Friday, November 7, 2008

Hola from Mardid, Spain . . .

I'm here in the high octane city of Madrid. I won't bore you with the details of the long flight, but let's just say that I felt like a sardine and sat next to a McCain/Palin supporter and a space hogger! There's something so unjust about creating class systems in Airline seating. Why should I endure while there are those that have reclining seats, better service, better food (is that possible), better everything. But would I pay thousands more to have all those things. Well, no! Do I travel enough to get FF miles upgrade. Well, no too! Okay then enough with my whining and get on with my trip. Whoo hoo, I'm finally here in this fantastic City!

At first glimpse Madrid almost reminds me of LA only I know that it's not. They have freeways and look modern but somehow you know it's quite different. I could see glimpses of these differences . . . the architecture, the people, the way they drive . . . :) It's so funny, but while driving this other car cut off my Taxi Driver and he gave the other driver the finger! Now that's kind of like LA! :) I had to quietly LOL in the back seat, it was so funny!

I get to my hotel and I can immediately see that it is only 3 minutes away from Plaza Mayor and seems to be close to everything. My room is a single and it is tiny, but I don't care. It's just a place to sleep and shower. The real attraction is it's central location to most of the sights I want to see.

Tomnorrow I will hit the Prado Museum something that I have been waiting to see for a long time. I can still hear Sister Wendy's (recommended by Annie) commentary on Goya and Velasquez. Then I'll probably wing it and try to catch the other must see's on my list, maybe the Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace.

There's not much I intended to do tonight but check out Plaza Mayor then maybe do some Tapa's Bar Hopping. Mission accomplished! :)

Plaza Mayor is pretty big and dramatic looking. The middle part is mostly empty but with one statue then along the sides are these cafe or tapa bar/restaurants. I had heard on Slow Travel about Cava Bala (I think it was Shannon) as the place to hit the Tapa Bar Scene and so that's the plan for tonight. The guy at the front desk also recommended a place called Plaza Santa Ana.

I walked over and there were oodles and oodles of Tapas Bars and tons of people. Kind of reminds me of the vibe I had in Prague. There's this sort of energy. I settled on a small hole in the wall place because it kind of looked cool. When I was there it wasn't so crowded and then bam it was wall to wall people. A sure sign of a great place. All locals. It's also Friday night! I ordered a Potatos Bravas that came with a serving of bread and had the tastiest hot sauce on it. Sort of like a salsa almost but smoother tasting I think and spicey. Kind of fun mingling with the locals! Very interesting! It started to drizzle so I head back to Plaza Mayor to check out the scene. It really seems to be a place where people just hang out. I got to see and hear my first Flamenco musician performer. They were pretty good!

Anyway, I think I'll head back to the plaza to check more things out! :) It's about 11:00 pm but I think the night is just getting started.

Here are a few snapshots of my first day in Madrid . . .


  1. Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for letting us know you've arrived safe and sound! Too bad about the flight...I feel your pain (except that I lucked out on the way home and got three seats, including window, to myself...bonus!)

    Sounds like you are in a great location, and enjoyed a perfect first evening - so nice to be able to just soak things in without doing much the first day. Love the photos. Wow, Plaza Mayor looks huge! Can't wait to hear abuot the Prado.

  2. I'm so happy you are in Madrid and enjoying it. Your photos of Plaza Mayor are beautiful.
    That sauce on your potatoes looks like Romesco (one of Spains most important contributions to the food world):grin:

  3. Hey Kathy! What a great post! I'm so glad to know that you are there, safe and sound, and the photos are wonderful. Potatos Bravas - yum!

    Have a wonderful wonderful time and thanks for letting us travel along with you!

  4. I'm glad to hear you arrived safely in Madrid and are getting into the swing of things. I love the pictures of Plaza Mayor. It looks so vibrant.

  5. Hi girls, thanks so much for your comments. I did arrive safe and sound and have been enjoying my time in Madrid. It really is a fascinating place and it has been really cool!

    Tomorrows the big fiesta and I'm looing so forward to it! Adios for now! And thanks again.

  6. oops, I forgot to mention. Marta the pocket mod I created for the food and tapas bar ordering is working like a charm. It is so handy. I've already used it 3 times when I got stuck ordering something. Thanks for that link! Wonderful travel tip!

  7. Kathy, your photos are great (and those potatoes look amazing! I never thought I'd say THAT about potatoes!)

    Glad to hear that you've arrived safely. Madrid sounds extremely cool.

  8. Hola!! Sorry for the late comment! I am so excited that you are in Spain!! Plaza Mayor looks amazing! I love the photos! Enjoy all the Tapas Bars! Enjoy Madrid!!

  9. Kathy, A bit late but I simply couldn't miss reading the entries you wrote from Spain. I can sense the excitement in your words! I missed Madrid this time but I got to see it through your eyes. Your photos are fabulous and I love patatas bravas!

  10. Hi Maria, this is so nice of you to take the time to read my blog. I remember how busy your schedule is too, so I am very appreciative. I love patatas bravas, my first tapa experience. I'll never forget it. It was very good.

    I really enjoyed Madrid and I so wished I had planned at least one or two more days there as I ran out of time and couldn't visit the other two museums that I really wanted to see. Maybe next time . . . . :)

    Thanks so much for your comments Maria.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.