…And we’re here on the final leg of our journey: in Madrid. Of course, my impulsive side got the best of me and I ended up buying one of these:
We got to Madrid around 11am, so we had a bit of time to explore. My first stop: Parque de Buen Retiro. The park is not far from the Prado (which I went to last year) and the Puerta de Alcala. It’s essentially the Central Park of Madrid – tourists and locals alike go to the park to walk around, hang out, or go for a run. The Paseo de la Argentina contains many statues from the Royal Palace. There is also a beautiful memorial forest dedicated to the victims of the Madrid Metro terrorist attacks.
I was wandering around and saw this street performer guy. How cool is that?
After a brisk walk, I headed towards the Mercado de San Miguel. Although not nearly as impressive as the Mercado in Barcelona, there are so many neat places to shop and eat. I’ll be back tomorrow for some percebes!
I did drop by a local bar for a Mahou (not my first choice) and a pintxo – and it only set me back 3 euros. The bartender was super-nice, he let me pick out all of the pintxos that I wanted! Later on, I met his wife and his super-cute daughter. Airfare aside, this trip has definitely fit within my budget constraints.
Then it was off to Plaza Mayor, which is the central plaza in Madrid. Although the buildings themselves are mostly for residential use, there are some cute shops and areas to people watch in the surrounding area. I found this really cool Spanish version of an Army-Navy store and picked up some cool medallions and badges – can’t wait to embellish some jackets.
I’ll admit, I did a little bit of shopping. A fantastic pair of PURPLE gladiator sandals set me back 10 euros and I brought a six pack of Estrella Galicia for the trip home. Jen was not around to talk me out of any purchases. I also picked up a few gifts along the way, not to worry!
For dinner, we headed to one of my favorite places in the world for traditional Basque cuisine. Goizeko Kabi is so good, that it’s been written up by the New York Times. But the truth that the recession has hit Spain: we noticed the “for rent” sign in the window when we arrived. So sad. We did head to another tapas joint at the recommendation of a friend, but it just wasn’t the same…