Weekend fun wandering around Madrid
I’ll start with the word of the weekend – mooching! Madrid is awesome if you love a good mooch, and we do! So here is my blog on mooching around Madrid, with a few photos to help paint the picture. We attempted to be good and get the Metro into the city – we were determined to try and save a little money and see Madrid in the local way. Now, be warned, to get to the Metro station you must walk a steady 15 minutes passed the taxi rank. Just as we strolled by, I lazily nodded towards the taxis, to which Mrs R reminded me that the money we’d save would be better spent on beer! So we persisted with the Metro and walked down the 50 steps to be greeted with what could only be described as, mayhem! The machines had stopped working and everyone was rather upset but instead of joining the moaning masses, we patiently waited half an hour and boom we were on our way! We stayed in the central part of Madrid, near Sol metro station. Our Air BnB apartment was just off the main street in a cool old building, with private entrance and quirky original features. The awesome roof top balcony made this 10 out of 10 for us (see photo below). We’ve stayed in a few Air BnB’s now and have loved each one. Ruben (the owner) showed us his favourite areas and told us where to go to miss the crowds.
Day one we had a walk to ‘La Latina’ and started off by finding a little square and ordering a nice cold beer and sangria. The streets are so awesome in Madrid we loved walking from area to area, getting lost in the back streets and then finding a little square for another beer and tapas. Below are the first few shots I took whilst we walked through La Latina and wherever else we wandered through. This probably sounds rather geeky, but the streets of Madrid have so much character it’s to easy to lose a few hours.
That night we took Ruben’s advice and headed to Plaza de San Ildefonso. He was right, it turns out the locals of Madrid love a GnT, (who doesn’t) and we managed a couple of drinks before heading out for food. Awesome first day all round, although our 3am wake up call meant that our night end at 11pm when I thought I would join an elusive club of sleep walkers, but not before stopping off for some late night churros at Chocolateria San Gines which amazingly was only a 2 minute walk from our apartment!
The next morning we headed to El Rastro Sunday flee market. Mrs R had already marked a rooftop bar near that area and we decided to have a mooch around the market and scout out the bar for that night. The market was cool, definitely worth going off down the side streets where we spotted some cool antique stuff and found a cafe to sit outside the park munching on some mean breakfast and coffee. We loved this place, can’t remember the name so I have tagged it on the map. Anyways enough about what food we ate, some more pics from day two!
So next up, I completely failed in my typical man (or boy, you choose) ways. With the 22 degree heat beaming down on us, I had placed the suncream (that Mrs R deliberately gave to me at 9am to put straight into the bag) on the table in the apartment. Doh, so in typical Yorkshire folk fashion we hopped off to the nearest supermarket, only to discover it would cost the same as 8 bottles of wine (as my clever wife pointed out), for just one bottle of suncream and not even a big one at that. So a quick calculation made it profitable to use the super cheap Metro to go back and start again at base camp. Next stop was another good old mooch somewhere south of Sol, nothing I can really say about this apart from we went from square to square eating and drinking in the afternoon sun, awesome times I think. This is what we saw!
Whilst I love taking photos and testing Mrs R’s patience while I plan a good shot, I don’t like risking my beautiful Nikon by taking photos at night (under the influence of Mahou)! So you’ll need to take my word for it when I say, Madrid rocks at night. Summed up in 3 numbers, two words and a hyphen… 24-7 churro shop.
The next day we headed for the Buen Retiro Park on the east side of Madrid. We had a wee sit near the lake and, well, just simply did what you do in a park – sit, drink and stare at people while they sit, drink and stare at other people. However, in Madrid they do things a little differently – pet rabbit walking, casual bad singing to your friend’s guitar and sitting with your feet on your husband’s head is all the rave in the centre of Spain!
In the afternoon we mooched around Chueca and ended up in a beautiful church that I couldn’t resit snapping. After plenty of walking and some more sangria we headed back for a siesta and then back out to La Latina for some Tapas. Now this is when my directions went amiss and ended up in a place called Plaza de Carros which is an awesome spot for bars and food outside. We tucked into an ace cheese board and ended the night after some rather strong gin and tonics with churros on the side. Good times.
The next day we carried on with our little routine and had our cereal on the balcony before heading out to an area just south east of Sol. We weren’t sure how to get there but our aim was to end up at Circulo de Bellas Artes for an awesome rooftop view of Madrid. Definitely worth a trip, it had an ace bar/cafe and the best views we saw in Madrid.
That afternoon Mrs R wanted to go to a food Market – we’d briefly been to the San Miguel market the night before but not for long. So today we headed for Mercado de San Ildefonso and had some awesome food and you guessed it, some sangria and beers. This place was so cool with loads of choices to eat and an outdoor seating area which we had to ourselves (worth going for bang on 12 o’clock for some peace and quiet).
Later on, after having a look through some cool vintage shops near the market we found our fave place in Madrid. I admit this is probably getting very boring by now but yes we sat and drank beer and sangria, had some food and had conversations about how we should live here. Pretty much the same conversation every couple has whilst having an awesome holiday.
The next day we decided to wander around Malasaña. We didn’t really have anywhere in mind but we did like the Plaza Juan Pujol (photos above), another cool square from yesterday, so we went mooching around the palace and park and then headed off in that direction. On our way we came across a photographer trying to take one of those classic cheesy shots of people doing yoga in a super duper calm and tranquil place.
Next up, we visited the Temple of Debod, smack in the middle of a park by the palace, which was cool. I won’t go into the details but Egypt loved Spain so much that they gave this as a gift for something good Spain did. Now I’m sure you’re thinking what the hell is he talking about, so click the link for a more, well let’s face it… an actual explanation. Whilst walking through the park and around the temple I noticed some awesome Tai Chi going on, so with my integrity firmly left with Mrs R, I wandered over to take some up close and personal shots. I just couldn’t resist .
Next up we had a classic second breakfast while laughing at the cheekiest birds ever and also randomly watching a film being shot right behind us. We then mooched around the cool shops and ended up in perfect time for lunch at Ojala – in one word, Yum! It also had the coolest room downstairs, kitted out like a beach bar. This place is well worth a visit.
That evening, the food was so good we went back to Ojala and then headed out for our last night. And with that our wee trip was over. Hope you enjoyed my little tales of Madrid, well worth a visit. Next up is Berlin in June but until then I have the wedding season to keep me busy, so check out my main site for more of my work in May/June/July! Hope you enjoyed people and have fun.