madrid, day one

I’m back from Europe and, like always, it was a bittersweet return. I had an absolute blast on this trip, and I’m very pleased with the frames that I made. I hope you’ll bear with me, because there are a lot, so I’ll post them in chronological installments.

First is Madrid, Day One:

Gorgeous sunrise en route to Madrid

We arrived very early, so there were very few people in the airport and in the city in general. The majority of the ones we saw were sleeping.

These two were actually awake, just resting.

On our way to the Metro

Sleepy commuter

The early-morning light in Madrid was gorgeous. This was the café right next door to our hostel.

A dog barking at his owner through the café doors

After a long journey and not much sleep, I enjoyed a much-needed café con leche.

Bus stop near our hostel

After gaining some energy, we walked over to Retiro Park, which is a welcome sanctuary in the middle of a very busy city.

These bubble wands were very popular in high-tourist-traffic areas.

These guys made me laugh, as they were in the exact same positions.

These guys found us sitting on a bench in the middle of the park and asked us if they could talk to us. They were Mormon missionaries from Italy. Hunter and I don’t practice any kind of religion, but they were so nice that we let them read us a passage from the Book of Mormon.

Then they insisted that we have a copy and left us with this one. I feel badly that we found it rather humorous, since they were very sincere and kind. But… we still ended up leaving it in the hostel.

Every person sitting on the benches was so relaxed.

There seems to be a lot of PDA in this city.

The boatman sending two more people off.

We rode the Metro a lot while we were there. Their transit system is astronomically more efficient than Philadelphia’s.

These canopies were essential to keeping this sun-scorched street not so oppressively hot.

This is probably my favorite shot of the trip. We passed this old theatre multiple times in three days, and every other time the stairs were packed with people. This time, I got really lucky and there was no one else around but this shy little girl. I love the eye contact.

So like I said about those bubble wands… This one was in the Plaza Mayor, perhaps the biggest tourist gathering area in Madrid.

This is Shaha, a bartender in a bar we entered during siesta. Needless to say, it was empty besides us. We talked to him for a while and he told us a lot about the city.

Siesta in the street

All of these shots were taken with a Canon 5D and either a 50mm f/1.4 or a 20mm f/2.8 lens (most were taken with the 50mm). I also shot four rolls of film, but for the first time on a big trip, most of what I shot was digital. I have yet to get my film developed, but there will be plenty of stuff to post before then. Thanks for looking!


6 thoughts on “madrid, day one

  1. Hi Meredith
    Looks like you really had a wonderful trip! Lovely images, especially the ones of the old men in mid stride- makes me laugh too… and the one with the shy girl.. The old lady reading in a bench looks like a Steve McCurry image….

    There is a nice series of sleeping people in the post,so you could make a series titled, “Sleepless in Madrid” or something similar 🙂

    One other suggestion I want to make is that you can reduce the number of images in one post- though most of your images are very well taken (and the 50mm is a fantastically bokehlicious lens), by the time I came to the bottom of the list, I forgot what was on top. I think splitting them into thematic ones would be better- just my opinion as you have many shots in the same theme- sleeping men, old men, bubble wands, canopies, dogs :), etc..
    The thing about travelling to places with a digital camera is the amount of photos one can make.
    I’d say that ten best images, which represent the city, in a post, would be brilliant..

    This is just my opinion, as I’ve also travelled in the past to Europe and came back with 5k photos in 3 months, which I had to sort out 🙂 I tried a similar one on Sweden in my blog.. Tried some processing different from what I use now.. 🙂

    Best regards

    PS: Looking forward to the Bordeaux images as well! I heard the wine country is really beautiful!

    • thanks, georgie. yeah, i tried my best to split up the photos into manageable sections, but i guess you’re right. i just didn’t want to drag out my trip into months of posts! i’ll remember that for my toledo and france shots. 🙂

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