Days 1: Madrid 2009

Madrid, Spain

Morocco_2009-2010 092Missy and I escaped the 25 degree frigid Philadelphia weather to land in the sunny, Mediterranean, Spanish capital of Madrid. The temperature here was also 25 degrees. I can’t tell you how many times I heard que Frioooo! At least Missy and I, walking down the cobblestone streets, admiring the intricate Spanish Colonial architecture with booger icicles forming on our noses were not the only ones uncomfortable.
Morocco_2009-2010 090

Morocco_2009-2010 091After checking into our hostel, we went restaurant exploring and came across La Maceiras, a loud, colorful, crowded, I guess the key descriptor would be energetic tapas place. Missy and I downed a bottle of wine with our dinner and then headed to a Cerveceria (or Madrid bar) where we sat down, ordered one beer and they gave us a tiny (like 6oz) glass of beer and a plate of pork chunks with bone, they literally took down pieces of pig leg hanging from the wall (oh yeah the place smelled like pig soaked in eggwhites), chop it up into meals and save the trashy parts as a chewy go along when you order beer. Pretty awkward.Morocco_2009-2010 002

The next day, a Sunday, we had a hardcore tourist day checking out El Retiro, La Reina Sofia and El Prado. To see a description of my museum impressions, see my blog on El Prado/La Reina Sofia.

So it was totally cool to park in the middle of the street in Madrid
So it was totally cool to park in the middle of the street in Madrid

Madrid teems with a unique flair. It is regal, yet fun, with a sense of history that permeates both the walls from the narrow, cobble stoned roles and the wide promenades that have seen many historical figures- Pizzaro, Cortes, Franco, Columbus to name a few- march through the streets with blood and glory on their shoulders.

little did I know that the chocolate and churros would have the last laugh
little did I know that the chocolate and churros would have the last laugh

Continue my adventure: on to Morocco

Nuts and Bolts

Hostel: Albergue Juvenil Municipal www.ajmadrid.es c/ Mejia Lequercia, 21

Very clean, standard hostel, large, many floors, kind of too sterile with little personality, bunk beds, they charge for towels. Say you are less than 26years old or they charge you (significantly) more. We paid 45 euros a night for the two of us in a 6 person room.

Flat 5 Madrid- www.flat5madrid.com c/ San Bernardo, 55

This hostel is amazing. We paid 55 euros for a very nice bedroom with TV, shared bathroom. Great staff, clean, new, great location. Highly recommended.

Food

In Madrid, there is the museum of ham. They love pig. A typical daily eating experience is a tiny breakfast, a big lunch and late night dinner of tapas. We were not blown away by our culinary experience, but it may have been circumstantial because we may not have gone to the must eat spots.

Restaurants

La Maceiras- Tapas place, the food was just okay, it is Galician and hearty. You go for the atmosphere which is crowded and fun.

Azul Cafe- cute little coffee/lunch place that serves yummy food. I recommend it for a little bite to eat.

Restaurant Botin- the oldest restaurant in the world and if life forms on other galaxies do not have restaurants then the oldest restaraunt in the universe. Pretty cool ancient brickwalls inside, despite being touristy. Try to eat in the cellar- serving food since 1590. The food- suckling pig- was good not great and in all the cheasy nearby touristy restaraunts this was the most expensive. You go here to say you ate at the olderst restaurant.

Chocolateria de San Gines- Churros and chocolate. Deliciously dangerous. I ate too much because one Missy dared me and two it was too delicious. Afterwards, worst night of sleep ever. I had nightmares of churros turning into snakes, grabbing my ankles and drowning me in a dark brown sea.

Continue my adventure: on to Morocco

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