While I gave myself an entire eight days in Madrid, I still did not get to see/do everything I wanted. Some things I did not get to do because the facility was closed–like visiting the Palacio de Cristal and renting a paddle-boat at Parque del Buen Retiro. The park was closed during my time in Madrid due to trees needing upkeep after one fell and killed a person less than a month before my arrival. I also had a few fit sessions planned at the park (community classes) that, obviously, were cancelled.
I missed the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium because of lack of energy. While in Madrid, I caught a pretty nasty cold and it left me in bed for two whole days! The rest of the trip, I had late starts to my mornings (in hopes to “rack up” energy) which meant less time.
I missed Barcelona for different reasons, one being time and the other money. When you’ve already booked your accommodations for the entire trip it’s not as easy to make last-minute changes to the itinerary. It also took about 5-6 hours to travel to and from Barcelona… for some reason, this time around the motivation to get on a train and go was not there. But that’s okay–there’s always next time!
The last set of “misses” is perhaps the biggest one: day trips to Toledo, Avila, Segovia and Salamanca. Day trips were squeezed out of the itinerary for the same reasons as Barcelona, more or less. I found myself having to pick between going out for tapas and going to bed early to be in a bus or train the next morning–drinks and tapas won 9 out of 10 times. Disclaimer: I did get to see Salamanca at night; I had to return to Madrid early in the morning so I missed my tour (but that’s another story).
Long story short–by the looks of this post, I already have a second trip for Spain and don’t even need to plan an itinerary! This first trip to Madrid was very much about relaxing instead of attacking a “must-see” list–and I enjoyed it that way. I think my body also needed the rest, especially after catching a cold–a most definitely not fun part of my trip.