Madrid….wow. The city has so much charm and character with the old architecture mixed in with modern trends. I think that the buildings caught my attention the most; I was able to appreciate them on day one when I was super jet-lagged and not able to pay attention to much else. So many of them had terraces, including Hostel Acapulco where we stayed, and I loved going out and looking at the area around us.
I felt like Madrid was pretty similar to New York City in terms of traffic, business, street vendors and performers, and tourist attractions, but I just found it to be more charismatic… probably because of the architecture. My sister claims that cities are all the same just with different attractions, and I agree to some extent, but I also see a lot of differences. In New York I got to see Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and the Top of the Rock.. In London we went to Buckingham Palace and saw the guards with the funny hats and took pictures in telephone booths. In Madrid we saw the Crystal Palace and went to watch Carmen, the flamenco dancing. So while the general traffic and craziness of a city may not vary too much, each city has it’s own trademarks and certain charms.
I did love Madrid and the Spanish flair was something I’ve never felt before. English is the main language in NYC and London and the traditions in those cities were relatively similar to what I’m used to but Spain is a completely different world. Obviously the language is different but I’ve also never experienced the general attitude and cultural history. I love it-I get to speak Spanish and experience a completely new adventure.