Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Day 2: Art and Jet Lag

Day 2: Art and Jet Lag
Originally uploaded by chitarita
Behold! The view from my hostel window!

I discovered that the hostel has free Wifi- woot! Sadly, this
discovery came after my day's treks where I took pictures on my
regular camera, not my cell phone. I'll take more on my phone
tomorrow and send in a bunch.


The flights here really couldn't have been easier. Both were smooth
and both arrived early. I liked the schedule I found - going to JFK
(3.5 hours), then to Madrid (6.5 hours). I think that broke up well
and made the lengths non-interminable. I had the exit row on the
second flight, and the other seat in the row became empty. The
armrest wouldn't budge, but I could at least spread out my stuff. And
spill my Sprite all over myself and my immigration papers.

I read two books and didn't sleep very much. My suitcase arrived with
me, and together we hopped on the metro and found the hostel. It was
10am (2am according to my body), so I dropped off my bag at the hostel
and headed back out to enjoy Madeid/stay awake.

The plan to get over jet lag, according to Rick Steves, is to stay up
when you arrive until a normal bedtime, then sleep all night and wake
up on local schedule. It makes for a brutal first day, but gets you
over it faster.

I headed for the Museo Thyssen, which I enjoyed. They have a nice
collection, and I really liked the way the floor plan makes for a
smooth walk-through. Sure, my vision started to get blurry around the
edges as sleep deprivation set in, but it was still enjoyable. I
especially liked watching all of the school group tours. Apparently,
they pack in the field trips at the end of the school year here, too.
They had animated guides, too. I couldn't take any pictures in the
museum, but I sketched one of the guides and I'll stick a photo of
that on next.

I walked down Calle del Prado debating whether to give in and go sleep
or visit another museum (it was about 13:00 by then). When I ran into
a Museo de Jamon y Queso, I decided lunch was next. I got a "picnic"
- a ham sandwich, a bottle of water, and an orange for 2€, which I
ate sitting outside the botanical gardens across the street (which
Emily and I visited 9 years ago this month!).

Feeling a little revived, I walked to the Museo Reigna Sofia. I was
really tired by then, so I walked through most of it in an intolerant
blur, but I did see Guernica (the reason I went to that museum), and
it was stunning in person, as most great art is.

3:00 and back to the hostel. I checked in and took a 2 hour nap.
I've told myself I'm not allowed to sleep again until at least 8:00,
so I'm trying to figure out what to do in the meantime. I mean, sure,
Spain is at my feet; but I'm hitting that grumpy phase of exhaustion
where nothing sounds good.

Except maybe some Spanish hot chocolate.

Typing this entry via iPhone has taken up a nice chunck of time,
actually. 1.5 hours until bedtime!

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