette in the sun. I ordered a cheese-less quesadilla for second plate and she looked as though I’d stepped on her foot when I ordered it. It’s not that weird, surely?

We then hit the palace, very nice. Then stopped off for a tea break. We then went to Plaza del Sol and stopped off for an ice cream break. I had the vegan chocolate one and they shaped it into a rose, so good!


We then took a leisurely stroll back to the apartment and did a bit of shopping on the way. Look at all the Lindor truffles!


Saturday

Breakfast was a home-cooked feast of fruit salad and egg on bread (there wasn’t a toaster 👀)!


I did the salad, Beth did the eggs. It was like we were an old-married couple.

We then went to the biggest Primark I have EVER seen and I treated myself to a denim jacket, some ballet shoes and a top, all of which came to the grand total of €27. Bargain.


Our first stop was the Real Madrid stadium and then we hit the Spanish version of Poundland. It sold everything from marmite to salad cream, how cool!

 

Lunch was Wagamamas, as me and Beth are positively sick of tapas and can’t bear the sight of bloody croquettes.


The afternoon was spent strolling around Retiro park and it was truly beautiful.


Claire arrived at around 8pm and we met her outside the huge McDonald’s on Gran Via, we headed back to the apartment to dump her stuff. Dinner was sourced from a vegan restaurant called B13, a place Beth had been banging on about since I arrived. Her two friends here are vegan so she has tried and tested most of them out, and it turned out to be a delicious meal.


(The giant empanada was from the supermarket)

Look at that vegan cake!

We then  started getting ready at around 11 and were out the door by half past 12, KAPITAl bound.


The  club was amazingggggg. It had SEVEN floors, oxygen and confetti canons, dancers and even karaoke! Despite being nearly €20 to get in and a bottle of wate being €5, it was great. We even had a dable on the Kareoke and spectacularly murdered One Directions – what makes you beautiful.

By four I had had enough and we got a taxi home, what a night!

Sunday 


We found a cool bagel shop for breakfast and then went to a vintage fair. Claire picked up a cool skirt and even though I’m not a vintage fan, it was nice.

We then took Claire back to that delicious ice cream shop we found on Friday and I had the same thing because why not.


We then went back to the park and hired out one of the row boats, Claire did most of the work while me and Beth relaxed and enjoyed the views. Afterwards we took the metro to the Temple of Debod before hitting the 9th floor of El Corte Ingles to admire the views and buy cake.

An early night was desperately needed and I set my alarm for 4am as my flight was at 7 and I was headed straight to school when I arrived. 

Overall it’s been an exhausting but fun weekend. It was lovely to see my friends and Madrid is a wonderful city. 

 But things are changing faster than expected, I will explain all in my next post. 
But for now,

Hasta pronto 

Chloe 

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