(Yes, you will notice that these posts are all kind of out-of-order. For a list of my travels in order, check out the Home page of this blog.)
I love Spain. I am comfortable in Spain. I speak Spanish. I have come to realize that the ability to communicate is- for me- one of the top factors in increasing my comfort level when traveling. (I imagine that is true for a lot of people!) I went to Barcelona about five-six years ago and just loved it. (It was an especially “transition” time in my life and it was the perfect way to do that- of course- travel!)
This year BFF-D and I went to Portugal and Spain together. I love traveling with her- so of course the happiness of being with “your person” sometimes transcends the experiences and colors them for the better- but I do think I would have enjoyed Madrid even if she had not been there (Maybe just not as much! LOL)
One thing I learned though- because Madrid is a newish city- I could not satisfy my obsession with all things Ferdinand and Isabella. There was a brief discussion about the inquisition on our walking tour and Lord knows my girl Isabella was a mess when it came to that whole disaster, but otherwise the city was created and grown long after her bones were turning to dust.
The tapas culture is always fun- I have mentioned before that I could totally eat charcuterie or tapas and wine every night and be happy with life. Unfortunately in Madrid the tapas culture also comes with a “stand at the counter to eat tapas and drink wine” culture and after long days of walking around the city exploring, there was no way my knees were going to handle standing all evening as well. Thankfully we found one or two places that we could sit down and eat our tapas and enjoy a drink.
Also- FLAMENCO! OMG FLAMENCO! WOW! We went to a super touristy place to see a Flamenco show and it was amazing. I cannot imagine if we had found a local place to see them dance. The power, the strength, the grace, the energy. I cannot even describe how incredible it is. And there is a whole culture around Flamenco, a whole way of life in areas of Spain like Granada (Also on the bucket list- Ferdinand and Isabella of course…) I would definitely like to learn more about Flamenco someday.
Early on while we were there I thought I would like to come back and slow travel there. Take some time to really learn and enjoy the tapas, the streets, the people etc. But after being there (only for three days) I felt like we had already done most of the major things, seen most of the “important places’ and that I had a pretty good feel for the city and it will be ok if I do not go back. I would rather spend a month in Granada and see places like Tarifa and Sevilla, than re-do Madrid.
Have you ever been to Madrid? Other Spanish cities? Which is your favorite? What did you like best? And I mean come on.. Tapas?? YUMMY!!!