Friday, January 22, 2016

Madrid Pt. 7

Madrid, Spain
This is my last post for my Madrid trip, although I'm considering writing a post as a travel guide so I can have the links and suggestions all in one place. I don't know yet. I still have to edit all my photos from St. Petersburg. :(

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Catherine and I started the morning by taking Andazi for a walk. I felt bad because I was always lazy and would get ready for the day while she took the dog for a walk. On my last day I decided to be less lazy. ;) When we got back we cleaned the apartment a little bit because their landlady was coming over. I like to clean, so I didn't mind that they put me to work. (But to clarify, I offered to work).

Afterwards we went back to Las Ventas for a tour of the stadium. It was really interesting, but it was so cold! Not as cold as St. Petersburg though, which I will later learn. At one part of the tour I was sitting in the stadium and I looked down at the dirt. Someone wrote, "с новым годом," which means "Happy New Year" in Russian (you can see the picture below). It's kind of cool when you start learning a language and can see and understand it in an entirely different context. When the tour finished we spent a few minutes in the souvenir shop so we could warm up.

Afterwards, we walked to the Reina Sofia museum. I know the Prado Museum is a world famous museum, but I opted to go to Reina Sofia because Salvador Dali is my absolute favorite artist, plus I tend to like modern art more than classical art. I also knew that just a few days later I would see a ton of art at the Hermitage, so Reina Sofia was the best choice.  I will admit though, knowing I could see Salvador Dali's work was the biggest reason I chose to go there! Being able to see Picasso's 'Guernica' was really cool too!
Walking through the museum made us really tired. We went back to Sol so I could get last minute souvenirs. We happened to walk past a man making art on the street. We absolutely LOVED his work so we each bought a piece of art work from him. His name is Omar Figueroa Turcios and you can view his work here. He also has a Facebook page, and you can find that by searching: Turcios arte. Catherine really wanted to take me to try churros and chocolate, but they line was really long and we didn't feel like waiting. So, I HAVE to go back now. ;) I think I'm just giving myself excuses to go back.
On our way back we walked through Malasaña again so I could take more pictures of the street art while it was light out. We stopped at the grocery store on the way back so we could get ingredients for chicken chili and guacamole. I wish Russia had more avocados. We spent the evening eating and playing Hearts.

The next morning I woke up really early because I was still on Russian time. If you aren't up to date on current events relations between Russia and Turkey are pretty bad right now. Even before I left I thought there might be a possibility my flight would be cancelled because Russians are not supposed to go to Turkey. I was talking with my friend and he says, "I'm sorry but Russia closed the border to Turkey on New Years Day." I started to freak out. I woke up my cousin because I couldn't find my flight and I thought it had been cancelled. We even tried to call the airline company to figure out what to do. Then as I try to put in my flight number again she stops me and asks what day I am putting in. It turns out that my flight from Istanbul to Ufa was leaving at 12 am the next day. It was definitely one of my stupider moments.

We both managed to fall asleep again for a little bit, and then both Catherine and Ben took me to the airport. It was sad to say "good-bye" to family. On the flight to Istanbul I watched Pawn Sacrifice and Paper Towns. Can you believe Istanbul and Madrid are that far apart? I always thought they were closer. I had a 6 hour layover in Istanbul and pretty much just sat and read a book. While I was sitting I met a guy named Omar who was also from America. He ended up being really cool, and it was nice to be able to pass the time talking to someone else. He is an amazing photographer, and you should check out his work here.

My flight from Istanbul to Ufa was really empty. I had a whole row to myself. I'm pretty sure everyone on the plane could have had a row to themselves. I was able to spread out and fall asleep. When I arrived in Ufa I was once again flagged for being a foreigner. They took me to some room, and when they realized I didn't speak Russian they just looked at my passport and let me go. I swear I have to worst luck here. Next time I'll just fly through Moscow or St. Petersburg to save myself the hassle. I was not happy to be back in Ufa, but it is what it is.

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