One of the reasons I added a “Travel” tab to my site was to unload by creating a pocket of memory, if you will, for places that I have been fortunate enough visit. Simultaneously, I am also able to share those experiences with you! Using pictures and literal words to provide images, and detail that I may be unable to verbally articulate adequately. With that being said: I began this post with intentions on creating this MASSIVE, SUPER DETAILED, PICTURE FILLED post about my trips to Barcelona and Madrid last year. I got to experience SO MUCH on both trips I needed to release a little of that excitement from my brain; free up some space. Once I began writing about both; however, I realized the amount of verbiage per city was a bit intense to condense into a single post! So, I decided to break this up into TWO separate post starting in descending order with my trip to Madrid….Yes, that means you have to come back to read about Barcelona (Catolonia and Priorat)….
My boyfriend Booker took up Spanish as a minor in college, and did a study abroad in Madrid. For the entirety of our relationship, he has spoken non-stop about his experience there, it being an eye opener for him, and how became a base to catapult him into further travels around the world. So, unlike my trip to Barcelona from month’s prior, Madrid was pre-planned for our yearly trek across the ocean. This trip became even more of a “must” once my Barcelona trip included a solo flight only for “moi”.
If you’ve read my previous Travel Blog on Paris, prime location for sleeping arrangements must keep these three things in mind: metro, food, and attractions. Proximity to those three things should always be taken in account when seeking out a place to stay in another country. There was a total of four of us and we were able to find a great four bedroom apartment in the Middle of the Gran Via (Madrid’s version of Time Sqaure).
Although my original plans when plotting my Madrid trip 4years ago was to shop, after going to Barcelona and getting “hooked on Iberico”, that had to be our first stop. My tunnel vision for Jamon was only slightly altered by something that could be properly leveraged: chocolate and churros. My boyfriend as tour guide, we follow him down an obscure alleyway off “Puerta del Sol” to a 24hrs Chocolateria that has been in the same location since 1894. I immediately understood the tenure plus the line out the door once I received my order. Crispy yet soft hot churros, made to order with my own personal mug of warm velvety chocolate that I was tempted to drink but didn’t (In hindsight: …#partyfoul).
Pacing myself was key on this trip. I needed to have plenty of room for Pan con Tomate or as I began to affectionately calling it "Tomato Crack Bread", a dish that I became obsessed with while in Barcelona that past April.
---Pan con Tomate: take a warm baguette, rub a clove of garlic across, followed by a ripe tomato smeared across like the garlic…. to make it better, a side of Jamon Iberico to lay on top of each piece. ---
Now, no matter what anyone tells you about ‘Europe’s weather being a true showing of the temperature compared to Georgia's humidity adding an extra 10 degrees….’ Im not going to name any names, BUT just know that 97 degree’s anywhere IS 97 degrees of straight heat! We were in Madrid in September which meant temperatures reached 95-99 degree’s everyday! Our days consisted of sleeping in until around 1pm, leaving the apartment by 2ish, a possible break from the heat and walking closer to 6pm back in the apartment, only to be back out around 9 to spend the rest of the night about town eating, drinking, and repeat. During the day, I had Booker take us to as many tourist attractions as possible; I still have no shame! The Prado, Plaza Mayor, an evening in Retiro Park, and being overwhelmed with options at Mercado de San Juan, and I almost forgot to mention Bull Fighting. Bull Fighting isn't something for me, but it was cool to experience something that was a tradition deeper than soccer.
We met up with a college classmate of Booker’s, Pat, who was (at the time) living in Spain. We ended up catching the sunset at the Egyptian monument, Temple of Debod. After, Pat took us to some really awesome hangouts later on that night. I wish could remember the names of all the places we hit up on the nights we linked up with Pat. Lack of remembrance was not from too much to drink FYI. I just had no idea where we were! Various back alley, chill places that only Locals would know about.
The only glitch in this entire trip happened while taking in the scenic views cliff side in Ibiza: our car got broken into. I did a classic “no go”: I left my beach bag (that looks like a purse) in the floor of the front seat. My entire bag was taken which included my wallet, but fortunately not my passport. However, Booker’s cousin Leroy did get his passport taken. I think we were all too angry at first to be in any real shock or panick. We sped back down the hill to the beach attempting to I.D. anyone with our items. In hindsight, it was probably the couple posted “romantically” on the Vespa close by, coincidentally enough who we asked if they saw anything once we saw the window in the car smashed. SMH. After, gathering our thoughts, we were able to make it to the police station in time to file a report, which was good enough to get Leroy through to Madrid, and clearance for a temporary passport. No pills, but plenty of paella on the beach still made Ibiza worth it though!
The passport situation sucked, but we didn’t allow it to ruin our last few days in Madrid, which consisted of more drinking, some shopping, and of course eating.
More pics here.