Last week, we didn’t give you any news from us…and here’s why! If you’ve read the title, you have spoiled the surprise: we’ve all been in Madrid for the week-end, to celebrate (a little bit early) Foug’s and Quittouff’s 30th birthdays. There were 6 of us when we arrived at the airport: Foug, Quittouff, Gwen, Basile (a friend of Foug’s), Steve (a common friend of Lightmare boys) and myself. But by a terrible stroke of bad luck, Steve got seized by an EasyJet’s employee and couldn’t come with us (remember: DO keep your ID up-to-date!). We were sadness.
Out of (sheer) solidarity, we promised ourselves we would drink his share of booze, which he would never be able to guzzle with us. You don’t let down a brother in arms.
At this point of the trip, Foug and Quittouff were still unaware of were they were going. Gwen had masterfully organized the whole thing and the destination was kept secret until we were sitting in the plane!
So we arrived in Madrid, and headed to the youth hostel, the indie developer’s palace! Ours was the Cat’s Hotel, which we fondly recommend. It’s right in the heart of the city, it’s cheap, open at any hour (day and night), and you can easily get to any interesting place in Madrid then come back to sleep (or not), without ever having to take the subway.
Even though the following days were more or less blurry at times, we don’t regret any second of this experience.
We’ve learned some basic survival rules the hard way:
- 1/ Don’t buy food: it’s useless!
To put it simply, for each drink you buy, you get a plate of tapas, with a special mention to El Tigre, the one bar you should go to! (6 euros for one 0.25 gallon mojito, and the obligation to meet new people – the crowd density was baffling!). You must play it the munchkin way: order each drink separately. This way, each drink you order yields a plate (whereas a 5-drink order only yields 3).
- 2/ Forget your “fat allergies”!
Even the cooking oil seemed to be deep-fried.
- 3/ Sleeping: why would you do that?
Sleeping is a very bad habit you should quit if you’re there only for one week-end; it’s the shortest and safest route to missing everything. Pubs close at 3, nightclub-pub at 6 (going there before 1 is pretty much useless), and the real nightclubs only come to life around 2. AM. All this is AM of course.
- 4/ Remember you Spanish lessons
All the people we met were incredibly easygoing and open. From the random shopkeeper to the random person you randomly cross in the street, everyone will cheerfully talk to you, help you, give you useful tips about the city. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll miss a great deal of cool random encounters. This is all good stuff!
Surprisingly, we took some time to hang around, see some sunlight, and even visit the Museo del Prado (which we strongly recommend). We wanted to make the most of this city and its marvels within the few days we could spend there.
Go to Madrid, it’s great!
PS: Thanks a lot to all the people who helped us making this birthday reality :)