Monday, 2 September 2013

I couldn't believe how many musicians were playing on the streets of Madrid.  I don't think we walked a block without hearing the end of one artist and the beginning of another.  There was something very magical about it.  We went at the end of August when it was beautifully warm; remembered halfway through our trip that our friend Sophie lived there; rode in cable cars; watched the sunset by the palace; drank in a wonderful rooftop bar; ate delicious tapas at nearly midnight; and completely fell in love with Madrid.

We wandered around Palacio Real, Plaza Mayor and Royal Madrid until we knew it by heart.  It's so beautiful, so friendly, and so full of  live music.  Don't miss the sunset by the palace.  Beware of the street artist who looks as if he has no head.

+ Grab your daily breakfast at the Mercado De San Miguel.  We ate fruit salads and croissants every morning, and they make a mean guava juice.  In fact, you could eat every meal in this place and never eat the same thing twice, there are so many options.

+ Get lost and found again in Retiro Park.  We made friends with a (stray?) cat, saw Mickey Mouse, listened to live music, and jumped around on art pieces (that we didn't know were art; the stern security guard firmly put us right).

+ Stop off at the Chocolateria De San Gines for churros and hot chocolate.  You're in Madrid, it's a must!

+ Have dinner at Juana La Loca in La Latina.  Their tortilla de patatas is the best I've tasted, and their huevos rotos (broken eggs over fried potatoes and padron peppers) was my favourite thing food-wise that weekend.  The waiters did free tequila shots with us, too!  El Viajero is the perfect rooftop bar opposite to go to for drinks afterwards.

+ We bought some beautiful ceramics in Antigua Casa Talavera.  The owner kindly packaged our bowls and plates up so snuggly that we didn't even have to worry about them surviving the flight home.

+ There's a bookshop called Petra's International Bookshop that is seemingly owned by a cat called Pet Ra.


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