After 30+ hours of travel from NYC via Florida, I landed in Madrid this morning, where I met Chris Low who had gotten in a few hours earlier. No problems at customs. Stamped. Now what?
At this point we had no plans whatsoever. I remembered how nice it was in 2002 to have a car in Europe so I decided to rent one – we got a Volkswagen SomethingorOther from Hertz (or El Hertz since we’re in Spain), a diesely beast with plenty of room and a GPS to help us get lost without getting lost.
I hadn’t driven a stick shift in a while and the tranny knew it (no, I’m not calling Chris a tranny, the stick has 6 gears and a hidden reverse, which makes it go “crrrrrrunch” once in a while. ok, all the while). We drove to the city center after several circles. The GPS lady – we call her Hertzena – pronounces stuff weird and there’s cars bearing down on you from every direction, so yeah, there’s lots of circling.
We found a giant P, which apparently signifies parking so we parked the car and headed over to the Ham Museum to get lunch. Yes, Ham Museum. It’s like a real museum except instead of paintings of ladies and abstract art, there’s shanks of smoked ham and abstract meat. Plus you can eat the art.
We walked around the city a while and took a much needed siesta, after which I realized it’s 09/09/09 so I had to go out and take a picture of this momentous date.
We grabbed some local grub (paella) which was half food, half sea vermin tentacles/particles to be spat back out. The city was alive with people late into the night, but being tired, jetlagged, and full-bellied we called it a night. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.