Today is my very first visit to Spain! I am happy to be here with someone who speaks Spanish!
This morning in Florence it took at least 5 phone calls to different taxi companies to get a taxi to the airport. One company kept hanging up on Katie, and others kept saying they were busy and to call back in a few minutes. Suddenly, we got a hold of someone who said the taxi would be there in three minutes, and we had to run down the two huge flights of stairs with our heavy American luggage in order to catch it.
The airport in Florence is pretty small, so there was no concern about getting lost there. Our flight was pretty uneventful, too.
When we landed, it was around 4:30, so we had a late “lunch” at the airport. Interestingly, what we found at the airport was a place that specialized in beer, so (in a slight nod to missing out on Fourth of July celebrations back home), I had a burger, french fries, and a beer. Well, really only a little beer since I’m not a fan. It was part of the package deal (“Menu Burger con patatas”), so I just went along with it.
Our cabbie at the airport had a little trouble using his GPS system to find our hostel, and he and Katie had an amusing conversation in Spanish during our drive. If you know Katie, you can ask her about it sometime. I sat there speechless most of the time since I really didn’t know what they were talking about.
Our hostel is really nice. We have our own room with two twin beds and our own bath. It’s very clean and nicely but very simply decorated: wood floors, yellow walls, and red and yellow bedspreads.
Around 8:30, we went out to find a bar/restaurant near us. We were directed upstairs for the restaurant where we found a small room with no one it. We took a seat and checked out the menu while we waited. Before too long, a waiter arrived and we ordered sangria, some ham, and some fried eggplant. We also got bread and water.
The food was really yummy, and the little upstairs room soon filled with two large tour groups. It got really noisy in that small space fast!
After dinner, we walked to a nearby church to check out the Mass times for tomorrow. The church was closed. Like a lot of churches in Italy, this meant that heavy iron gates were closed at the front of the church. Between the gates, we could see a sign with the Mass times near the door, but it was kind of hard to read. We hope we have it figured out correctly for tomorrow.
Then we walked to Plaza del Mayor, which is where they used to have bull fights. Like a lot of piazzas in Italy, this plaza is now ringed by restaurants with outdoor seating where waiters try to lure you to their food with whatever language they think you speak.
I’m getting a lot of Spanish spoken to me. I’m not sure if this is because I’m with Katie who speaks Spanish or if I look Spanish to them.
Tomorrow’s plans include Mass in the early part of the day and a flamenco show in the evening. What else? I don’t know yet.
Have you been to Madrid? Any suggestions?