I’d love to see Iran, China, Azerbaijan, Malaysia and many other exotic countries. But first things first. We are in EU, the borders are open and the flight tickets are inexpensive. It’s nice to discover almost nearby places you’ve never been to!
Some time ago a friend began encouraging me to go somewhere together for a short time. Some place we’re both haven’t been to yet. Well… I’ve never been to Spain. I know little about Spain. I know the pronunciation of the word “cerveza” is sophisticated. And that Spaniards eat tasty jamóns . But what else?
In order to discover what Espana is really like, we booked a flight to Madrid in December. May sound ridiculous – in winter? Well, it’s a different season than in Poland: seeing a clear blue sky through sunglasses just before Christmas is a highly pleasant sensation which I recommend (and which is not very usual for this time of year in Poland).
It’s a little shameful to think in such a way, but since we all operate on stereotypes, I’ve always thought that Spaniards are pretty much similar to Italian people: with way of lives, with gestures, body language, speaking and so on. But my first impression is different. Madrid does not remind me of Italian cities at all. The ambience is much different. Hard to explain why. Maybe because I saw very few motorinos!
Let me give you some clues about Madrid. First, find a place in the very centre. It’s better to save money on public transport, especially that you can reach all important monuments and spots by foot (it takes about 30 minutes to walk from Palacio Real to Prado). Second: try finding cheaper “taberna” (restautant) where locals meet. We’ve found one close to Caixa Forum (a cultural centre and an interesting example of modern architecture). You can have a double course lunch with plenty of wine for just 10 euros!
While walking in the city you can run into symbolic places that remind of the civil war of 1936-39…
…as well as into memories of famous people living in Madrid, like Cervantes. Sometimes, you can be surprised of unexpected transformed superheroes:
But most of the times you can think how cosy and pleasant Madrid is. And… there are still green leaves on the trees! Wow.
When it’s raining, you should spend time in Prado Museum, but be careful! Too much art causes serious tiredness (that’s no joke), so it’s recommended to take a cup of tea and a sandwich in the museum café. Once you are not hungry, studying Bosch’s paintings is even more pleasurable (and Goya, and Velazquez, and Tiziano, and dozens more).
Otherwise, if you don’t eat properly while following art exhibitions, you’ll be as pale as the girl in the picture:
Or as exhausted as this boy:
By the way, what’s with the lactatio bernardi and drinking milk from Holy Mother’s breast?!?! Uh…
Turning back to funny people in the streets, you can see old dudes pretending to be a goat, old dudes pretending to be a baby, dudes inspired by Super Mario Bros and of dragons.
But there are also, of course, majestic, static and beautiful monuments, like Palacio Real, the Cathedral (Almudena) and big squares, like the well-known Puerta del Sol.
We wouldn’t have enjoyed our trip as much as we did if we didn’t have such a lovely host who helped us so much – especially with the transportation. Thank you!