Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Madrid, Spain

I know, I am jumping ahead to the end of the trip.
But, it seems that I am missing some photos for Nijar and Alicante.

Nijar was our pottery location and this is just one example of the the bowls I bought and of course my little rock collection from Nerja.

Alicante was in our travel itinerary since we were in Spain to visit our daughter who is finishing her university studies in spanish at the local university.
We wanted an opportunity to see where she was living and get a feel for what life is like for her there.
Alicante ended up being a fabulous 3 days for us with great food experiences, a dinner at a restaurant called El Portal Taberna
which I cannot recommend enough....fabulous place with a great ambience.
We also had an opportunity to invite a few of her friends over for a dinner that we prepared for them with food from their local market.

We also dropped our car off here since we did not feel we would need it in Madrid.
From Alicante we took the high-speed train to Madrid at 6 a.m...... a tad early but we wanted all the time we could get in Madrid before flying out on the Monday.

Somehow we were able to travel first class with a really good deal which was cheaper than economy? Strange, I know but hey we were not complaining when we got our lovely breakfast served with tomato purée and olive oil and nice bread and a spanish omelette and chocolates.... LOVED it.

So Madrid....well Madrid is spectacular for some many reasons.
First, architecture.
I could not get enough of these shutters....oh I want shutters!!

Second, fashion.
Everyone is dressed so well....seriously, I came home and studied the difference and it is definitely obvious that we are somewhat lazy here in North America about fashion.
One of my friends attributed it to our love of yoga wear and sneakers and "comfort".

Oh, I know my saying that that will raise a few eyebrows but there is a real sense of style on the streets of the Spanish cities that I visited,
from smaller cities to the capital of Madrid.

Even the children are so carefully put together.
We kept noticing all these children with bows in their hair and colour coordinated outfits.
This was a Saturday in the park when I came across these two children all decked out.

Third, food.
Of course I am a lover of seafood so that was never a problem for me.
Ham, is perhaps a little more prevalent than I care for but that was not an issue either.
We loved the markets and the fresh assortment of cheeses, fish, meat and veggies.
And we had fun experimenting with the local treats such as.... Churros with chocolate dipping sauce.

We also found a cute restaurant that we loved so much named, Bar Galleta
We had breakfast there one day and dinner there the next.
Creative use of old book pages in the bathrooms.

Finally, the markets.
We had lunch our first day in the San Anton Market which ended up being my preferred market and it was very close to where we were staying in the Chueca neighbourhood.
Our second day we went to the San Miguel market which is much larger and also much more crowded. Actually you need to get to this market really early otherwise it is wall to wall people.

Our third day we got up and went to the El Rastro market.

I would recommend walking down through the market and then coming back up on the edge of the market so you don't miss all the off beat little stores and as well as the artist alleys and the antique courts etc.
Lots of people by 11 a.m. but 10 o'clock was not too bad for getting around to see all the stalls.

Madrid felt like a place I could go back to and explore further.
Actually Spain is a place I would love to go back and visit and get to know better.

On a final note, we were watching a procession of people one day in the streets of Madrid speaking out about some government issue but what struck us was the group of people following at the end of the procession...... street cleaners.
Every city that we were in had people cleaning the streets... late at night, early in the morning... it was quite something, quite impressive.

Spain, thank you.
Until the next time.


  1. Such colorful photos, and it looks so interesting. I love the balconies. I've been a lot of places, but not Spain. Thank you for showing us your trip.

  2. Lovely photos of Spain, you managed to see quite a lot - wonderful that you took us along with you 😊. I agree with your dress comment, you can easily pick out the NA when travelling! We need to kick it up a notice and find style with comfort. I am very guilty of this. So good you had time with your daughter. xo Patty

    1. Patty, my daughter and I have been joking about how we are going to make an effort to emulate the Spanish with their sense of fashion. I have since re-assigned all m yoga pants to a separate drawer out of arms reach. :)

  3. It's so interesting to travel through your eyes.

  4. Gorgeous architecture, Donna. I LOVE the shutters, too. And the blue sky is fantastic. It looks like stripped pine in the photos of Bar Galleta I adore that look. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Hugs, Nancy

  5. I've not been to Madrid, but the streets of Barcelona are filled with similar buildings and like you, I never had enough time to explore there.
    I've been to Marbella a lot where everyone is dressed beautifully and a certain large store in Puerto Banus where all the staff look like models. I'm afraid we're very slack in the UK too though I have one friend who never leaves the house without looking immaculate, it puts me to shame really.
    I think you must have come home with some great memories and great trinkets - love those bowls.

  6. Donna, are you ever going to continue this amazing blog? I see it has been a month since the last entry and I wonder if you are: 1) taking up residence in Madrid?, 2) lost at sea?, 3) living in a fantasy land of trip remembrances?
    Please speak to us!


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