Day One of Madrid
Travel, travel and more adventures awaiting, so I don't know how to start this post. I guess, I'll start by talking about Madrid and the first impressions of the city.
Arriving into Madrid at 7:00am in the morning flying via Air Canada as I said in the previous post. It took 40 minutes to get all our luggage from the carousel, management for the morning was quite poor - however, I'm not sure if Madrid Barajas Airport is like this entirely all the time. We arrived in Terminal 4 that is. "We" as in my father and I. Up until a week ago, this trip that I planned for was going to be a solo trip, to be more independent. As this trip has not gone as planned, or what I hoped for - in terms of not leaning on someone else, it was nice to have someone else to speak to as not many people spoke fluent English. My Spanish is very limited anyways. Purchasing an English to Spanish Phrasebook was a good choice as it was awesome to try to speak Spanish and indulge yourself in a culture that isn't yours. Instead of going to somebody else's country and not trying to communicate or just use an English menu all the time -it's also respecting their culture.
Besides waiting for the luggage for quite some time - 45 minutes, transportation out of the city was quite swift and easy. It took 10 minutes to figure out our route - of course with some prior knowledge, courtesy of google maps.
Tips on riding the metro:
1. If you arrive via Madrid Barajas Airport at least for Airport T1, the information centre is not where you purchase your tickets. Everyone lines up thinking, you can purchase tickets to ride the metro but the signage on the window of the office is false. As the sign on the window is misleading. There is a pair of elevators and escalators that you lead you down to the metro station.
2. Even with, four pieces of suitcases, it's easily accessible as there were elevators in each of the stations that we had access to from the airport to our hotel. In comparison, to Paris, France, the system was so much more modern in Madrid.
3. To enter the older trains you have to pull the lever up in order to open the doors. Whereas the newer ones, you have to press the buttons.
4. The metro runs from 6:00am to 1:30am (roughly).
5. The price for a single trip is simply very cheap, and roughly around 1.40 - 1.80 euros, to get out of the airport to the city it is roughly 5.00 euros.
6. For touristic purposes, the city is easily accessible via metro. Don't forget to grab a metro map.
Other remarks/observations in Madrid
An observation for the population, they're not really friendly or maybe to strangers - that's maybe just how they live.
As an Asian going to Europe, I'm being stared at like I'm an alien. Which was something I wasn't used to since I haven't been to Europe for over five years, and it felt weird coming from a multicultural city of Toronto, that never happens.
The metro as its convenient from the airport to get into the main city but even travelling through the city. Keep in mind I went in October so it's also very warm. There's not much air conditioning in the actually metro car is that how you call it? We call it in Toronto, as subway car.
There's no actual luggage space to put your luggage at in the Subway hoping you don't arrive at a time of rush hour, people going to work or going home.
Check your hotel/hostel/Airbnb if they from the airport if that's the transportation mode you're coming from. Double check if you elevators at the closest metro station to you.
I lived near Villa de Vallecas and that's the suburbs of Madrid, people dress casually - not as fashionable as people in the city centre in Sol, Madrid.
Uber runs in Madrid, but not Uber eats (sadly, and they need to expand to more cities).
Aeropuerto T1, T2, T3 is all one metro stop whereas, T4 has it's own stop and is at the end of the line.
The economy is not very swell in Spain, it is beneficial to travellers not from Spain.