Europe Trip Journal – Entry 12: Positive Vibes and Negative Results

Yesterday was a slower day. I stayed in bed until 13:00 or so and recovered some well needed sleep. After that I went out to get some breakfast. At a place called Black Panther I got a really nice burger/sandwich made from a buttery smooth croissant topped with salad, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mozzarella and green pesto. As a drink I got a cold brew latte. This was super tasty!

Afterwards I decided that it was time for some practical mathematics, so I performed a random walk through the city ;P Madrid is surprisingly three dimensional. While there are large flat areas, just behind the next wall there could be slope downwards into a valley. I even stumbled across a large arched bridge.

A few minutes later I walked down a street that could just as well be located in New York. Its crazy how diverse the city is. At a large roundabout was an entrance to a park. Here people were relaxing in the sun, playing tennis or volleball and right in the middle of the park was a water basin on which there were many rowboats.

Right beneath the large statue in the back, there was a saxophonist playing modern pop music hits. What had surprised me on my tour so far was how many street musicians were faking their performance. Previously I had seen a man playing the violin, while the instrument coming out from his loudspeaker was definitely a cello. There had been guitarists which whose finger movements didn’t match up the music they were playing and so on. But this saxophonist was real and it sounded really nice.

Only a few hours later I was back at the hostel. Supposedly there was a community area in the basement, so I took the stairs down. At a wall I discovered a poster informing about a pub crawl. Since I really had enjoyed the one in Barcelona and since I hadn’t yet get to know any people I figured it’d be a good idea to join. It was still some time until the evening, so I went to the local supermarket to get a snack.

I also stopped at the pharmacy to buy a Covid test. I had felt a bit sick lately, so I took the test just to make sure. It would suck big time to get sick during the trip. Contrary to Germany, where there are heavily advertised test centers everywhere, I hadn’t seen any such facilities in France or Spain at all yet. On the internet I had read that you could do tests in private laboratories, but for foreigners they would charge around 100€ for that. You could also get a prescribed test payed for by health insurance after consulting a doctor, but that seemed like too much of a hassle to me, so the better option was an auto test. Luckily it was negative, so I was relieved and there was nothing standing in the way of the pub crawl.

At 21:30 the organizers arrived and invited everyone to a game of beer pong. Later we went to the first bar, which was actually another hostel. There I met some nice people. There was J., a friendly guy from Denmark, G., a huge dude from Paris, as well as two Canadian siblings A. and M. It was really nice meeting those people and I had some great conversations.

They say that Madrid is the city with the longest nights, but we only made it to some time after 3:00. After the tour, we got some fast food and then we parted ways. Unfortunately we haven’t exchanged contact information, so its unlikely to meet the folks again. Well, there will be another pub crawl another time for sure 🙂

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