Madrid is the city where I quickly discovered that you have to learn to pace yourself. It’s incredibly hot, 37 or 38°C before the humidex and at midnight it’s still over 30! Also, Spaniards seem to come to life around 5 in the evening, have dinner around 10 or 11 and at midnight are still walking the streets with young children. The heat is exhausting and even with breaks during the day, you really either need to get a very late start or you need to siesta in the middle of the afternoon as it’s quite easy to get into the rhythm of eating late and staying up late.
|The Royal Palace|
I can’t say Madrid is impressive because of its monuments. The Royal Palace is nice but it’s not Versailles. After the Royal Palace we did the hop on, hop off bus. Though, there are quite a few gates, I can’t say that it rivals Barcelona’s architecture and its sheer number of monuments. We did, however, take the time to visit Real Madrid’s Stadium Bernabeu. Our tour included access to the stadium seating at various levels, the pitch, a trophy room, the player’s bench and the locker room. It was quite interesting to be able to see all the trophies and to discover that Real Madrid was named the best team of the 20th century by FIFA.
|On the pitch|
We had a great late night at a place called Bulev’art where Heineken is 6 for 5E! Even at 3am there are still many people walking the streets. It’s been great but exhausting.
|At Mile 0, the center of Spain|
We tried a great restaurant yesterday that was recommended in the guidebook called El Caldero where we had a great chicken and vegetable Spanish rice dish which we had with the fantastic house Sangria. They served us a digestif called Karlova which is a caramel vodka drink! It was fabulous. If ever you’re in Madrid near Puerta del Sol and Plaza Santa Ana look for this restaurant you won’t regret it.
Speaking of Puerta del Sol, I stood at mile ‘0’ which, according to the, plaque in the square, marks the spot for the center of Spain.
So if ever in Madrid, enjoy the strolls through the streets, enjoy the cooler evenings and nights, grab a spot on a terasse to people watch. Or, like me, you can enjoy listening to a guy following you along down the street, telling you how beautiful you are and how much he would like to come to Canada ;)