Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Muchas Gracias Madrid . . .

While I was sitting on the train enjoying a very comfortable ride, I became filled with the memories of my experiences during my stay in Madrid and so I decided to write about my thoughts having left this wonderful city. First, I would say that the highlight for me was participating in the Fiesta de la Almudena which was held on November 9, 2008. If you find yourself in Madrid on this day, you must take part and experience this wonderful tradition. The mass was very touching and you can feel the spiritual devotion from those that were in attendance. The crowd filled the Plaza Mayor completely. It was such a great experience seeing all the locals dressed in their beautiful regional costumes. The dresses were so colorful, some had sequences. Each region had a flag that represented where they were from and the men were also dressed in regional costumes (mainly black) carried in their flags. But more important than that was the way in which the people wore their dresses, especially the older women. They had such pride in representing their respective regions and it was showing in their smiles. Since I was there early I was able to mingle with them a bit and it was so much fun.

I was so fortunate to have seen so many famous artwork at the Prado, Velasquez and Goya were among my favorites but there are so many. I saw many sights as well which I enjoyed but I would say that being able to experience eating at Tapas Bars was right there in my highlights. I enjoyed tasting Potato Bravas and was brave to even try some calamari. I also learned to eat while standing or sitting which was a must if you are going to eat at some of the more popular bars here in Madrid. My favorite hang out here in Madrid has to be hands down the Plaza Mayor. It was just great to walk around in the evening and enjoy whatever came my way. There was always some kind of entertainment going on and was always interesting to watch.

But the most important memory of Madrid for me were the people that I came across, I'll never forget the taxi driver on my arrival. He was so nice and calm, but cut him off and he'll give you the finger. I loved it. Next, the waiter at my first tapas bar, so patient and helpful in explaining how to order. Then the woman who grabbed my metro ticket walked over to the map then directed me to the right platform. She really took the extra time to make sure to research and give me the right direction even though her train was just arriving. And I can't forget my rail buddies at the Fiesta de la Almudena. Even with aching feet, they kept me entertained. Sometimes I would have the worst giggles. Thank goodness it wasn't during mass.

It is so true about what I have heard about Madrid. The people are so friendly, they are passionate and proud of who they are and where they comne from and there is this sort of realness to them. Sort of like what you see is what you get.

My stay in Madrid was all too brief and I really tried to see all of my must sees but if I didn't get around to them it was because I also found it attractive to enjoy life in Madrid and that meant taking the time to mingle and take part in their important fiesta!

Muchas Gracias Madrid, Adios for now until next time!
Really cool local in her regional dress (so friendly):

My last breakfast in Madrid, Churros and Orange Juice:

Atocha Train Station


  1. It's funny Kathy but I was going to ask you how your feet were holding up and you mentioned them! That's one thing I always forget until I get to Europe, all the walking! Sometimes I just have to pay the table fee and sit down.

    Madrid sounds so wonderful. Sounds like you might have liked to stay there longer?

    You're doing SUCH a great job blogging - thanks so much!

  2. Madrid sounds so wonderful and your pictures are marvelous. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the city (and are probably already planning your next visit!)

  3. I love reading this post, Kathy. You made wonderful memories in Madrid and it seems a little piece of your heart was left behind in Madrid.

    The photo of the churros and orange juice made me want to have some now. I loved the orange juice in Spain; it reminded me of the oranges in Puerto Rico. Not overly sweet and with a little tang that makes you want more.

  4. Hi Maria, you described their oragne juice perfectly. There was a little tang to it. That's interesting that it reminded you of the oranges in Puerto Rico. Maybe they grow them similarly or something. How interesting.

    You're right I think I left a bit of my heart in Madrid. It was afterall my first impression of Spain because I flew into Madrid first. Although busy and crowded I really did enjoy Madrid a lot.

    Thanks so much for your comments Maria. Have a nice week! I had today off and finally unpacked! Yikes!


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