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Madrid is a fine city and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there, but like many capitals, I think it does everything pretty well without really doing anything exceptionally.  For example, you can get food from all over Spain there, but none of it will be as good as it would be in the region where it is a specialty.  We went to see some fine works of art at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Prado (free after 6pm).  They had a collection of Goyas called The Black Paintings that were some of the coolest/ creepiest works of art I have ever seen.   We also saw some amazing Rubens and even the Garden of Earthly Delights by Heironymous Bosch. I think that my favorite thing about Madrid though, is that they still serve tapas in the traditional way.  Nowadays “tapas” basically just means small plates of food.  But originally they were assorted snacks that were served for free along with a drink at a bar.  Each bar either has one specialty or maybe a small assortment of snacks and every time you order a cana (small beer) or glass of wine they bring you a tapa to eat with it.  One of my very favorite experiences was wandering around the university neighborhood and going into a local student bar.  The waitress was used to speaking slowly and clearly for students so we were able to have a relatively decent conversation in Spanish.  Then she brought me a plate of assorted chorizos and peppers.  This is when I first learned about the free tapas thing.  I was able to have a good meal,  a few beers, and some conversation for about 4 Euros which is one of the most affordable meals that I had anywhere in Europe. The bar scene in Madrid is also really fun.  We walked around the La Latina neighborhood, got some wine and ham at the Museo del Jamon, and barhopped around a lot cool little bars while eating all of their special tapas.  The next morning we walked around the beautiful Plaza Mayor, and tried to go to the Palacio de Real (Royal Palace), but there was a huge foot race along the street in front of it and we had to wait almost an hour for the crowds to thin out enough for us to run across!  Then we had one last lunch of gazpacho, sesame chicken and onion empanadas, and pulpo, cod, and tuna jerky pinxos at the beautiful Mercado de San Anton.  Finally we went to grab our bags and jumped on a bus to Sevilla.

  • Museo Del Jamon
  • Madrid Library
  • Museo Del Jamon
  • Wine and Ham
  • Avenida De Filipinas
  • Plaza Mayor, Madrid
  • Plaza Mayor, Madrid
  • Madrid Race Winners
  • Madrid Race
  • Stuck on the Wrong Side of the Street
  • Madrid Palacio de Real
  • Audioguide at Palacio de Real
  • Entryway at Palacio De Real

Posted: January 4, 2013

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Europe, Spain


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