Day 0 was mostly spent flying across the East Coast and Newfoundland and the North Atlantic...
The Great Circle Route from DFW to MAD.
...and since we were flying east by the time we were boots on the ground in Madrid it was lunchtime there but three in the morning back in Southern State. Southern Man just cannot sleep on an airplane so Day 0 kind of just kind of segued into Day 1.
At Madrid-Barajas Airport. Which is freaking huge.
After an hour of riding the city light rail and walking and walking and more walking (Southern Man may have overpacked) we finally arrived at the Mad4You Hostel, which will be home for the next couple of nights. But not yet - the rooms were not ready and so our trip coordinator (Christian) took us on a walking tour of downtown Madrid (more walking!) without fully understanding that we'd gone fifteen hours on nothing but airline food and cat naps.
Our first stop was Puerta del Sol Plaza in the heart of Madrid.
Yes, that man is sitting on a pole. And, yes, that other man is holding the pole up with one hand.
Southern Man stands at a plaque in the Plaza that marks the exact geographical center of Spain.
And over the next hour or so we trekked through Central Madrid and saw many more plazas and many more sights (lots of "living statues" and none of Southern Man's photos of them came out...
A living statue. Photo by Danni.
Another living statue. Photo by Danni.
Danni with Living statue. Photo by someone with Danni's iPhone.
...but Danni got several)
and Southern Man found much to his disgust that his debit card wouldn't work even though he'd informed the bank about the trip last week and after more walking we eventually rebelled and found a nice sit-down restaurant and Southern Man borrowed 20€ and we settled down for a lovely light meal and a nice long rest.
And then we were finally back at the hostel and Southern Man got everyone settled into the room (a four-bunk room, with four guys) and then he got about the main business of the day, which was geocaching, and at which time Southern Man found much to his disgust that the cell phone (a) wouldn't get service even though the carrier promised him that his plan was good in Europe and (b) that the cell phone simply wouldn't lock on to the GPS satellites and thus his caching apps were useless. But after viewing the terrain on the Surface and making use of pre-printed paper maps Southern Man eventually (it took two trips, with the first one coming up entirely empty) found two of the three caches on his list for the evening.
Southern Man's first find in Spain was shared by Baby Roswell, a "travel bug" on leave from the Gator Mothership.
This exceptionally challenging cache is a favorite in Madrid.
Between the two caching trips was dinner and desert..
Hey, Christian, where's the food?
Class Is In Session.
What remained of our light dinner and a lovely chocolate cake for desert.
And that ends what amounts to a thirty-six-hour day so Southern Man hit the showers and updated the blog and went to bed. Tomorrow we explore Madrid!