Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 7 in Madrid, A walk along the Manzanares River

I went through my usual routine this morning, got up around 9:30 am, went downstairs for the hostel's free breakfast, 2 slices of toast, jam, butter and orange juice.  I had seen most of the sights in Madrid and I was making decisions on what I would do after my trip to Lisbon.  I knew I was not returning to the US anytime soon, the language school in Istanbul had not gotten back to me to confirm its offer for me to start teaching there at the end of this month, my other option was studying a language in Europe.  My top two choices were Spanish and French.  After breakfast, I spent the morning researching these options.

I did some research and found a reasonably priced Spanish course at Madrid University, after further research I decided this was the program for me.   I enjoyed studying Japanese in a University environment, and universities tend to have higher standards for the teachers they employ than language schools, Madrid University seemed like the perfect choice.  I sent them an email and began the process of booking my place in the July summer Spanish intensive course.  I considered going to Madrid University in the afternoon to explore the place, in the end, I kept my plans to go for a walk along Madrid's Manzanares River.

I went and got lunch at a place called Tako Away, down the street from my hostel.  I was a little nervous about going to a Tex Mex fast food burrito place in Madrid, I do not like Tex Mex and I am in Madrid not Mexico. I hoped the fast food restaurant could not mess up a burrito or was a Chipotle style Mexican restaurant, not authentic, but good enough. I ordered the fusion burrito, I am not sure exactly what was in it, there were corn chips, and it was good.  After lunch I want to the metro station and headed to the Manzanares River.

The hostel staff gave me easy metro directions to the river and I had no trouble getting to the station closest to the river.  The trouble was I chose the wrong way to exist the station, I ended up on the side of the station furthest away from the river. I sensed I was walking in the wrong direction, changed course and finally found a park which I thought would lead to the river, it did.

View on my way to Madrid's River
I walked down the path to the river, there were people around but not many like in central Madrid or the Retiro Park near the museum.  I saw a few people with cameras taking pictures, but not many tourists.  Today was a cool day, that could explain why there were so few people outside enjoying a walk along the river.  Also, the Manzanares does not run through the center of Madrid, you have to go a bit out of the way to get to it. Looking at the metro map, Madrid University is also located near the river, which will be nice when I begin classes there July 1st.

View on my walk along the Manzanares River

View on my walk along the Manzanares River

View on my walk along the Manzanares River
I took a break on my walk along the river to sit down and read my Kindle, just enjoy the atmosphere and the peace and quiet away from Madrid's hectic tourist areas.  I did not walk the entire path, the staff at my hostel said you can walk as far as Madrid's soccer stadium in one direction.  I spent about 2 hours at the river before heading back to my hostel.

Lynnae at Manzanares River
I headed back to my hostel around 6 pm.  I initially got on the wrong line, the grey line, which would have taken me to Madrid University.  I turned around and headed back to the station I started at and got back to my hostel easily.  I went to a Kebab place for dinner and had a quiet evening relaxing at the hostel. Tomorrow is my last day in Madrid, I take the night train to Lisbon at 9:30pm.  I have no plans for tomorrow except doing laundry and maybe catching up on some sleep.

Day 7 in Madrid Photo Album

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