Something has happened to me. I think it’s serious…
I officially get stir crazy if I haven’t jetsetted off to a different European country in the course of a month. It’s a sickness.
So, when we had our end of summer bank holiday in the UK at the end of August, I felt the need to get away. Mainly I wanted to relax and not feel pressure to tourist around so I was initially thinking of going to Rome or Paris, two cities I’ve visited before.
But then, through the influential powers of trip deals on Expedia, I thought, why not Madrid? I’d been wanting to visit the Prado since taking Spanish in high school, and a little chorizo and patatas bravas wouldn’t go amiss either. 🙂
Madrid is often described as being the most “Spanish” of Spanish cities. It’s a bit grittier than Barcelona and without the unique sandcastle Gaudi architecture, but it’s culturally significant in that it’s home to the Prado and the Reina Sofia (both of which I had the extreme pleasure to see on my visit.) I got to peer firsthand at canvas upon canvas of Picasso and Dali, and of course, gaze at “Guernica,” Picasso’s masterpiece now housed at the Reina Sofia, for the better part of a Sunday afternoon.
And then there’s the food. I wanted to take a tapas tour and luckily I found the fantastic Walks of Spain tapas tours after perusing TripAdvisor. This is not a tourist trap, but instead a culinary journey guided by enophile Andres. He actually brings wine from his own cellar to the restaurants. And the stops on the tour aren’t restaurants you would find in a beaten guidebook, but instead some of the trendy, modern gems of Madrid. My favourite munchie? The “buenas noticias” at Loft 39, winner of the 2011 national tapas competition – Viva Espana!
© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2012.