After our Barcelona holiday we hopped on a train to make our way over to Madrid to meet Ben’s aunt and uncle, Maggie and Bob, in Madrid! With bags in tow (well mostly Ben had bags in tow…) we made our way through Retiro Park towards the apartment we were staying in. We were both rather antsy to drop our bags and go for a run in the park after spotting all the joggers, roller bladders, and loungers soaking up the sun. From day one Retiro Park became one of my favorite spots. After a quick run we showered up and made our way over to dinner. Paella was on the menu and that made me a happy girl. I had been craving it all week and it certainly hit the spot.
Monday morning Ben and I ran through the park and were lucky enough to find another workout area similar to the one in Barcelona! After our morning run we were more than ready for a little Spanish “second breakfast”.
We ventured to Puerta del Sol to a breakfast spot where you elbow your way up to the front and point to any little treat your heart desires and throw in a little, “¿Puedo tener un café con leche?” There you have it, a lovely second breakfast. I also encourage all getting different treats and sharing. The more the merrier.
We walked off a little of our breakfast as we strolled over to the Royal Palace of Madrid. As I have said before, I love the Spanish streets!
The palace was beyond beautiful. Each room was so intricate and ornate with a very obvious color theme. They truly know how to make statements. We first popped into the Royal Armoury where I quickly gained appreciation and curiosity of how on earth those guys moved in their armour. In addition, those horses were better dressed than I will ever be.
We strolled out of the palace around 2 and therefore lunch was a must. Maggie and Bob had been to a tapas restaurants nearby a few nights before at highly recommended a visit. Let me tell you, we feasted! Now begins loads of tapas pictures.
I could eat these peppers everyday. Please and thank you.
After a very delightful lunch it was time for a little Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s “Guernica” was compelling and definitely worth a visit!
After the museum, Ben and I found a lovely little patch of grass, plopped ourselves down, and within minutes were snoozing. Retiro Park is one heck of a napping spot. I even managed to get a nice sunburn. Bring it on sun, bring it on. We napped until dinner time and it was divine.
And then came Tuesday: food tour day! Both Ben and I had never experienced a food tour and now we most certainly know what we were missing out on! I mean wow. Four hours dedicated to eating at 11 places. We lucked out by just having our guide and then the four of us, making for a nice little group. Our first stop we tried honeys, jams, and chocolates before heading over to the churro stop. There we learned the difference between churros (thin ones sometimes looped) and porras (thicker ones, and my favorite). Regardless of your preference, you get to dip them in the best cup of chocolate and oh wow.
As you all probably know, I feel very passionately about markets. I adore them. Therefore, when I found out we got to make a few stops along our food tour I was overwhelmed with joy.
We tried a few different olives, anchovies, cured ham, and these heavenly bad boys below. I need this guys recipe because he has perfected these.
After our market stops, we looped back to the Literary Quarter to have a glass of vermouth paired with sandwich like tapas and ended with the best cheesecake. Afternoon very well spent.
Madrid exceeded my expectations and was the perfect end to my little spring holiday (notice I said my because Ben got to carry on to the south of Spain). We loved every minute getting to catch up with Maggie and Bob and were so thankful our travel paths got to cross. Ben and I got to run, explore, eat, and relax and both can agree that Spain just might be one of our favorite countries. Spain most definitely deserves a slow clap for its sunshine, tapas, parks, beaches, streets, flowers, and wine. Oh how I love traveling with that husband of mine. I may be biased but I think we make quite the travel duo.