After a great time in Barcelona, we headed back west again to Madrid. We were excited to visit another city that we had always heard about but were disappointed with what we found.
Our first impression of Madrid was that it was quite grimy. The streets were dirty and again, so much graffiti covered everything. As a fashion capital of the world, we thought we would find a far more glamorous place.
An interesting thing about Madrid that we figured out is that it was only the street level of the city that was unsavory. If you looked up, many of the buildings were quite cool to look at and seemed to be in much better shape the higher you looked.
There were a few buildings and squares that were worth checking out.
There is also the Parque del Retiro that was worth a visit. It was a nice way to escape the heat and we got a kick out of the amount of folks that were floating on the tiny pond in the middle of it.
Two big things that Madrid is known for are two things that we just don't have much interest in; shopping and nightclubs. The shopping options were insane and there is the Gran Via which is a huge boulevard dedicated to spending cash on clothing and accessories.
There is also a huge nightclub scene and it was obvious that half the tourists in Madrid were there strictly to hit the clubs. On the morning we left Madrid, we caught an early train and so left our hostel around 6am. We had expected to enjoy a quiet morning walk to the subway station but when we came out onto the street, it was chaos. There were people everywhere in clubbing outfits, still partying their asses off. Mixed in with booze bottles and litter were groups of folks in various states (some fighting, some laughing and talking loudly). We even saw a few folks vomiting....ugh. It was like we had walked into a huge frat party.
We only spent one and half days in Madrid but came to the conclusion that it was definitely not our scene. We were ready to find something more relaxed and were happy to continue west to our next destination.