I miss this and this and this and this...
A city resting over a history that goes back to the Early Middle Ages. Ancient castles, gypsy merchants at local outdoor markets selling everything from mantones and shawls, beautifully hand-painted fans, to shoes, to luggage. Flower stands everywhere, crowded streets where the young and old mingle as one. People of all ages and from all parts of the world passing by, walking together, talking, smiling, laughing, hurrying up to some unknown places, as street pigeons forage for food and birds eat at the feet of little tables and chairs spread outside restaurants and local eateries.
Ancient monuments sleeping under pages of history, stone fountains, kings and queens palaces, cobblestone century old streets, prehistoric cathedrals, walled cities and blue skies.
El Museo de Prado, one of the most beautiful and famous museums in the world.
And then, there's eating at the world's oldest restaurant, and tapas, the quintessential and ubiquitous Spanish food everywhere... a slice of out-of-the-oven onion and potato omelet, accompanied by the best non-alcoholic super cold beer you can ever taste with creamy heads of foam where every little bubbles is carrying a puff of aroma.
The best of perfect made coffees, foamy and dark and sweet at any time of day, and an entire street with road after road of open libraries filled to the brim with vintage goodness.
A ride on Madrid's cable car, looking down at the most wonderful panoramic views of many of the capital's best sights and attractions, long walks in any of the many parks and wide open spaces, rose-gardens, boating lake, and the wonderful street theatre at the Retiro Park.
Then there are those chocolate con churros waiting for you on every corner to restore you energy after all that walk and activity. A dark and thick chocolate like you've never tasted before, and soft, perfect churros and bollos and tarts and best bakeries and breads you can think of. There's also a Starbucks on every corner you turn, beautiful, bohemian and cosmopolitan places with big windows from where you can sit down and watch the people outside go by.
European woman know a thing or two about fashion for sure. Particularly the more mature, older generation. Woman favor dresses and skirt over pants. No baggy, or oversized pieces. Their clothes fit perfectly to their body, and you find a lot of matching shoes and handbags. If they wear pants, they always choose a colored top that compliments the color of their pants, and generally you can tell they put some thought into the overall look.
I love watching these woman walking in twos or threes. Mothers and daughters and sister arm in arm, always impeccably dressed. They always dress up a little more than normal, and would certainly never be caught in yoga pants or sweats outside of the house.
I saw a lot of scarves, delicate hats, necklaces, and elegant jewelry. You could always tell who the tourists were by their shorts, jeans, tennis shoes and the backpack ;)
Everybody there walks. From the youngest to the oldest.
One day, when we were passing by the Mexican Embassy I could hardly believed what I saw... They were having a Frida Kahlo exposition that week. For free! I went crazy... we had to go in. Photographs from the lens of Nickolas Muray of Frida I had never seen before... can you believe it! How lucky!
Street vendors from Africa to tempt you with all sorts of goodies at your disposition...
I got this beautiful African bangle... love it!
Beautiful balconies filled with flowerpots...
Late at night one day we were already in bed when all of a sudden decided to go for a little adventure and see how the world were doing outside. We got dressed, I gathered up my messy hair, and we went outside... the world had just started to waken up literally... people were out there still eating and having drinks, kids were still playing ball in the park and families were walking everywhere... such a lively, happy city Madrid is.
I could talk about the bad too, of course. There's a lot to talk of it, just like with any city, but I won't because we had a perfect, lovely visit and we truly enjoyed ourselves up to the most. So there, only the good, and I would go back any day any time. Actually, I would not mind living there for a few years. Maybe a dream that would come true one day? Who knows!
OK, I think I have already talk too much and I hope I haven't bored you... but I have so much to share, so many pictures to show you! ;) I hope you are all doing fine. I have missed you and I'll be back soon to continue sharing my little life with you.