Saturday, 1 December 2012

Scenes from Madrid!


Last weekend's trip to Madrid feels like forever ago...this week's just been so busy. Even so, I wanted to make sure I captured all of the memories since it was such a fun trip. It was literally college all over again...the three roommates back together. We got in on Friday and walked around Plaza del Sol which was close to our hotel. We grabbed some tapas at a casual little bar which consisted of five tostas (basically toasted bread with meats and cheeses on it). As with most parts of Spain, Madrid seems to have very meat-heavy cuisine which isn't the best for my taste buds, but I made it work with the help of a little sangria. I loved this the Mercado de San Miguel where we went for a quick glass of wine...along with wine and beer bars it has fresh fish, sweets, olives, cheeses and more....would probably be a great place to stop by during the day. After that we popped into a few bars for some cocktails and Spanish music and then called it a night...traveling even for a weekend trip can feel so draining!

On Saturday we started with cafe con leches and chocolate croissants right off of Gran Via and then headed straight to the Prado museum. We checked out some really intriguing exhibits from Goya, Rembrandt and Van Dyck. It's a large museum so you have to pick and choose your favourites or else you could spend hours on end there! Just after midday we'd worked up an appetite so walked towards Retiro park which is an expansive beautiful open space. I love how you can pop into any cafe, no matter how fancy or shabby, and get a great lunch at pretty reasonable prices. We completely stuffed ourselves with paella, calamari, fried fish and white wine...it was fabulous and filling. And it was the perfect reason to spend an hour strolling through the park taking photos and people watching. 

Later on that evening after a little siesta, we walked to the palace which is absolutely beautiful at night lit up. Right next door is the main cathedral....church and state working very closely together! We then wondered over to La Latina which is a well-known area for great tapas and wine bars...ideal for what we coined a 'tapa-hop' or the Spanish version of a pub crawl. I especially loved this one wine bar (but I can't remember the name!) since they had a great selection of wine with free delicious snacks (fresh chorizo bites and Spanish olives). Highly recommend popping over to this area if you're in the mood for a casual night out. A definite highlight was ending the night at Chocolateria San Gines, where they serve Spanish churros with thick chocolate....so, so good. That's about it for stories as Sunday was just a quick lunch and off to the airport. Overall a great trip with loads of laughs and good times!

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