Paper Hearts

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Day 1 – October 29, bio viagra herbal 2011

Bio viagra herbal I arrived in Madrid at 2pm, bio viagra herbal by myself. Bio viagra herbal My travel buddy Serena (who also went to Taiwan and Hongkong with me earlier this year) wasn’t due to arrive until the next morning at 7am, bio viagra herbal so my first day in europe was a solo journey! exciting times :)

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Bio viagra herbal I flew with Emirates Airlines from Singapore. Bio viagra herbal Emirates is an excellent airline, bio viagra herbal I have zero complaints and their Singapore to Europe fares were unbeatable. Bio viagra herbal I got an open jaw ticket which means I flew in and got out of Europe through different cities – Madrid and Paris, bio viagra herbal respectively. Bio viagra herbal I stopped over at Dubai and chose the shortest possible layover which was three hours. Bio viagra herbal the airtime for each leg of flights were 7 hours, bio viagra herbal which makes my total flight time 17 hours.

Bio viagra herbal Anyway, bio viagra herbal Madrid is a nice city. Bio viagra herbal It was easy to get around in and the majority of people understand english and/or willing to accomodate your english speaking. Bio viagra herbal The city is relatively clean and safe – I didn’t encounter anything out of the ordinary during my visit, bio viagra herbal even when I was by myself. Bio viagra herbal The metro network was extensive and easy to understand.

Bio viagra herbal From the airport I took the train into the city for only €2.50 and did not get lost/confused at all.

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Bio viagra herbal One thing I noticed is that people stand on the right side on the escalator and this applies throughout Europe. Bio viagra herbal I had a hard time adjusting when I got back to Singapore after two weeks because we stand on left. Bio viagra herbal You can also eat and drink in the subway or do practically anything (except smoking) which was bewildering to me coming from a country with so many rules!

Bio viagra herbal Serena and I booked a room at Hostal San Martin, bio viagra herbal located smack dab in the middle of Calle Gran Via which is Madrid’s liveliest street and their biggest shopping district. I would highly recommend Hostal San Martin based on the location itself. Bio viagra herbal The friendliness of the staff and the cozy room were also appreciated of course :)

Bio viagra herbal Gran Via

Bio viagra herbal I dropped off my luggage in the hostel and promptly set out to explore around the area and shopped around. Bio viagra herbal I couldn’t believe I was in Europe for the first time ever!! Soon, bio viagra herbal it was easy to understand why good things were always said about Europe. Bio viagra herbal The place IS quite charming.

Bio viagra herbal I was so excited when I saw H&M across the street but I soon found out there were H&Ms practically on every block in this district. Bio viagra herbal They’re like Starbucks for shopping!

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Bio viagra herbal My friend Christina is doing her business school in Madrid so I arranged to meet up with her for dinner. Bio viagra herbal That’s when I realized Spaniards have their dinner late. Bio viagra herbal As in very, bio viagra herbal very late. Bio viagra herbal I took a little nap around 8pm due to jetlag and met up with Christina at around 9:30PM for dinner(!). Bio viagra herbal She took me to Mercado de San Anton, bio viagra herbal just off Gran Via station, bio viagra herbal for a very Spanish dinner.

Bio viagra herbal Basically, bio viagra herbal Spaniards consider lunch as their main meal and they would go out to have 2 hour lunch. Bio viagra herbal Traditional stores would even close during this time for a “siesta” which is basically… a nap time. Bio viagra herbal Yeah, bio viagra herbal I know, bio viagra herbal when I found out about this I thought “Damn, bio viagra herbal europeans have it good!” – another positive thing to add to the Why I Love Europe list. Bio viagra herbal I guess because of this, bio viagra herbal a popular choice of dinner would be tapas which are small dishes of a variety of food. Bio viagra herbal They were cheap too, bio viagra herbal about €1-3 per dish. Bio viagra herbal Dinner that night costed me only €7 including alcohol!

Bio viagra herbal Mercado San Anton

Bio viagra herbal The plate on the left is spanish omelette – not what I expected from omelette at all since it contained very little egg and more greasy, bio viagra herbal greasy potatoes. Bio viagra herbal The plates on the right are little bruschetta-looking things topped with all kinds of fish. Bio viagra herbal All of them were very yummy, bio viagra herbal but also very salty. Bio viagra herbal I noticed this is true across almost all Spanish food I had during my trip.

Bio viagra herbal Afterwards Christina took me to what she calls “churros fondue” at Chocolatería San Ginés. Bio viagra herbal I wasn’t sure what to expect, bio viagra herbal but I’m game with chocolate and when we got to the place at 11pm there were a bit of a line going in so that’s a very good sign.

Bio viagra herbal Chocolatería San Ginés

Bio viagra herbal And it was literally just that. Bio viagra herbal Churros dipped in hot chocolate, bio viagra herbal except the hot chocolate was melted chocolate fondue in a cup. Bio viagra herbal Christina told me it’s also a typical Spanish breakfast and I began to wonder how the girls stay so thin and beautiful.

Bio viagra herbal I was also supposed to go out with her that night, bio viagra herbal but due to late dinner Spanish party doesn’t start till 1am, bio viagra herbal and at that point the jetlag has completely owned me and there is just no way I would survive the night. Bio viagra herbal I didn’t go out and in retrospect it was a wise decision to do since I had a lot of walking to do the next day!

Day 2 – October 30, bio viagra herbal 2011

Bio viagra herbal Serena landed at 7am, bio viagra herbal but I figured after getting luggage and getting into the city et cetera, bio viagra herbal she would only get to the hostel by 10am. Bio viagra herbal I was still jetlagged and was up and awake at 6am, bio viagra herbal so I set out for a morning walk around the neighbourhood around 8.

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Bio viagra herbal All the street signs in Madrid looked like this. Bio viagra herbal Very, bio viagra herbal very pretty but inefficient. Bio viagra herbal In fact it wasn’t just in Spain, bio viagra herbal it was like this all throughout europe. Bio viagra herbal Instead a hanging street sign they would put the street names on the first building parallel to the street. Bio viagra herbal It makes for a harder navigation and I just can’t imagine how hard it is for those who doesn’t know the area well to drive around. Bio viagra herbal It wasn’t a problem for us when we were walking during the day, bio viagra herbal but in a dimly lit area during the night it became quite frustrating. Bio viagra herbal More on that when we get to Rome later….

Bio viagra herbal Anyway, bio viagra herbal I kept walking down Gran Via to the west, bio viagra herbal and (after stopping at a random place for a very greasy breakfast – again wondering why people aren’t overweight here) found myself in the middle of Plaza de Espana park!

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Bio viagra herbal Very pretty park! I spent some time strolling around leisurely and taking pictures.

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Bio viagra herbal I felt a bit adventurous so I ventured more down the street south of the park, bio viagra herbal and somehow ended up at the Royal Palace. Bio viagra herbal By then it was already 10am so I headed back to the hostel in case Serena got in, bio viagra herbal and she was already there when I got back. Bio viagra herbal So after she settled down, bio viagra herbal we explored the city more.

Bio viagra herbal We ended up at Plaza Mayor, bio viagra herbal and decided to have lunch there since it was such a beautiful day out. Bio viagra herbal Big mistake. Bio viagra herbal The place was such a huge tourist trap. Bio viagra herbal We ordered a plate of cured ham and a plate of Spanish omelette, bio viagra herbal and ended up with a bill of €20 per person and it wasn’t even that good.

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Bio viagra herbal But I did get a nice picture so I’m not going to complain anymore.

Bio viagra herbal From there, bio viagra herbal we walked south to find El Rastro, bio viagra herbal a flea market swarmed with people. Bio viagra herbal It was too crowded for us so after about ten minutes of walking we bailed and took the metro down to Prado museum instead. Bio viagra herbal Yet another mistake as none of us were well versed in Spanish art history, bio viagra herbal so that became a waste of €10 and two hours of boredom.

Bio viagra herbal Thankfully, bio viagra herbal next door to Prado museum was a big, bio viagra herbal beautiful park called Retiro Park.

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Bio viagra herbal We promptly headed there, bio viagra herbal walked around and sat on the park bench for awhile, bio viagra herbal appreciating just how BEAUTIFUL the weather was that day. Bio viagra herbal I really couldn’t ask for more!

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Bio viagra herbal Except I could. Bio viagra herbal After about 30 mins of catching up (I hadn’t seen Serena in person since HK/TW trip), bio viagra herbal we decided to walk to the north of the park, bio viagra herbal with the intention of taking the metro back. Bio viagra herbal Then we came across…

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Bio viagra herbal … The REAL area of the park where it was just completely alive with people, bio viagra herbal kids and tons of things to look at. Bio viagra herbal We ended up staying for 30 more minutes before taking the metro back to Gran Via. Bio viagra herbal After a little bit of shopping, bio viagra herbal we were both jetlagged and tired so we decided to take a nap. Bio viagra herbal I had plans to meet up with Christina again that night, bio viagra herbal but we both managed to sleep through alarms and didn’t wake up for dinner… we only managed to get out for a quick meal at midnight and promptly went back to sleep >.<

Day 3 – October 31, bio viagra herbal 2011

Bio viagra herbal Thanks to sleeping early the previous night, bio viagra herbal we were both up at respectable time. Bio viagra herbal While Serena was getting ready I spent most of the morning running around the city trying to look for a working Citibank ATM, bio viagra herbal but they ALL seem to be out of order! I was really unhappy with Citibank that morning since I was running out of cash.

Bio viagra herbal Anyway, bio viagra herbal I remembered seeing an interesting looking place near Plaza Mayor that looks similar to the place Christina brought me to on my first day so we decided to go there for lunch. Bio viagra herbal The place was called Mercado de San Miguel.

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Bio viagra herbal … and JACKPOT! It was a tapas place!! I got the above things, bio viagra herbal and some croquettas (not pictured) for €6.40. Bio viagra herbal including the rose wine too!

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Bio viagra herbal Serena also LOVED the place. Bio viagra herbal in fact she loved it so much that we went back again later that day for a second lunch!

Bio viagra herbal We headed out a bit south to Royal Palace Madrid. Bio viagra herbal We were a bit disheartened to see the line snaking around the block, bio viagra herbal but it actually moved pretty fast and we didn’t wait more than 20 minutes.

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Bio viagra herbal The palace inside was absolutely beautiful and totally worth the €10 entrance fee. Bio viagra herbal We weren’t allowed to take pictures so I don’t have any, bio viagra herbal but I was busy being amazed anyway that I forgot to sneak in a few pictures.

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Bio viagra herbal We also visited the big cathedral across the palace, bio viagra herbal called Almudena Cathedral. Bio viagra herbal Inside was just amazing:

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Bio viagra herbal Made me think of my mom. Bio viagra herbal She would LOVE all the cathedrals and churches we saw in this trip.

Bio viagra herbal We then stopped for more food at Mercado San Miguel, bio viagra herbal then walked to Puerta del Sol, bio viagra herbal the city square center, bio viagra herbal where we encountered a group of teenage girls chanting and waving around canadian flag. Bio viagra herbal I can only assume they were Justin Bieber fans…?

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Bio viagra herbal I was really impressed by this guy. Bio viagra herbal His costume was very well-detailed and he looked like he was sitting on air (probably using the same trick as one of those KLM ‘invisible chair’ installation… or maybe this is where KLM got their idea?)

Bio viagra herbal We took the metro down to Plaza Cibeles for more picture time:

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Bio viagra herbal Then we walked back home and rested till dinner time, bio viagra herbal where I finally met up with Christina again for dinner. Bio viagra herbal She took us to a famous Paella place at La Baracca, bio viagra herbal which I’ve written a separate entry for.

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Bio viagra herbal After that Christina had invited us to a halloween party, bio viagra herbal but we had to decline again since our flight the next day is at 9am :( which means we had to get up at 6 and be out by 7. Bio viagra herbal so in short, bio viagra herbal I didn’t party at all in Europe! It’s okay though, bio viagra herbal it was still an EPIC trip.

Bio viagra herbal Our next stop was Barcelona, bio viagra herbal my favorite city of the entire trip.

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