In 2015 I was so lucky to be returning to my beloved Madrid, and my dearest Spain.
It all started with a plan to meet my friends ( Michael and Dan) in Portugal. We wanted to see and do Portugal as we ( Dan and I ) are among many other things, Portuguese. Instead of flying straight to Portugal, I thought it be better to fly into Madrid again. One, because it is cheaper on Delta to fly in, and 2. There’s just so much more I wanted to see and do in the city. So I made my plans, and it included 8 nights in Madrid, a few week in Portugal with a side trip to the Azores, and back to Spain to see Cordoba and Granada and complete my Andalusian journey.
When the time got close, I was joined by a co-worker friend of mine Debra. She will be my travel sister/ companion up until the last two weeks of my journey.
So the journey started in Late April of 2015. We journeyed from Honolulu to Los Angelis, and Los Angelis to NYC. We decided to take the 13 hour layover in Nyc so that we may visit with some friends, exercise our legs, and see some sites. I’m so glad we did.
We landed in Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport around 9 in the morning. Unfortunately, Delta, lost my luggage and sent it to London. After a quick exchange of information to the snooty queen boy at the Delta counter, Debra and I made our way to the Metro station to catch our train to our apartment.
I did the same thing I did last time in Madrid: Royal Tapas and Royal Fun, I bought a 10 journey ticket with 2 airport supplements for Debra and I , and we were on our way to our final stop Alonso Martinez.
From terminal T4
Take line 8
Transfer at Nuevo Miniestro
Line 10 to Alanso Martinez
So simple. The area we were staying in this time, was a more quiet and beautiful area than Tirso De Molina. The apartment was in a secured building and very pretty and quaint and filled to the brim with breakfast materials. Our host was so sweet and after our check in and some information shared, we were left alone. He did assist me with the whole lost baggage situation, but I wasn’t going to worry about that now, since all I have to do is go shopping. Which is really hard to do in Madrid…. NOT!!!
Refreshed from our journey since we slept the whole way, and after we unpacked and got settled into our apartment, Debra and I decided to go and seize the day.
Here is a look at the lovely apartment we stayed in from Airbnb: Click Here
We took the metro by the nearby Alonso Martinez Metro stop to visit first Plaza Mayor.
Plaza Mayor: As mentioned in my previous post Madrid: Royal Tapas and Royal Fun Was so beautiful today. The Sun was shining spectacularly and the weirdos were out trying to solicit some Euro for their hap hazard performance. It was quite a treat.
Next Stop, the Royal Palace. I know I’ve been here before, but Debra hasn’t and it is an absolute must see. I just love visiting the Palace. It’s so gorgeous. We made our way from Plaza Mayor , which is a nice 10 – 15 minute stroll . This time, I went to visit the Armory, which was a really unique experience.
We woke up especially early this morning. After shuffling around, we got dressed grabbed our coats ( it was in the 60’s) and headed out for the day. I mapped our route. Today we will be visiting the Sorolla Museum which was about a good 35 minute walk away from our Apartment. We stopped for sustenance and fuel first, at this quaint little bar directly across our apartment. It was Debra’s first experience having breakfast and coffee in a bar. But it is how it is in Spain and I love it. All fueled up we enjoyed our leisurely stroll en route to The Sorolla Museum. Unfortunately when we got there it was still closed as we were a bit early. So we enjoyed the crisp Spring air and wandered about a bit. Debra found a clothing store that was open, and stocked up on her Spanish spring wear. The walk to the Museum was just so beautiful and lovely.
Sorolla Museum: Joaquín Sorolla was an 19th Century artist in Madrid. His work was primarily on his family, whom he loved so much. The museum is his actual house and his works of art and garden was just mind blowing.
After the museum, we walked down towards the Prado on the Paseo del Prado. The walk was filled with miraculous little gems. Beautiful architecture and city art. Madrid as you will see shortly, is so full of beauty, especially at spring time.
Still no bags, no phone call, I felt I needed to go shopping…. Right when I was buying 2 pairs of shoes, I get the call that my bag had arrived. Irritated that I just bought 2 pairs of shoes ( well not so much irritated they were gorgeous ) we headed back to the apartment to rest , get my bag, and chill.
Later that evening ( it was already 10 pm ) I told Debra, we need to book it to Calle Cava Baja for some tapas. Unfortunately by the time we got there ( 11pm) most of the tapas bars were stopping their services. I couldn’t believe it. Last time, I remember having lots of tapas and drinks late into the evening. Oh well…. We did get to have a few, then decided to rush over to the Westin Hotel for some grand cocktails and munchies.
Today is May 1st and its a national holiday, followed by May 2nd also being a national holiday. So thinking that the city will be dead, we decided to go and visit my favorite park on earth, Retiro. We walked, and enjoyed the park as well as a lovely beer and snacks. It was a lovely 4 hours relaxing in the park.
While were walking and exiting the park, we heard what sounded like loud pounding. We made our way down to where the noise was coming from, and it was a rock band playing in front of the Reina Sofia Museum. I thought I was in some little red neck town with all the leather wearing, days without a bath, and loud pounding rockers. it was hilarious. So we decided to stop lunch and watch the festivities.
That evening we had reservations at Casa Patas Flamenco . We had the midnight show. Which was perfect . It gave us enough time to rest. We got there a little early, and sat at the bar for some cocktails. There is a full on restaurant there. And a lot of the tourist were eating their over priced food. Shortly there after, the doors opened, and we were sat right in front of the stage. The show was unbelievable. We were also in for a treat as some of the greats ( flamenco performers) were in the audience and came up and danced and sang. It was phenomenal.
Here is an amazing illegal video I shot ( I got reprimanded about it later oops) of one of the amazing performers.
Today is May 2nd and as previously mentioned, is also a holiday in the city, except many stores are open. We decided to do some shopping and check out the festivities around the city. After a good damage at the stores, we headed down to the Prado where a beautiful wedding was happening at the nearby Basilica San Jeronimo El Real . We then headed down to the Palace again to see the royal guard’s performances.
From Gran Via, we walked, and walked and walked into the Malasaña neighborhood where they were celebrating the 2nd of May with Tango in the streets. It was so cool
After the Tango free for all , we decided that we are just not done with the day, so we headed to the Reina Sofia Museum to look at some local media art.
Today is now the 3rd of May, a Sunday. And we thought of no better way to celebrate the day of the Lord, than by taking a quick side trip to the Ancient Roman city of Segovia .Please see my trip report on Segovia in Spain: A tapas of beautiful people and landscapes
Monday may 4th, and our last full day and night in Madrid. We walked around the city and the Salamanca Barrio for some shopping and architectural touring.
We went back tot he apartment, to pack our belongings and get ready for our flight to Lisbon in the morning. We had such a great time together in Madrid. Our check out was a breeze with the apartment owner, and this time we opted to take a taxi to the airport , since we acquired a lot of “souvenirs “.
You can read about my Portugal Adventure here: Lisbon: The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Fado
I did return to Madrid at the end of my trip through Portugal, Cordoba and Granada. My last night was a huge bummer. Let me explain.
When I was in Segovia, I lost my most favorite eye glasses of all time. I thought I would just let it go. However, I was reading on a forum when I was in Granada , that RENFE , the local train company for Spain, is really good at retrieving lost items. So when I arrived back into Madrid at the Estacion Sur, I lugged my two bags to the nearest metro station. Took the metro to the Chamartin RENFE station and went to Loss and Found. The person running the desk was a complete and utter ass. First is “no” “impossible” next is ok let me look. Then it’s no again, and then it’s “maybe” and finally its “NO”. I was so confused and upset. To make matters worse. When I caught the metro back into the city to get to my hotel, I pulled a muscle in my back. And to add insult to my Injury, it was the Full Moon, my hotel room was drop dead gorgeous, and I had only 10 hours to truly enjoy it , as I had a 6 am flight in the morning which meant I had to be there no later than 4 am, which meant I needed to leave the hotel by 3:30 am. So bummed.
There is always a light at the end of the damn tunnel. And it came in the form of the ONLY YOU HOTEL: Read my review here:
The hotel is located in the Chueca Barrio and is surrounded by exquisite Haute Couture Designer shops , restaurants, and more importantly, a pharmacy to get meds for my back. I walked around that day, shopped a little, and went back and try my best to enjoy this beautiful hotel.
At 3:30 prompt , a taxi driver pulled up and whisked me away to the airport. I was sad to leave Madrid yet again, but also exhausted from my whirlwind of a trip.
Till I see you again Madrid…. Gracias ATi.