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.
Dusk sets in, signaling tourists to come in and roam the beautiful Plaza del Sol
Fountain right in the center of Puerta del Sol – a familiar landmark of the plaza
Tio Pepe Neon sign is a permanent fixture at the plaza
One will rarely see Plaza del Sol as bare as in this photo, taken just as the clock’s about to strike 12 MN
El Oso y El MadroñoStatue of Rey Carlos III riding his horse as it faces Real Casa de Correos
El Corte Ingles, a premier shop in Spain
At right is the entrance to the Vodafone Sol Metro Station
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Undoubtedly, Madrid is a travel blogger’s haven; and so I can’t thank the Universe enough for being here.
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.
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.