I had big plans for Madrid. I was going to be here for a week, which would allow me to catch up on work, explore lots of the city, and find out all the cheap things to do. This post was going to be a great primer for traveling to Madrid. Then I got sick. A week in Valencia and Barcelona left me with a bit of a cold. My first two days in Madrid were spent sleeping. Most of yesterday was spent doing the same. My trip in Madrid will be a short, neutered, highlighted version, rather than the in-depth look I had wanted.
On Twitter, I was chastised by a few people for giving into my cold and not seeing the city. As a traveler, what do you do when you get sick? Do you give in, rest, sleep, and say “maybe next time,” or do you suck it up and go out even if it means you’ll be sick longer? I don’t think either one is right or wrong. If you have a limited time in a place that you might not get back to, then sucking it up may be worth a few extra days of illness back home. If you might get back to it again or have longer time, I’d sleep in and get better. You’ll enjoy the small time you have left in the city much more. If you’re traveling for a while, do you really want to be sick for weeks on end? There’s really no right answer here.
Everyone deals with illness differently. I’m a big baby about it. I don’t get sick often, so when I do, I just like to hide away until it’s over. Other people learn to function while being sick. I don’t. I like to sleep. Plus, I have as long as I want. I’ll be traveling for months, and I have no desire to be drinking Guinness, experiencing French wine in Bordeaux, or doing Paris’ nightlife with a cold. I don’t regret sleeping most of my Madrid trip away. You have to do what you have to. On the road, there’s no right or wrong way—there’s only your experience.
That’s why today I spent most of the day resting. It’s my last day here. Tomorrow I leave for Dublin before heading to Bordeaux. I’d like to be well rested for both destinations because once I join my friends again, I won’t have the luxury of being able to sleep for days.
So did I see anything of Madrid? A little. I walked around for a few hours yesterday and today. Madrid is a much nicer city than Barcelona. The streets are wider, there’s less graffiti, the buildings are more typically Spanish, and the architecture is more historic. Additionally, the vibe is a lot calmer than Barcelona.
But that’s about all I can say about Madrid. I didn’t get to any good restaurants, I didn’t visit one bar. I barely explored anything. I wanted to write all about the ways to save money in Madrid, but all I can tell you is that the Prado Museum is free from 6–7.30pm, and you’ll save three euros if you buy a 10-trip metro pass. Maria from I Wanna Go There did take me to a nice tapas place yesterday near the history museum (which is closed for renovations).
I wish I could report more on Madrid. It seems like a very interesting city with a lot to do. Sadly, the city took a back seat to my cold. But at least now, I’m ready to explore Dublin and, hopefully, give you a much more informative and interesting article to read. But if I can’t give you an interesting article to read, I can at least show you what Spider-Man is up to these days:
I think he really let himself go.