It's hard to believe it but only a week ago, I was running around Madrid eating everything in sight and soaking up the sun. I meant to blog about my trip as soon as I got home, but my return flight was delayed and I spent nearly an hour in line for immigration at Stansted Airport. Note to all of you: Stansted has the.worst. immigration line for non-EU/EEA citizens. It took forever! And then this past week at work was an utter whirlwind. Last night I went out for a friend's birthday and I don't think I've ever been so glad to have a drink to unwind.
Anyway. MADRID. The Irishman found out he was going to a conference there from Monday - Wednesday, so we decided to take advantage of his free flight and go out the weekend before. So we flew out Friday night and had a three day weekend to explore. Verdict? It is lovely lovely lovely. I really recommend it for a city break. The city is compact, so you can walk everywhere though the metro is only 1€ and clean and efficient. We had amazing weather, warm and sunny in the days and chilly but lovely in the evening. We ate amazing food, naturally, with the highlight being the Mercado San Miguel. An artisan food market by day, it is open until midnight every night and the stalls serve tapas all evening. It was a gastronomic marvel. Besides eating (a lot), we went to the Prado so I could see some famous Spanish paintings from my art history classes up close and personal. Goya's Black Paintings in particular were hauntingly beautiful.
The most enjoyable part, though, was really just exploring. We ambled through neighborhoods, taking in the sites, admiring the architecture, and imagining whether we could live there. Answer? Yes! It's a truly lived-in city, rather than a mass of high-rises. We did a bit of shopping too - I snagged an amazingly chic wool cloche hat and we brought back some really fantastic chorizo and manchego. Mmmm! Pictures? Of course! Here are a few to give you a taste of the city, and there are more here.