With three days in, I can be frank and say I really like Madrid, and even dare say I like it more than Barcelona. First impressions do count to some extent, and in contrast with the latter, the drive from Barajas Airport was far more appealing and impressive, the city in general more approachable and less touristy. While our choice of a place to stay shouldn’t affect my perceptions of each city – the Barcelo can’t fairly be compared with the Principal – it’s interesting that for the same length of time, the cost for one was only a little bit more than the other but with far more benefit. My appeal for Madrid may in the end lay with the fact that it’s where true Spanish is spoken, and that boils it down to being a cultural connection that’s hard to overcome. Now if only those 9 units of Spanish from college would come streaming back to me, unimaginable as it may be I’d have an even better time in this grand city.