Friday, 15 November 2013

Madrid, Spain: A Week in the Capital

I arrived in Madrid with Violeta, my Bla Bla Car driver, who offered for me to stay at her place. I already had plans that night but accepted for the next day. She dropped me off in the very centre of Madrid. I was a little overwhelmed by Madrid at first, it had been 4 months since I was in the major cities of Paris and London. The centre of Madrid might be busier than both and has the craziest drivers I've seen so far. Madrid is a city of many squares, many statues and many bars... The garbage men/women were on their 4th day of strike when I arrived. The locals kept telling me to ignore and that Madrid is usually an incredibly clean city. I was actually impressed.

I was soon at my host's place, Pepe. That evening I went out with 2 of his other CSers, a French couple. I took them to a bar I had heard stories about from travellers all over Spain. The bar is El Tigre (The Tiger). When you buy a drink at this bar you get a huge plate of tapas gratis (free). 3 drinks meant 3 plates. This place really is a must visit in Madrid.

The next day I went to Violeta's place. Her father made Fideuá (Paella with pasta instead of rice) for our Friday lunch. It was amazing. Violeta had only just returned from 3 months in France so she took off to a friend's place for the weekend leaving just her father and I for the weekend. Since I only met her the day before this was very random but I went with it. I bought a bottle of red wine and cooked my famous risotto for dinner. Her dad, a physician, was actually pretty cool.

The next day I was off to explore the city.

The following day I met up with an Argentinean traveller and new friend, Jani, that I briefly met in San Sebastian 2 months earlier. We went to the famous Sunday market, where I bought my first ever scarf for 2 euro. After the market 100 Montaditos made its 3rd appearance in my Spanish adventure. It was Sunday so 1 Euro for 500ml beers. Then one of Jani's Argentinean friends joined us for some delicious (disgusting) Argentinean tea, mate (mah-te), by the pond.

Jani and I

The next day I said goodbye to Violeta and her father, and moved to a hostel for 3 nights. After another visit to Montaditos for lunch I met back up with Jani (50 cent mini sandwiches, "Montaditos", on Mondays. Yes, there are 100 to choose from on the menu). We were off to watch the sunset over Madrid.

Then we were back at 100 Montaditos for dinner.

Girl with a beer, man with a red wine and lemonade!

It was time to say goodbye to Jani, a new  friend that I will see in Argentina next year.

The next day I toured more of Madrid.

pick pocket circle

At night it was finally time for some more sport! My 2nd ever Padel match. This time I won. It was a guy and I vs a guy and a girl. It turned out the girl, Carolina, had lived in Australia for a year. I met up with Carolina, a 27 year old radio news girl, again the next day. She drove me to a few places outside of the city. She doesn't like losing so I tried not to mention the match (or maybe I squeezed it into the conversation whenever possible).

Camera Shy

It was my last night in Madrid so after the photo shoot we were off to a little farewell I had organised (yes, I organised my own farewell from a city I had only spent 7 nights in). The venue... 100 Montaditos! It was Wednesday so 1 Euro for 500ml drinks. This time I opted for Verano Tinto (Summer Red Wine), it is red wine and lemonade. It actually tastes pretty good but I prefer the basque Kalimotxo (Red wine and coke).

The next day I was on a train to Toledo!

What Madrid keeps in its train stations

Lessons Learnt:
Sharing a ride with a stranger can lead to cooking dinner for their father the next day.
The world is small and you never know who you will meet again.
I prefer smaller towns to experience culture and meet people but it's good to enjoy big cities too.
100 Montaditos should sponsor this post.
As always it's the people you meet that make the experience, nature and pretty buildings are just a bonus.

1 comment:

  1. That's a story mate!!! =D
    Catching up here in Italy!