Thursday Thirteen – What I Found in Madrid

Last week, my Thursday Thirteen was all about how I prepare to give a paper, as I was traveling to Madrid to deliver a paper at a conference at the weekend. This is my first post since I got back from Madrid, as I got back late on Tuesday evening, and then I was at a wedding all day yesterday (more about this in another post). So, I thought that I’d base my Thursday Thirteen this week on what I found in Madrid.

In Madrid, I found:

  1. New Friends – One of the things that I love about conferences is that I always meet such interesting and lovely people. This conference was no exception! Every evening I was out enjoying great food, great wine and great conversation with people I had only just met at the conference. it was worth the trip alone just for that!
  2. Old Friends – As this was the second Conference of the Book that I had attended (last year’s was in Boston), I also got to catch up with some friends that I made last year. Many people travel from far and wide, and if it weren’t for this conference, I don’t think we’d have much of an opportunity to see each other.
  3. Angels in the Sky – Angel on the Metropolis
  4. Public modern art – Madrid Public Art
  5. A Good Reception – My paper was very well attended and it seemed to be well received. I managed to control my nerves, and I think that it went well in the end. I certainly got quite a few positive comments regarding it afterwards. So thank you to everyone who wished me well last week. Your wishes clearly helped!!
  6. Renewed Joy in my Research – This happens at every conference I go to, and it is in part why I love going to them, despite the effort of putting together a paper and a presentation for the event. When I left Madrid on Tuesday, I realised that I was brimming with excitement regarding my own research, and that I had felt that exact sensation when returning home from last year’s conference. I feel now that I can really get stuck into getting the phd finished off.
  7. Tapas – I’ve been out for tapas in the UK, but really it can’t compare to the tapas in Madrid. I had the most wonderful chorizo, prawn fritters, cured meats and fish… the list goes on and on. Truly delicioso!
  8. Generosity and Compassion – When I woke up on Sunday morning (the day I was giving my paper), I quickly discovered that I had no voice. I came down with a cold on the day I flew out and it gradually got worse throughout the duration of my trip. When I arrived at the conference, the organisers were so lovely and gave me some orange vitamin C fizzy drink, and my voice returned long enough to give my paper. What a relief!!!
  9. Wonderful Service – Everywhere I went I received really excellent service: the airport, the hotel, the conference centre, the restaurants, cafes, shops… The Spanish people left a wonderful impression on me, and I will certainly go back one day with my family in tow.
  10. Amazing Art – On Saturday evening the Prado was open free to the public until 9pm, so I managed to see some of Spain’s greatest works of art. Very impressive! imagevot.jpg
  11. Fans – Madrid Fans
  12. That I Knew More Spanish Than I Thought I Did – I learned Spanish for 4 years at high school, but haven’t used it in 14 years. So, needless to say, I didn’t hold high hopes for understanding anyone, or for making myself understood. However, I didn’t do too badly! If I had any spare time, I might have taken up lessons again. Maybe in the future…
  13. An Excuse To Go Back – Unfortunately, the Reina Sofia museum was closed every time I had an opportunity to go, and so the painting that I really really wanted to see, Guernica, went unseen by me. However, rather than spend any time regretting this, I’ve decided that this just means that I have to go back another time. What a pity 😉 guernica1.jpg

Hope you enjoyed my Thursday Thirteen this week!

My other TT posts: Rules To Live By, My Life in Scent, My Family, New Habits and Memorable Moments


October 25, 2007. meme.


  1. Damozel replied:

    I’m glad you had a good time—I don’t think I’ve ever been able to enjoy a trip where I had to do a presentation except retrospectively. It’s a shame that you had a cold, though—ugh.

    Love the fans!

    PS. I really had a hard time finding your comment link. I almost gave up, then it occurred to me to try the permalink. This is different from most blogs—you might want to consider telling commenters where to find the link.

  2. amypalko replied:

    Yes, Damozel, the cold was annoying, but I didn’t let it stop me from having a good time! Thanks for letting me know about the comment link. I’ll see what I can do about making it clearer.

  3. Vicki Gaia replied:

    Love the photos. I plan to go to Spain next June, and Madrid is on my list.

  4. amypalko replied:

    Oh lucky you, Vicki! I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous time. I would say though, that whilst Madrid felt really safe to wander about in, I heard quite a few stories about people having their bags stolen at cafes and restaurants. Make sure when you go to keep a good hold of you handbag at all times, and when sitting at a table, have your leg through your handbag strap. I followed this advice and had no problems whatsoever. Glad you liked the photos, and I would love to hear how your trip goes!

  5. amy replied:

    Great list, glad you had such a good experience

  6. Samantha_K replied:

    Ooh, Madrid! I’m jealous. A trip to Spain is definitely on my to-do list.
    Happy TT!

  7. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Amy. It was a good experience 🙂

    I think a trip to Spain should be on everyone’s to-do list, Samantha! Thanks for commenting.

  8. pussreboots replied:

    Sounds like you had a lovely trip. The photos are great. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.

  9. Nicholas replied:

    I’m so glad it went well for you. Your enthusiasm and pleasurre come through in every sentence of your TT. Those are great pictures. Welcome back!

  10. amypalko replied:

    It was really lovely, Pussreboots. I’m glad you liked the photos, although I’m a little sorry that I didn’t have time to take more. Yet another excuse to go back!

    Thank you, Nicholas! It was a relief that it went so well. I can start looking forward to the next conference now 😉

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  12. Celticangel replied:

    I’m glad that your trip went smoothly and that your paper was well received. I haven’t previously thought of visiting Madrid, but your list has piqued my interest/ Welcome home!

  13. Sarah replied:

    Hi Amy
    Glad you made it back safely! It was really good to meet you at the conference and nice to see some of those photos.
    It’s horrid being back now and having to teach those second-years again.
    (By the way I think it was Sunday when the Prado was open free and until 8.00! – must be all that champagne that was confusing you!)

  14. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Celtic Angel 🙂 And you should really try to get to Madrid someday. It really is a great city!

    I’m so glad you found my blog, Sarah! And, yes, now I think back, it was Sunday that we went to the Prado, not Saturday. Saturday was the conference dinner. And, oh dear, it was only open till 8. Thanks for reminding me! It probably was all that champagne addling my brain…

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