Tag Archives: Plaza

That One Afternoon when Streets were Carless in Madrid

That Sunday afternoon of May 15 was a peculiar one. Scattered were throngs of people on certain areas in Madrid, specifically around the Palacio de Cibeles, Banco de Espana, Sevilla, and Puerta del Sol. It was just for a few hours, but was an event quite unusual, nonetheless. “Humans triumphed over vehicles,” I should say; it was a rare time when pedestrians enjoyed street domination. Cars were hardly in sight that it afforded people to be able to walk in the middle of the streets, not one hurrying, but instead walked at a leisurely pace. While many headed straight towards Sol, others sauntered off a bit presumably to better check the surroundings.

Roads literally had everything in them except auto buses plying the affected route. A municipal car was parked in the middle of the Plaza, beside the Fuente de la Cibeles (Cybele fountain). Policemen stood in the middle of the plaza to direct traffic. I noticed one of them approached an autobus coming from Paseo del Prado and seemed to have instructed the driver to reroute to the opposite direction.

Everyone at my bus (Line 5) got off as told by the driver. All went down the parada across the Casa de America building, along Paseo de Recoletos. Seeing throngs already milling around the fountain, many of my co-passengers followed suit and rushed to the middle of the plaza.

My immediate thoughts were to take some photos of the Cibeles, both the fuente and the edifice. I’ve always wanted to have really clear pictures of the fountain but since I can only take it from the sidewalk or even through the window of the bus, I couldn’t produce clear photos. I avoid using the zoom-in feature since it doesn’t do the pictures any good. Zooming in the view on your phone camera only creates unsightly pixels, which renders the photos as inferior.

That afternoon afforded me the chance to stand a mere few feet from the fountain, gazing unflinchingly at it,  and happy that all the shots I took gave me crispy, vivid results.

Afterwards, I walked at Gran Via, in the middle of road,  moving at a crawling pace to better examine and takes shots of the buildings that lined its sides. However, as I viewed the photos that I took, the results were less than desirable. It might be because of the lighting at the time, and the fact that the buildings at Gran Via were too tall that I had to assume awkward positions and take shots from poor angles. Pictures came out with the edifices partially captured, or with unwanted shadows on their facade. Eventually, I decided to tuck away my mobile phone onto my pocket and just enjoyed the rest of my walk to Sol.

Overall, it was great timing indeed. I was glad I made the decision to attend the Sunday mass at the Iglesia de San Gines de Arles at Calle del Arenal. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have experienced it – that fine afternoon when streets were car-less in Madrid.

imageThe Palacio de Cibeles y Fuerte de Cybele. I was right in front of the fountain when I took this shot

image I’m within the vicinity of the Plaza de la Independencia, a major square in Madrid. Here is where  important vias intersect, like Calle de Alcala, Serrano, and Calle de Alfonso XII.  In the background is the Puerta de Alcala, a landmark near the entrance to the Retiro Park

imageTurning into a long pedestrian walkway for a few hours that Sunday, May 15 was Gran Via, where mothers and dads push the strollers carrying their babies and couples holding hands while enjoying some leisure walk. Many others take advantage of the chance to have unique shots of themselves doing crazy poses while in the middle of the street

imageThis is such an opportune time when everyone enjoys walking the roads of Madrid (at least, in this corner of the city) freely – without the traffic lights impeding the flow of pedestrians, or without worrying about passing vehicles

image As I near Puerta del Sol, the movement of people in the streets turned slower. Crowds were all around and became thicker. Upon arriving at the plaza (Sol) I saw a rally was being held. While first, I thought the streets were closed because of the Fiesta de San Isidro, I could only surmise later on that the rally created a mayhem that it caused the nearby streets to be unavailable to car traffic

Puerta del Sol by Night

Nothing shines brighter than Puerta del Sol in the midst of Madrid where streets and pavement roll; over yonder where the young night skies are blue. It’s so magical everywhere I look; indeed, it is utterly true.

As the evening grows deeper, and the stores one by one close, only the incandescent lamps remain lit, yet they only keep me active, and not a bit morose.

These undulating waves of golden luminescence that reach everywhere, and touch every corner, every nook – put me in a trance-like state that’s seen in my gait, and apparent in my look.

Oh, I yearn to stay at the plaza an hour more, or perhaps two, to continue admiring  scenes around – every single sight, every single view.

And even when time creeps steadily into the night’s ungodly hours,  relentless meandering I continue- while trying to keep sleepiness at bay. I’m one of the scant number of souls who still survey the place, albeit trudgingly i must say.

Until finally, even if my heart will not budge if it had its way,  I accept that I am too languid, too weary not to call it a day.

image Dusk sets in, signaling tourists to come in and roam the beautiful Plaza del Sol

image Fountain right in the center of Puerta del Sol – a familiar landmark of the plaza

image Tio Pepe Neon sign is a permanent fixture at the plaza

imageOne will rarely see Plaza del Sol as bare as in this photo, taken just as the clock’s about to strike 12 MN

image El Oso y El MadroñoimageStatue of Rey Carlos III riding his horse as it faces Real Casa de Correos

image El Corte Ingles, a premier shop in Spain

imageAt right is the entrance to the Vodafone Sol Metro Station

Lavapies: Barrio at the Heart of Madrid

I’ve been here in Madrid for more than a year, and hate the fact that I still struggle with Spanish. And so before I quit on my language learning ability, if it does exist, I did some online research and came upon Asilim, an Lavapies-based institution offering language and integration courses for foreigners.  I didn’t enroll there, realizing that I can take free classes at a municipal school at Bravo Murillo. The search, however, piqued my interest in Lavapies, and led me to finding out more about it.

imageLavapies Metro Station, along Calle Argomusa, brings you right at the hustle and bustle of the barrio, La Playa de Lavapies.

imageYou may opt to start your tour at La Plaza de Tirso de Molina. In the middle background (vaguely captured) is the Teatro Nuevo Apolo, popular for its art deco-styled building, and known to be one of the most active in Madrid, in terms of programming.

I guess Lavapies owns the bragging rights to being in the middlemost part of the city (well, a little to the south of Madrid’s center, that is).  A number of barrios can lay claim to this actually, since many are found within the central area of the city. The popular ones (which I’ve already visited) are Puerta del Sol, Toledo, Moncloa, Colon, Gran Via,  and La Latina. These are great neighborhoods, and there are many more that I didn’t mention. For now, let me focus on our subject as it charms me the most.

One of the first things I learned is its supposedly not-so-good reputation, which I thought isn’t, really. Whether it’s true or not, there’s no denying that Lavapies is one of the most colorful barrios of Madrid. Be bewildered by the utter multi-cultural diversity of the place. Being there is like submerging in a sea of nationalities – Asians (mostly Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis), Moroccans, Middle East nationals, and Latinos, of course. They took advantage of its welcoming arms and cheap rent prices to settle and build communities.

Lavapies has become a haven of sorts for foreigners who wanted to invest or venture into business. It’s a place where immigrants from anywhere in the world coexist peacefully and forge strong relationships with the Spanish locals. In fact, they were able to establish communities within the barrio with great success that they might as well claim it as their own, and call it their Little India, Mini-Morocco, or Little Whatever-country-they-belong-to, and rightly so. Isn’t it just fair to call Lavapies Madrid’s cultural melting pot?

First Visit to Lavapies

image Old apartments in front of Plaza Agustin Lara. Housing in the barrio are available at low rent prices, attracting more and more young people to move in.

image South Asian Shop sells authentic Indian clothing and bags. Located along Calle Caracava.

As an Asian (Filipino) trying to blend into a new place, Lavapies’ known openness to foreigners has such a great appeal. This fact rings loudly, as attested to by many I know, giving me the impression that it is one of Madrid’s most foreigner-friendly places.

Of course, not all that I’ve heard about the barrio are praises and all. Some on the Internet have labeled it as unsafe (I refrain to use the word “dangerous” as I realized that this is not true ). In its defense, I can only think of a popular quote, “every rose has its thorns.” I strongly resent the unfair label, so I thought that being there in the middle of the action is the best way to disprove it.

Off to the Barrio

The starting point of my tour is the Ultima Parada of Autobus 27 at Glorietta de Embajadores (You can take this bus at Plaza de Castellana). A short walk through Miguel Servet and Calle Valencia and I found myself right in the middle of the Plaza de Lavapies. It was quite limited in area, with a small playground occupying a significant part.

Looking around, the uniqueness of the place is evident. Lavapies is atypical compared to other Madrid barrios. Surrounding the plaza are a number of foreign-owned restaurants, alimentaciones, and mobile phone and electronics shops, alongside their Spanish counterpart. It was almost 4 pm, and business was brisk that time of the day.

I assess that the establishments this part of Lavapies thrive since the nearby Metro Station attracts quite a good number of commuters. It is apart from the fact that the important roads converge and traverse through it, being the heart of the barrio.

I later learned that the Playa de Lavapies had been the site of the fountain where the Jews used to wash their feet (hence the name) before proceeding to the nearby synagogue, through a road now known as Calle de la Fe.

Bohemian Vibe

If you’re looking for a place where Bohemian and chic scream loudly,  Lavapies is your best option. It offers opportunities for the free spirited to experience and savor unique poetry, arts, and music. Performances are done in restaurants, cafes, and the sidewalks. Streets become stages for evening events, especially during weekends.

Just be warned, if you’re uninitiated, about the presence of odd-hairdoed and dressed artists and similar advocates come nighttime. Indeed, Lavapies speaks Bohemian, and there is no doubt that its varied-culture  nature contributes all the more to such an alternative atmosphere.

Known as a gathering place for the Bohemian crowd is the El Juglar, at Calle Lavapies, 37. It features various shows and performances at affordable entrance fees.

A safe barrio

Why do some people shun it? Why the fear, when in fact, like the rest of the city, there is strong police visibility in Lavapies, as evidenced by the regular rounds of mobile cars within the vicinity?

In my opinion, Lavapies is safe. Even for tourists. Whenever I’m there, the plaza serves as my hangout where I eat on the bench whatever food I bring. I wander around tirelessly, treading as many streets as possible just to pass time. And I always do this in my lonesome. Clearly, the place is safe as safe can be.

image Shot of Escuelas Pias made more picturesque because of the beautiful day. Escuelas Pias was formerly Colegio de Lavapies, burned down during the Spanish civil war in 1936. The present ruins serves as a library and the UNED Associated Centre.

Here’s a funny incident: As I approach Escuelas Pias via Meson de Paredes, someone in a group lazing around by the street corner caught my glance and nodded at me. Between acknowledging the nod and ignoring, I decided on the latter, and continued to walk while trying to look nonchalant. Obviously, I tried to avoid them out of fear. Was I taken aback when from a distance, I saw them having a seemingly normal conversation with a elderly couple.

I felt horrible – but I thought I couldn’t be faulted for having such a reaction. While I do think of Lavapies for the most part as safe, the Internet has triggered me somehow to have even  a tinge of doubt about it. A blogger even warned about the possibility of experiencing shady offers as one walks its streets. I was told a similar story by a friend. Don’t stare, avoid eye contact was the advice I got (Hence, my reaction with the group).

I thought that my foolish, paranoid reaction was unwarranted. In retrospect, I would have done the opposite and taken advantage of the chance to interact with the locals. Damn these crazed nerves – they always get the better of me.

Me Encanta Lavapies

After a number of visits, here’s my verdict – Lavapies is no different from any other barrio in Madrid. In my opinion, it’s even better. It’s cool, hip, and vibrant. It might be loud and rowdy, but not to the point of being raunchy. I’d live there in a heartbeat – if only I could.

I love that it’s near Puerta del Sol, which I consider the heart of Spain, while meters away is Rastro, for that Sunday morning flea-market shopping you don’t want to miss. Asian stores are everywhere. Doner Kepab is there (a few of them scattered, actually), with its Middle Eastern fare a good-enough alternative to the Tel Aviv version. There is a comic shop (El Collectionista) along Calle Tribulete. A health store (Planeta Vegano) at Calle Ave Maria. A herbal apothecary shop (Herbolario El Druida) at corner of De la Fe. Easy access to the highly efficient Metro. Great choices of cafes and theaters. The popular Mercado San Fernando (which I initially mistook for a church) is nearby. What more could you ask for?

While Lavapies exudes a dark character (what place doesn’t?), it’s just one of its many sides. In no way should it be labeled as seedy, or downright bad, as a few blogs do – because it’s not. Every place has its own evil, but good is there to cancel it out. The presence of opposing traits makes a place normal and livable, even great. Lavapies, the little barrio in the heart of Madrid, is exactly like that.
imageCool-flavored drinks, cozy ambiance, fast Latino beats, and even DJs – all this you can enjoy at Amor Voodoo along Calle de Lavapies.
imageSidreria is one of the more popular restaurante along Calle Argumosa. Spanish restaurants are complemented by their non-local counterparts to provide more options to diners.

imageSouth Asian restaurants ready up tables along the sidewalk of Calle de Lavapies. Photo was taken at around midday; a few hours more and diners are expected to come in. Indian dishes are rich and spicy, easily compensating the rather bland table covers.

imageCafe Barbieri at Calle del Ave María, 45, Lavapies. Located near the plaza, the cafeteria has been in business since 1902. One of the authentic Spanish cafes that exude Old Madrid. In 2015, it had major changes under its new management. Popular in Madrid for its delicious coffee fare, Cafe Barbieri is also known for staged performances.

imageI stumbled upon Paticano building at Traviesa de la Primavera, where masses for the “Iglesia Patolica” are said to be held. This “religion” recognizes the rubber ducky as their god.

imageThe sign says it all. This store sells all kinds of products for its Asian, Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern clients. Many others are strategically located within the neighborhood.

image The M1 minibus is a convenient ride to Lavapies, traversing the barrio as it takes its route from Embajadores to Sol and vice versa.

image A quick stop and coffee at Carrefour Lavapies affords one a panoramic view of the playa and Metro station.

imageBiblioteca de Humidades UNED is located next to the Lavapies Metro Station.

imageOne thing is true about Madrid; every major place in the city is not without these three establishments – churches, cafeterias, and casino and gaming shops. Lavapies is no exception.

imageTheater Valle-Inclan is a stone’s throw away from the Metro Station and Biblioteca de Humanidades, UNED. Its site is where the Old Olympia Theater once stood. Offering the latest in theater technology, Valle-Inclan regularly presents programmes that feature the best contemporary writers and artists.

imageA graffiti artist made a steel canvass out of these metal shutters of a restaurant along Calle Lavapies. Similar “works of art” are found all around the neighborhood.

image Commuters congregate in front of Lavapies Metro Station.

imageLa Playa de Lavapies is the lifeline of the barrio.

imageWelcome to the start of Calle Lavapies, side of Tirso de Molino. I walk along a few others – presumably on their way to work at or around the Plaza, or even beyond (Embajadores).

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree – Symbol of Madrid

Position yourself on the sidewalk in front of the Ministry of Interior, the massive edifice with the clock tower, and you could hardly spot the statue from where it stands. Its height of 14 feet is not enough to be conspicuous from such a distance.

Still, you know that it’s there, its location being one of the most crowded in the whole area, an indication of its immense popularity.

Come closer, and behold, a bear nuzzles up a strawberry tree. The latter seems to be receptive of its amiable gesture. Such is an attractive sight, and an easy tourist draw of the plaza.

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree Statue, known among locals as “El Oso y El Madrono,” is a highly revered symbol of Spain’s capital, and one of the must-see attractions of Madrid.

image

The popular figure is found in Madrid’s historical plaza, the Puerta del Sol. If you want to see it sans the large crowd, try to visit the plaza at around 1 or 2PM.

Go through Calle Alcala or Calle San Jeronimo (coming from Cibeles, Plaza de Independencia, and Sevilla), or exit the Vodafone Sol Metro station via the Alcala access gate, and you’ll immediately encounter the monument. As you go near it, certainly you can feel its imposing presence.

image

The Bear and Strawberry tree statue provides cool shade on a sunny day, which is why people love to gather around and even sit beside it to rest, with their backs pressed against its stone base.

A handsome bronze-and-stone creation of prominent Spanish sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafe, it was inaugurated in 1967. Quickly enough, Madridenos embrace it as a prime representation of their beloved city.

Indeed, the monument is a top reason why everyone wants to visit Puerta del Sol. It has become a meeting place of sorts, with tourists making it a starting point of their tour of the plaza.

image

Take an electric bike ride from any point in the city and park at Sol’s own bicycle station, located a few meters away from the statue.

A visit of Sol, of course, is not complete without a photo of the monument. However, it looks like all want to have their picture taken with the famous bear and tree, so one must be ready to wait for his turn.
image
The statue glistens on a rainy night

Some want to immediately scour the plaza for its surrounding commercial establishments, which are a slew and all more than willing to cater to various whims.

Still, many others rare to see the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, and would rather visit it first. Effortlessly, it attracts people to its fold, especially those who want to experience its historical importance.

How to reach: Visit to the monument is easy, as a number of EMT buses start and end, or pass within or near the plaza itself such as 51, 5, and 150. If you are coming from Glorietta de Embajadores, Tirso de Molina, and Plaza de Cascorro, the EMT minibus M1 will take you to the plaza. A stone’s throw away is Metro Station, Vodafone Sol. Reach it after just a few minutes of leisure walking from Tribunal, Callao, and Gran Via.

image

EMT Autobus 51 offers a convenient ride, with its final stop (ultima parada) located near the monument.

Madrid After Christmas

It's the 26th, and the spirit of the Yuletide Season is very much in the air in Madrid even if Christmas has already passed.

Everyone is not ready to let the festive mood within them disappear. Decors all around the city, at homes and in the streets, avenues, and plazas, are still up and will not be removed until January 6th.

Madrid is Christmas Land 'til Feast of the Three Kings

For a few days more (10 days to be exact), Madrid continues to be a magical place come night time as Christmas trees and lighting decors brightly illuminate the city.

Speaking of Jaunary 6, it is when Spain commemorates the Feast of the Three Kings or Epiphany, and also the date when Christmas officially ends.

Dia de los Reyes, as how they call it in Spanish, is the Spaniards' The Little Christmas. Gift giving is done on this occasion as a tradition, instead of Christmas Eve or Day.

I want my Roscon (and the good luck that it brings)

Another popular tradition during The Three Kings is the eating of sugar-coated Roscon, a delicacy similar to a doughnut, only much larger.

Inside every Roscon is a toy, most likely a little Nino Jesus. Everyone partakes a slice, and the one who gets the toy enjoys good luck and blessings for one whole year.

Hail to Kings Gaspar, Melchor, and Baltazar

Likewise, I can't wait to catch candies that will be thrown to the crowd by people from the Municipalidad as they pass by Calle Principe de Vergara.

The parade symbolizes the arrival of the Three Kings and bringing of their gifts.

This candy-throwing event is done in many places in Spain during Dia de los Reyes.

My first Christmas in Madrid made me realize that the city vigorously celebrates the Season, much like how we celebrate it back home. I look forward to enjoying the same joyous experience again next year.

Here are some photos of beautiful sights and scenes from Madrid after Christmas. Feliz Navidad!

Colorful lights adorn this building at Plaza Puerta del Sol, Madrid
Christmas lights in the form of giant snow flakes adorn the facade of El Corte Ingles building at Plaza Puerta del Sol, Madrid

Christmas Lights shaped in circle mesmerize passers-by at Calle de la Montera
Yuletide lights mesmerize passers-by at Calle de la Montera
Blue Christmas Tree at Calle de la Montera, in front of Gran Via
Blue Christmas Tree at Calle de la Montera, in front of Gran Via
Beautiful lighting decors of red and blue brighten up the length of Calle de la Montera
Christmas lights of red and blue brighten up the length of Calle de Fuencarral
Gargantuan neon sign display at El Corte Ingles, Nuevos Ministerios
Gargantuan digital sign display at El Corte Ingles, Nuevos Ministerios

Chandelier lighting decors send warmth and illumination throughout wintry Calle de Goya, in Salamanca
Chandelier lighting decors send warmth and illumination throughout wintry Calle de Goya, in Salamanca

Calle Velazquez, Madrid
Calle Velazquez boasts of truly attractive lighting that highlight the festive season, in Distrito Salamanca

Goya, Madrid
Yuletide gives this establishment good reason to spruce up its facade with draping rope lights, located along Calle de Goya
Feliz Navidad sign welcomes pedestrians as they walk through kiosks that line both sides of the passageway beside Nuevos Ministerios Metro Station and going to El Corte Ingles, Plaza Castellana.
Feliz Navidad sign welcomes pedestrians as they walk through a passageway with kiosks on both sides. Beside Nuevos Ministerios Metro Station, fronting Paseo de la Castellana
A mini recreation fun land is set up to accommodate kids wanting to enjoy fun rides. At the back of El Corte Ingles
A mini-recreation and play center is set up in the grounds of El Corte Ingles to accommodate kids wanting to enjoy fun rides
Bluish white Yuletide Lighting decors shine down upon the busy street of Bravo Murillo
Bluish white lighting decors radiate warmth and illumination upon the busy street of Bravo Murillo
Chamartin Mercado, Madrid's most beautiful market (for me, at least) made more beautiful with it bright green Christmas tree and trimmings. Along Calle Colombia
Chamartin Mercado, Madrid's most beautiful market (for me, at least), is made even more charming with its bright green Christmas tree and trimmings, along Calle Colombia
Imposing Christmas tree complements the Paseo de la Castellana fountain near Nuevos Ministerios. What a site to behold!
Imposing Christmas tree complements the spectacular Paseo de la Castellana fountain near Nuevos Ministerios. Such a site to behold!
This scene at Paseo de la Castellano reminds of Champs Elysees during Christmastime
This scene at Paseo de la Castellano reminds me of Paris' Les Champs Elysees during Christmastime

Merry Christmas everyone, from Let's Talk Madrid!

Let’s Talk Madrid, Spain

Having had the chance to stay in Tel Aviv (5 years) and travel to Paris (5 days), I thought of myself as truly lucky.

Now this time, I am in Madrid, Spain. For how long? Nothing’s definite yet.

All I’m sure is that I am one fortunate soul.

Because for one thing, I am a blogger. In me now is this overflowing exhilaration knowing that once again, I can write about another great city.

puerta del sol madrid picture
At Puerta del sol, the heart of Madrid

Indeed, there is no other acceptable way to talk about a place, gush and rave about it, or even spew rants about it (if need be) than to be there – in the flesh!

To write honestly about a place, you must breath its air, soak in its culture, bask in its sun, and mingle with its people, asserting yourself as like one of them at some point (take it as a challenge).

estadio santiago bernabeu picture photo
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Europe’s third largest stadium

You do so, and everything becomes spontaneous, easy, and frank. You don’t become exact in your words, sounding like that in a wiki – but more like insightful, discerning, or even idiotic.

Needless to say, you’re licensed to articulate your emotions in any way you want if you see things first-hand.

And put simply, if you’re within, around, and a witness to your subject, you churn beautiful and evergreen pieces about it.

Lucky me, I am here in Madrid. For real.


Hence, letstalkmadrid.com is born.

Plaza Mayor Madrid
Feast of Nuesra Senora de Almudena Mass, at Plaza Mayor
Your caballero is ready and raring to travel around this beautiful Spanish capital. I dare to either conquer (read: blend in), or yield (read: be captivated by all its splendor).

To wander aimlessly along Madrid streets and inner streets is more to my liking; excited to be surprised by things, places, and sights that await to be discovered.

Here I come Gran Via, Puerta del Sol, Prosperidad (the Distrito where I live), Chamartin, Rastro (and its limitless antiquities), and Plaza Mayor, among so many others.

Flea marktet shop at El Rastro de Madrid
Flea marktet shop at El Rastro de Madrid

These blog-worthy places are but a drop in this city’s deep bucket of beautiful sites and attractions.

My humble website will feature some of Madrid’s parks (such as Parque de Berlin, across Avenida Ramon y Cajal) and churches (like Parroquia de San Antonio de Cuatro Caminos, along Calle Bravo Murillo), where I go to spend my times of idling and worship, respectively.

Statue of Pope John Paul II at Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Almudena, Calle de Bailen, Madrid
Statue of Pope John Paul II at Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Almudena, Calle de Bailen, Madrid

Also worth noting are their cafes, cafeterias, cantinas, coffee shops, coffee bookshops – which ever way they are called. Spaniards dearly love their coffee, explaining why these establishments are in the thousands, scattered around the city.

Audrey Cafeteria, Calle de Bravo Murillo Madrid
Audrey Cafeteria, Calle de Bravo Murillo, Madrid

Do I have to mention that Spanish food will be prominently featured here? No Madrid blog is complete without discussing tapas and paellas, cochinillos and pollos asados, and turones and jamones. Occasional reviews of popular Madrid restaurants are in the offing as well.

My first taste of Paella at Museo de Jamon
My first taste of Paella at Museo de Jamon

Por favor, join me in my journey as I write about my day-to-day experiences, adventures, travels, and travails as a Madrileno nuevo – a self-appointed one at that.

Undoubtedly, Madrid is a travel blogger’s haven; and so I can’t thank the Universe enough for being here.

Bear and Strawberry Tree Statue
Bear and Strawberry Tree Statue, Plaza Puerta del Sol, Madrid

Most importantly, it’s a privilege to be in Spain knowing that not everyone has the means to travel.

It is hard enough to gather resources needed to tour one’s own country. It’s even more difficult to travel to another country in a faraway continent.

Palacio de las Cortes, Carrera de San Jeronimo
Palacio de las Cortes, Carrera de San Jeronimo

I know that countless individuals ache for a chance to see Madrid. Sadly, most can only dream about it.

In my case, I am living my own.

For this, muchas gracias.

Do keep me company as I learn to live in this city; experiencing bliss and sadness, and everything in between. I’ll take it a day at a time while embracing Madrid tightly, and all that it has to offer.

Palacio Real picture photo
Palacio Real

Let’s talk Madrid.

Hasta pronto!