Madrid is great my friend,
It’s 5 to 8 in the evening and I’m drinking Sangria in Puerto del Sol.
It takes a lot to get me out at night when I travel but it is the perfect temperature for strolling, and the music and warmth of the people have me hooked. I am enjoying the Spanish people enormously, their earthiness and naturalness.
Outside the cafe in the plaza, there are Mexican or possibly South American men dressed in their traditional costume with instruments playing fun songs to the crowds and flogging their CDs while a transvestite dances around and through the crowd enjoying the attention and happy vibe.
The people around me are eating tapas for €1 a pop or Churros, dunking them in thick chocolate. I’m eating hot potatoes, I felt like them and they go well with my Sangria.
Nearby the Mercado de Miguel is bustling with people both locals and tourists alike searching out Jamon (Spanish Ham) flavored with their diet of acorns and Pulpo (Octopus) well softened in copper cauldrons and seasoned with pimentón.
A few blocks from where I sit, Plaza Mayor is also busy with seated restaurant guests sipping and socialising surrounded with the elegant facades of this square reminiscent of Venice’s St Marks and with a vivid history to boot. Executions, bull fights, and inquisitions have taken place under their feet.
Picture care of Wiki Commons.
The architecture of Madrid is a surprise to me. I didn’t expect it’s beauty and grandeur. The Habsburgs and Bourbons have all wielded their wand. Likewise, the monuments are monumental. It reminds me a little of Paris but less uptight.
Neptune Fountain, Temple of Debod, King Philip in Plaza Mayor.
Cybele Palace, unidentified beautiful building near the royal palace, Alcala Arch.
I strolled past the the royal palace earlier today where I watched a pretty girl and her two male sidekicks eyeing up a clearly foreign man. I guess they want to rob him. I was fascinated and try to watch them work their scam but as soon as they clocked me they moved on fast.
Madrid’s Palacio Real.
Spain has been astonishing in so many ways. I cannot believe how I could be filled with so much joy and feel so carried in my last few days on my Camino. I could have skipped to Santiago in the end. Then to Madrid with its fun and flavours, beauty and culture. (And such a brilliant base for day trips).
The stunningly lovely Atocha station.
It has been a million sounds and tastes and smells and I’ve had lovely connections in so many ways with the people around me. So many incredibly moving moments at unexpected instances.
It was perfect to come to Madrid to try to integrate and assimilate some of what swirls around and within me prior to heading back to my frenetic life of work and family.
Go well on your travels. I miss you.