November Photo Diary: Temples, Volcanos & Palaces, Oh My!

I know, I know. A photo diary blog post– how cliché. But nonetheless, I have a few snaps to share from my November shenanigans, and it’s a good way to look back on things in the future. It probably won’t happen every month, but if there’s something worth writing about I’ll share it on here.

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November was a bittersweet month. It was my flatmate Lauren’s last month in Madrid, so we had lots of little excursions to the places we always said ‘oh, we should go there!’ and never did. November technically started off right after my trip to Segovia, because as soon as we arrived back in Madrid we rushed off to Allie’s real life American Hallowe’en party. I had pumpkin flavoured cookies and drank punch. So American. Even if there weren’t any red cups. As this picture was taken after midnight, it was technically November. And since I don’t like to spend money on things (total lie, but I’d rather spend it on shoes and pretty dresses, not Hallowe’en costumes), I wore my own clothes and donned some extra liquid eyeliner to be Alex DeLarge. One person knew who I was.

IMG_2201 copyOne of the many ‘last chance to do x’ places that Lauren and I visited was tea and cake at my favourite brunch spot right by our apartment. I often come here in the mornings for a café con leche and a napolitana (just call it a fucking pain au chocolat, alright), but Lauren never joined me. So before one of our trips to the cheap English food shop that just opened in Madrid (vegetarian Oreos and Heinz Tomato Soup <3), we stopped by for a refuel. I got passion fruit tea, purely because I wasn’t wearing my glasses and couldn’t see if they had any of the green variety, and a chocolate cake. I think Lauren just got a boring old normal tea and a cheesecake, because our tastes are very different, but we enjoyed ourselves and it definitely made the (poorly planned on our part) rush hour on a Friday Metro journey a lot more bearable.

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Yet another adventure with Lauren involved one last trip to our favourite tapas place (if you could call it that). I actually ended up taking over one of Lauren’s classes when she left, so this day I just followed her around to see exactly where the building was. Whilst she taught her class I got sucked into an English bookstore and endless iced lattes at Starbucks… where the chosen name of the day was Dorothy. Not on my behalf though, that’s just one of the many ways that Spanish people hear the name Rosy. After that we trekked to Salamanca to the famous tapas place. Tapas and copas for 2.90€? Yes please. I always get the sandwich vegetal out of necessity, but I love it anyway. And I’m never going to turn down a nice cold glass of tinto de verano after a long day of walking around Madrid… even if it is raining outside.

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A lot of my month was spent doing some cover classes for my agency and working on implementing new social media strategies for my internship (so grown up, so adult), so we skip a week or so here until it was Lauren’s leaving weekend. Unfortunately, this coincided with my dad coming to visit, so her going away drinks were cut short for me. Because of this, Greg, Lauren, and I went out to another bar a bit earlier for some, uh, more tinto. After that we headed out to meet everyone at a Hawaiian themed bar with fish tanks in the walls. We were greeted with leis, flowers, cocktail umbrellas, and… ham sandwiches? Very Hawaiian. Six of us ordered a volcano drink which was an amazing 45€, but sadly it was the only overpriced smoking drink I got to experience as my dad text me to say he was at his hotel… and that means I’d get to stop spending my own money so obviously I was going to go meet him. And I guessed I missed him in the four months I hadn’t seen him or anything. Whatever.

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The next day I got up early to show Madrid to my dad. Unfortunately for us, it was the worst weather I’d experienced since I moved here in July. After breakfast we dipped in and out of a few stores in the centre, and I got to show my dad the Plaza Mayor Goat Thing, which is clearly worth the trip to Madrid on it’s own really. We didn’t really have a plan of action, so we strolled down Gran Via and I thought that maybe the market would be up in Plaza de España– it wasn’t– but a quick Google search of ‘touristy Madrid things’ did remind me that the Temple of Debod was within walking distance, so we headed out to see some Egyptian-y goodness. It’s something I’ve been meaning to visit since moving here but have never had the chance to, so it was great to finally experience it. We didn’t go inside the museum, but we did get to walk around the outside of the temple and see a great view of Madrid from the top of the hill. It was nice for my dad to see that Spain exists outside of Benidorm.

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We spent the rest of the day avoiding the rain and eating in the most Spanish restaurant I’ve been in since moving here… I wouldn’t recommend it. But the next day we got back on the tourist-y wagon. We started with breakfast, once again, and then braved the crowds of El Rastro, because you’ve gotta experience that at least one. And it happens on my doorstep, so I don’t really have that much of a choice about going if I want to leave my house on a Sunday. After a bit more exploring we got churros with Lauren and Greg, which then inspired us to check out the Palacio Real de Madrid. It was beautiful to see and I’m glad I got to go inside and learn a bit more about the history of the Spanish monarchy and how they lived… but I think I’ll always prefer the British monarchy and visiting run down medieval castles like I did for my birthday this year.

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Later that evening both Lauren and my dad left me, on the same plane no less, and I was back to a life of emptiness. LOLJK… my dad had brought me my Nintendo 3DS over and Pokémon Omega Ruby had just come out so I’ve had a pretty productive week. Six gym badges down, two to go. Nah, but really, I started my new teaching job on Tuesday so I’ve spent the week rubbing shoulders with the business professionals of Alonso Martínez. I’m definitely glad I bought this coat now, I feel like I can blend in with the soulless business corporate types I wait at crossings with quite easily and without judgement.

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12 days until I go back to the UK for Christmas and get to give my cat so many eskimo kisses that my nose starts to erode. Until then I’ll be teaching some business English, trying to revolutionise social media marketing, and watching all of the Game of Thrones DVDs my dad brought me. It’s been way too long, Jorah.

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Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

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