Brent had a conference in Madrid so we flew in early for a weekend of sunshine, leisure and tapas. “You like tapas Brent?”
We had only been to Madrid once in 2010, for four hours, when we were stranded due to Icelandic volcanic ash. We didn’t really know what to expect but everyone speaks positively about visiting the Spanish capital. We were so pleased we went. It’s a really fun city. Part of the joy of Madrid is that you aren’t overwhelmed with tourist sights. This allows plenty of time for doing as the Madrilenos do – enjoying the plazas and partaking in tapeos.
Saturday afternoon our tapas crawl took us to the Mercado de San Miguel, right next to Plaza Mayor. It was great – you can walk around with a glass of wine, eating something here, something there. We enjoyed fried anchovies, padron peppers, scallops, fried gambas, and fried croquettes. After gorging ourselves too much on fried goodness, we walked around Plaza Mayor and other little streets in the old part of town. In honor of our good friend Ernest Hemingway, we also made pit stops at the Museo Chicote cocktail bar, Cerveceria Alemana, and the cocktail bar in our own hotel – all places he and his cronies used to gather. For dinner we explored tapas bars in the Corte and Latino districts, our favorite being La Casa Del Abuelo for seafood (and did we mention the tiny cervezas?).
The next day we were up at a dignified hour (for Madrid) and made a worthy stop at the Prado, for a bit of culture. We enjoyed seeing the Mona Lisa there, which was done not by Da Vinci but by one of his students. There were lots of other magnificent paintings by Velazquez, Rubens and Titian. It was a good stop followed by a stroll through Parque El Retiro and the Sevilla area of town where we did a little shopping away from the tourists at Puerta del Sol. The rest of the afternoon consisted of…you guess it – more tapas! First near our hotel on Calle Huertas and later back at the Mercado where we met up with two of Brent’s coworkers, Jat and Jackie.
All in all, a very fun visit to Madrid!