I slept in and did not awaken until 09:45; I then quickly showered, dressed, packed my bags, and washed the dishes. Michelangelo made sure to take out the trash and collect the linens. Once we had finished cleaning up our mess, we left the apartment keys on the table and exited the building. We then gave each other one final goodbye before going our separate ways (Michelangelo to the airport and back to the States, and I to the railway station and on to Avila). I then entered into the Gran Via a Metro Station, bought my ticket, and then rode the excruciatingly slow metro train to the Madrid Chamartin Railway Station (when moving, the metro train itself was not slow, but when stopped at the individual stations, the doors would remain open twice as long as was necessary – to my detriment). I started traveling on the metro train at 10:44 and did not reach the Chamartin Station until 11:10. I then hurriedly made my way to the railway station and to the correct platform just in time to see the 11:14 train I had purchased a ticket for leave the station. Luckily, this was only a minor setback for me. I then bought a ticket for the next available train to Avila ( 12:22 departure) and waited around – I also consider it lucky that I was only traveling to Avila, a town that had frequent trains from Madrid passing through it and therefore it was never crowded and sold out (like many other trains in Spain . . . wait a tick: “travel by train in Spain can be a pain, especially on the plain, where it may rain” or something like that; I’ll have to put a little more thought in to it). At 12:15, I made my way to the platform and boarded the train to Avila. At 12:22, the train departed the station and I rode it for nearly two hours through the Spanish countryside before getting off at the Avila Railway Station at 14:04.
Without a map and only a name and street to go off of, I walked toward the old town, entered in through the eastern gate at Plaza de Santa Teresa, and then wandered around the various streets before finally finding the hotel I had booked a room with. After checking in, I retired to my room, relaxed, and spoiled myself by permitting my body to fall asleep instead of forcing it to work. I woke up near 20:00, dressed, and then exited the hotel. I then wandered around the town of Avila – an eleventh-century AD town that was founded to protect the Spanish territories from the Moors, where Saint Teresa was born, and where the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada is buried. I explored the town from both inside and outside the old city walls (the best and longest preserved medieval walls in Europe), enjoying the sun’s setting light shining on the solid stone walls. I then found a restaurant not too far from the Plaza del Mercado Chico and had a beer, bread, Avila-style white beans, and a plate of sliced pork loin, a very oily chorizo sausage, and a “salad” that consisted of shredded lettuce and half of a baby tomato. After dinner, I walked to the Plaza de Santa Teresa, found a convenience store, and bought three bottles of Aquarius sports drinks and a Monster energy drink. I then returned to my hotel room around 22:00 and proceeded to waste my time by reading and watching episodes of ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ (the Alec Baldwin and Bill Mahr episodes were great). Later on, around 02:09, I tried to fall asleep; however, it did not happen until sometime well after 03:00.