Hello there! I went to Madrid for the first time in February because I went to Congreso Internacional de Turismo Cultural, in Cordoba. In order to get to Cordoba I took a plane to Madrid and arrived there in the morning. In the afternoon I had a train to Cordoba, which meant that I had some time to see the city. I took a bus from the airport to Estación de Atocha, where I had to get the train. I found days later that the bus ticket is the doble of the train ticket to the airport. Even though, the bus allows you to see some interesting points of the city, like the Cybele and Poseidon‘s statues.
I took some pictures inside the Atocha train station. It has a place with a garden and turtles and fish in a lake where once exploded a bomb in a terrorist attack. To me, that’s a beautiful way of winning over terrorism, by showing hope and by showing that life doesn’t end or stop after one attack. I know it’s easy to speak, but the main focus of terrorism is to create fear in everyone and we can choose to fear them or to keep our lives.
I fulfilled one of my life goals by going to Museo del Prado. I couldn’t see the entire museum, which made me a bit sad but I had walked 4 hours inside the museum, I was tired. And this created me a new life goal: to go back and see what I couldn’t. I found a nice coincidence that the temporary exhibition was about Mateo, a man who worked in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Even going to another part of Spain, I still have Santiago with me. I thought it was a lucky signal that the presentation would go well.
Like I said before, I travelled alone. Nevertheless, I wasn’t that scared and in Madrid I felt very secure. There were cops in the street with huge guns and to me that was a signal that the city is secured. The only weird situtation that happened to me was inside the Museo, surprisingly. I saw a guy speaking in English asking for information and no one was helping him. I decided to help him, because I like to help people and I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen. He was asking for directions to a museum. I didn’t know. He asked me why no one wanted to help him and I said that people were saying in Portuguese and Spanish that they didn’t speak English. After that, I wanted to leave but he asked my name and said his. Okay, no problem. But after that, he asked if I was alone and I said yes (horrible mistake). He then wanted to know why I was travelling alone and I said (trying to redeem myself) that I was going to Cordoba to a tourism congress (another mistake). He then asked me more about my job and my interest for tourism and I realized he was smelling like red wine, so he might have been a bit drunk. I said that I want to work on tourism but I wokr in other thing for now. He asked me if I wanted to spend the day with him and I said no. He asked why, and I said because I don’t want to. He asked why I spoke English and other people don’t and I said that was because my interest in tourism (not true, because I speak English since I learnt from a very young age). He then spoke about his job and that he was from London but lived in Belgium but didn’t speak French. And I said: “And you were expecting that someone spoke English here while you don’t even try to learn French in Belgium?”. He shut up and I took advantage and said that I had to go and I didn’t let him say goodbye to me. He tried to take a business card to give to me and I left. I went for my backpack and I waited some minutes to leave the museum (there’s only one way out). He was out there when I left, probably looking for me, but I went to the right without him seeing me and I stoped near two policemen. I could see him but he didn’t see me. He left after a while and some minutes after I went on the opposite direction. It was scary, but it was a lesson.