MADRID PART 2

I have been wanting to sit down and write this for some time but…life! Luckily, I jotted down notes about our wonderful weekend in Madrid on my phone to help. So Part 2 of Madrid, here goes!

We had heard about the open air flea market, El Rastro de Madrid, and were very keen to check it out. So on Sunday morning we made our way to El Rastro and unfortunately, we were a little disappointed. After a quick meander through the market streets we decided to make our way across the city, through the vibrant Puerta del Sol and towards Chueca. In search of some brunch, we came across a cute little café called [h]arina. We settled into the window seats of the café, watching the city wake up and loved our light, fresh food. Feeling energized we wandered around the boutique neighborhood and happened upon a beautiful food market in the center of Chueca, San Anton Market Madrid. The produce was so carefully arranged, exquisite coloured fruit and vegetable stalls.

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My mum and I love to relax, chat and people watch in public squares, and Madrid is a perfect place for just that. We passed an impressive church which seemed very popular with a lovely garden so we decided to sit for a while. A family of three generations congregated outside the church and despite the language barriers, the love and cheekiness between the elderly grandparents and feisty grandchildren got us and the family giggling. The square behind the church, Plaza de la Villa de Paris, was filled with happy dogs and their owners, a popular space in a busy city.

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We walked back along the tree lined Paseo de la Castellana, the main road connecting us back to Parque del Retiro, stopping off at the Cauxi Forum to admire the huge green wall. Feeling a little hungry, we decided to make our way back to Plaza de Santa Ana and share a margherita pizza, in the sunshine…perfect! After a little rest at our apartment, we headed out for our final evening in Madrid, feeling exhausted from our day of walking and fresh air, we headed straight towards Plaza Mayor, keen to see the plaza alive with diners and street performers. A visit back to Mercado San Miguel for a tapas style dinner of delicious paella, calamari, shrimp, octopus and white bait.

With our taste buds tingling and our feet aching, we made our way back to our apartment for a much needed rest. Our flight home on Monday was in the evening so we saved our visit to the Museu de Prado for our final morning. After a quick breakfast at a little café opposite Caixi Forum, we were so glad to leave our luggage at the cloakroom of the museum and freely walk around, admiring the vast and varying art works.

With a few hours to spare, we picked up the makings of a picnic from a fun market style super market called Mallorca near to Plaza Independence and relaxed at Parque del Retiro, eating out picnic, overlooking the boating lake and ruins. Sad to leave, we meandered through the beautiful park in the direction of the Atocha Station, savoring the mild weather, stopping to admire the Palacio de Cristal on our way.

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A wonderful weekend spent with my mum, filled with great memories, giggles and even better food.

Michael was kind enough to collect us from Bristol airport and we returned to a balloon and bunting filled home, ready for my birthday the following morning.

Thanks Madrid, we loved you!!

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