Tinto and Tapas: Visiting Christy in Madrid

So it has been a while since I have put up a touristy post but I really feel like I need to start doing it again. I don’t want my blog to turn into a guide-book but my travels are so important to me. I need to suck it up and put it down on the page. So here we go…

Spain is probably my favorite country to visit. I honestly have never been disappointed when I have travelled there (ok well maybe with Bilbao but Plentzia and the Guggenheim saved some face for it). Honestly, it’s were my most memorable trips have been. I had only been to smaller cities of Spain before I recently visited Christy in Madrid.

My favorite way to travel is visiting a friend who lives there because I am not one to enjoy the tourist traps of the cities. Yes, of course I have to see the major attractions but really they are not a high priority to me. I like to feel a city, not just see it.  It helps to visit someone like Christy because she has a similar idea of travel. We both are happy to spend the day picnicking and soaking up the sun. To me, this holiday wasn’t just a trip to Madrid but more a visit to see a best friend. It was relaxing and much-needed to have the comfort of home.

Christy did a fabulous job being the “tour guide.” She knows me exceptionally well so she knew I would be easily bored rushing from one big attraction to the other so she always managed to fit in my two favorite things: eating and drinking. Spain has an incredible food culture. Just like France, food is for more than just eating—it is a way to bring people together. I have had my fair share of tapas but

Bocadillos and tinto!

Christy managed to introduce me to bocadillos, little sandwiches with various things inside. She took me to the best place called Cien Montaditos. They were so delicious and SO cheap. Were talking like 1.50€ for one of these suckers. And the best part is they came with tinto, which is basically sparkling rosé. I have had sangria and it is incredible but I hate to say it, tinto is on another playing field. Tinto is God’s gift to Madrid in August. I seriously thought I would overheat and then Christy would put some ice-cold tinto in front of me and bring me back from the dead. So good. My favorite place for tinto was En Busca del Tiempo. They have a crazy 2 for 1 happy hour (and one is only 2.50€) and in combination with the most awesome tapa ever, salmon ahumado con alí olí, I was basically in heaven. I am not one to repeat going to the same places on my trips because I have a need to keep trying new things but I made Christy take there a second time to satisfy my cravings. Yes, it was that good.

What I saw as the heart of Madrid was Puerta del Sol. This is commonly the place where people meet to go out and there are always plenty of crowds. We continually crossed through it and be the end of the trip I knew how to navigate myself around if you dropped me there. However, there are 2 stand-out places that come to mind when I think of Madrid besides the bustling Sol. The first place is where Christy took me for our first picnic. It’s called Parque del Retiro. We sat in this perfect spot right by this lake that is in the middle of the park. People can pay to rent row boats so it was quite entertaining to see all of the people out on the water. Christy and I feasted, drank sangria, and caught up. Perfect afternoon.

Templo at night

The 2nd place I absolutely adored was the Parque del Oeste where Templo de Debod is at, but the locals just call this place Templo. Christy and I went at night, which to me seems like the best time to go. Templo de Debod is this ancient Egyptian temple and is now situated in the middle of this park. I thought it was so incredibly beautiful at night.

We also got a chance to take a day trip to Segovia. Not only is Segovia an awesome city, but also Christy and I managed to have an unforgettable experience! Segovia is actually a World Heritage City because it is such an old city filled with ancient and historic buildings. It was so awesome to see such an old, medieval city. I was seriously astonished by how old some of the building and churches were. One of the most famous attractions in Segovia is the Aqueduct. It was built in the 1st century and is most important civil engineering work in Spain. The 25,000 granite blocks together without any mortar equal to a length of 818 meters and 29 meters tall! Impressive, right?? It was incredible to see. Blows my mind that they had the ability to create such an advanced system without the technology we have today.

 

Christy and me in front of the Aqueduct in Segovia

Segovia is also famous for its Cathedral and ancient city walls. Christy and I were in such admiration of the cathedral. Cathedrals and churches are not so much my things but this one was magnificent. My cheap self even paid the 3 euros to go in it and I thought it was well spent! Exploring and walking around this city was so fun. I seriously took countless pictures of random streets because I was just in awe of how cool everything was. We also managed to eat our weight in chorizo which made Segovia that much better. As far as the unforgettable experience part…

As much as you try to pay close attention to things while traveling, there is bound to be something you miss. For instance, the last train on Sunday is at 18h00. So when we decided to wait for the 20h00 train… you can imagine the confusion that came. However, our sprint to the bus that literally started driving before we could sit down, really makes a good story. oh the joys of travel 🙂

 

I truly enjoy the feeling of Spain. Of course each region is different but every time I go there I feel comfortable. I am not sure if it is due to my strange comprehension of Spanish, the culture, or a combination but I truly cannot get enough of this country.

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