From Madrid, with Love
Riding the high from our impromptu visit to Porto, we arrived in Santiago de Compostela, back in the state of Galicia for a visit of this colonial city that has been on my radar for ages. It was a fairly uneventful visit. We stayed with a friend of the Lopez family and enjoyed another 2 nights tapeando, as it is another city that is setup for bar/tapa hopping. Santiago has the same feel as San Cristobal, where we live, except better in the quality/cost ratio of food and drinks! We weren’t there long enough to experience any other quality of living factors but it left us with a feeling of just having been somewhere very familiar.
And with that, our tour of northern Spain came to end. We headed inland to the center of the country, to the busy capitol of Madrid. Sad to leave the north behind but eager to start the final chapter of our Spring in Spain Tour, in the company of friends from Denver who were making their way across the pond.
I hadn’t really given much thought to Madrid. It was simply a logistical stopover between our time in the north and our time in the south. Both Luis and I had been before and we didn’t really have anything pressing that we wanted to accomplish while in town. With that in mind our walk from the hotel to find dinner lead us through many interesting neighborhoods and right up to the entrance of the Reina Sofia Museum. We were tired from a long day on the train and weren’t up for a long museum visit but learned it was free to visit on Friday evenings so we decided to at least go in and see a few famous pieces, primarily the Guernica, having just been in the town of Guernica the week prior.
Finding our friends in the hotel lobby the following day was nearly surreal…we’d talked about this trip for ages and it just seemed so strangely fun to suddenly meet up, with a fun city to explore on our doorstep.
Madrid proved herself 10 times over. I didn’t expect much other than catching up with friends, but our afternoon exploring some of the main sites and trendy neighborhoods was a blast and Madrid pulled out her best weather for our afternoon walk. Luis had earmarked a handful of tapas places that had been around for 100+ years (The Century Club) and we managed to find a couple of them and try their respective claims to fame! In the course of a few short hours we found live jazz and then a traditional flamenco bar, along with several great stops for a quick cañita and tapa. An epic end to a great day in Madrid!
After a night on the town it’s time to hit the tracks…
Fast forward a week later and Luis and I had some last minute changes to our return flights and found ourselves with an unexpected 10 hour layover in Madrid. While it made for a lengthy return to Mexico, we were actually excited to have a few more hours to find a few more of the tapas places Luis had earmarked before and walk through a few more areas of the city.
Checking out the seafood counter at Mercado de San Miguel
One final taste of my beloved Gazpacho during our long layover in Madrid.
Madrid, you are a sly one. We came with zero expectations as we thought it was mostly a place to live and not visit, but instead we left loving you!!