Thursday, November 21, 2019

Travel | A weekend in Spain's Capital - MADRID

Travel | A weekend in Spain's capital - MADRID. What I visited in just one day in beautiful Madrid. All photos taken with Sony a6000 by Barbara Santos.

Hello!!!

I am finally back in the blogging mode and I couldn't be happier to do so with another travel post.
As you may know, these are one of my favorite posts to write and I'm seriously thinking to make this Blog more travel-oriented than before.
But more on that on a future post; for today, we are focusing on MADRID!!!


A weekend in Spain's Capital - MADRID


Arriving in Madrid

Landed at Barajas airport, Friday night (almost Saturday...), and after a long day of work, there was not much left to do besides getting to our hotel ASAP.
For this, we took an Uber (my first time!!!), since by subway it would take us more than 1 hour.
It took us about 25min to reach our hotel.
After a speedy check-in, it was time to catch some Zzz.

Where we stayed

Since our stay was going to be super short, it was only logic to stay as central as possible and with good public transportation nearby.
After some search on Booking.com, we chose to stay at Petit Palace Preciados, 2 min walking from Plaza del Sol!
Couldn't have been more central, I'd say.

Good hotel for the price; we had a small room, with a very good breakfast!
If you are on a weekend trip, this may be a good option.

Saturday Morning - Walk Tour

After a very good sleep and breakfast, it was time to hit the streets of Madrid.
It had been about 10 years if my memory serves me well since I had last visited the city, and even though I still had some fresh recollections, I was ready to be surprised by Madrid, once again.

Plaza de la Puerta del Sol - Madrid, Spain
Plaza de la Puerta del Sol
First stop: Plaza de la Puerta del Sol.
Yep, still busy, just like I remembered it.
Oh, and sunny and cold! Just like last time I walked there.
This square is essentially a crossroad; most people are just passing by, moving from a bus to a metro line, or simply going from point A to B.
However, back in the early day, Puerta del Sol was Madrid's eastern gate!

Galleries of Plaza Mayor - Madrid, Spain
Plaza Mayor
We, like many others, were just passing by with our next stop in mind: Plaza Mayor.
There is no tourist guide that won't tell you this square is a "Must See" and I have to agree.
My preference goes to its galleries but the square itself is very nice, however, this weekend they were just getting started with setting up some event. It looked like a Christmas Market, but I'm not 100% sure.

Due to that fact, there were many vans, builders and fences all over the place, which, to me, killed the vibe this magnificent square had given me last time I visited.

Plaza Mayor - Madrid, Spain
Plaza Mayor

Off we went, bravely fighting the cold morning winds. Believe me, just because it's Spain and sunny, it doesn't mean it's warm!!

The narrow old streets going from Plaza Mayor are so charming, with many cute shops and cafes, got me the feeling like I was being transported back in time; I could almost picture royals and nobles walking those same streets, centuries ago...

Cute old streets surrounding Plaza Mayor - Madrid, Spain

That, or my brain was just freezing and I got these silly thoughts...

Mercado de San Miguel - Madrid, Spain
Mercado de San Miguel

It was with surprise that we found Mercado de San Miguel, one of Madrid's oldest and most beautiful markets, so they say.
No matter if you are hungry or not, the moment you step inside and cross path with the many tapas booths, you start drooling...

Many delicious tapas in Mercado de San Miguel

On a rainy day, I would totally see myself spending the day there! You can get anything there, from traditional tapas to caviar to chocolate and other sweet delicacies.
Are you drooling yet?!
Ok, let's continue.

Vaste wine selection available in Mercado de San Miguel.

It was just a short walk via Calle Mayor and we arrived at the Royal Palace quarter.
For longer stays, I'd totally recommend go and visit the Palace itself, however, be prepared for long lines.
Not sure if you can get admission tickets ahead, probably yes, but if not, be prepared to wait in line.

Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena - Madrid, Spain
Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena
Since we had just one day to visit as much as possible, we just got to see the main hall of Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena, which is basically next door to the Royal Palace.

The crypts were open to visits as well, but we had no time to do it...

It was crowded but in all honesty, I'm glad it was for free because there wasn't much to see. Apart from the ceiling that had these nice symetric paintings (my eyes & brain are always suckers for symmetries...).
Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena - Madrid, Spain

But other than that, there isn't much to see; it's quite obvious that Madrid's Cathedral does not leave a big impression when compared to other European Cathedrals.

But hey, that was not the reason we were there! Whahaha

Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena - Madrid, Spain

But if you want to know why we were in Madrid and what more have we seen/visited, then you will have to come back next week for part 2 of this post! hihihi

There are more sights (aka photos!) and experiences to share as well as some tips.
I'm glad I finally got out of my blogging-block-mode and got to sit and write this post.

But for now, that's all.

See you on the next post!




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