Madrid, Spain was one of the most memorable experiences that I have had so far.  It was my first time out of the country and I didn’t want to miss out on anything.  The other girls had the same mindset and we knew that with four days in Spain we would have to do our best to see all that we could!  

So it all started when we got there, we met our translators (Rocio and Laura) and after we dropped off our luggage we met back on the main floor of the hotel and had an amazing breakfast! We told our translators that we wanted to see the main attractions that the city had to offer so we set off to the Plaza Mayor.  

We walked down the streets of the city and all of the buildings were so beautiful and intricate in design.  It felt like a super clean New York with a lot of historical buildings.  Since there were shops along the way to the Plaza Mayor, well you know we stopped to shop!  

Once we arrived at the Plaza Mayor, we were just in awe to be in a place that we had only learned about from school or on the travel channel.  But our outing was cut short when we were called to do a quick performance at the Adidas store, so we ran back to the hotel and got ready as quickly as we could.  After our performance, we decided to get ourselves ready for dinner with some of the event staff and try to get the best experience of dinner in Madrid!  

Dinner was definitely different but delicious – we still crave the steaks and tapas to this day! We expected our return to the hotel to be pretty standard like the U.S (you know everyone sleeping in their rooms and not too many guests walking around) But the nightlife out there runs late and while we were walking to the elevator we heard loud music coming from a ball room on the main floor.  We decided to see what was going on and to our surprise the room was filled with older couples dressed up and dancing as though they were on “Dancing with the stars.”  It was mouth-dropping how great these couples were dancing!  

The next morning Anna (my Madrid rommie) and I woke up at the crack of dawn to meet a couple of the other early-rising girls for breakfast and then we wanted to venture into the city.  We started to walk through the nearby streets with the shops and pick up a couple souvenirs but we didn’t get to the places that had the good shops we had been looking for since we had to be ready to go to the event by a certain time.  So Anna and I made plans to get up earlier the next morning and try to go on a search for good souvenir shops! 

The rest of our day was great because we had the chance to interact with the fans who were so humble and sweet.  Once we returned from the event, we decided to walk a few blocks to the Corte Ingles (the mall).  As we were walking, we saw people performing little tricks and skits in the cross walk as people driving were waiting at the red lights.  I thought this was so neat because usually in the U.S. people will hold signs or wash windows for a little help with getting some extra change.  But these people took their different skills and would create a little show to get their tips.  We stopped to see one man’s magic trick and gave him some euros.  

When we got to the mall, Amanda and I tried out our Spanish skills and asked for help finding a good place to eat.  We found a little place inside of a synthetic flower shop that was like a Denny’s (very odd we know, haha) and to our surprise we ended up eating some of the most delicious cheesecake there.  But the mall was so different.  It was not like a gallery of shops – instead it was like a huge Macy’s but with big name brands or designer stores inside.  There were six or seven floors to the mall and we browsed for a while then decided to leave because when the mall closed – it CLOSED. The employees were turning off the lights and rushing out the doors the second it hit 9pm!  

When we got back to the hotel we got ready for a night out in Madrid’s club scene – we knew it was different from the U.S. so we wanted to see what it was about.  It was definitely different!  The people in Madrid don’t go out until about 1am and the clubs don’t close until about 7am so we were already in shock at how everyone was out so late.  Needless to say, we ended up leaving about an hour or two after arriving because we knew we couldn’t keep up if we tried to stay the whole time.  

The next morning, Anna and I kept to our plan and woke up super early. Jenni, Amanda, and Octavia met us for breakfast and we decided to go on an adventure into the city.  We knew it was our last day so we wanted to utilize our time as best as we could. I got a map from the front desk and found out where the bus stops were and we took the bus downtown nearby the Plaza Mayor to the area with the most souvenir shops.  

After we shopped we decided to be bold and take a stab at riding the Metro (aka subway).  Keep in mind that almost everyone we spoke to only spoke Spanish (yikes!).  So I spoke to the woman at the ticket counter, got us tickets, and we rode our way from subway to subway back to the hotel.  Later that day, Alex and Clement took us to tour Real Madrid during our break from performing and that was unreal!  I know one of the other girls has all of the details for you guys.  We finished the event around 5pm and went right back to the little cluster of shops near the Plaza Mayor because we wanted to make sure Taryn and Karlyn could get their souvenirs too.  Plus I wanted to get some ice cream before we left!  Walking through the streets of that area in the night was so beautiful because the lights gave the city a glow and we were just happy to be there.  

At this point we felt like professional tourists of the Metro and we took the Metro back to the hotel.  Taryn and Karlyn were pretty surprised that the other five of us had managed to find our way earlier that morning.  We went back to the hotel, got a good night’s rest and reluctantly packed our bags.  I still can’t believe how much we accomplished in so little time.  I am so happy that we took our little outings and adventures because it allowed us to really get the most that we could out of our time in Madrid.  It is something I will never forget!