Vamos a Madrid
Bonnes vacances ! Happy break! After a solid three weeks of teaching (one of which was just introducing myself) we totally deserved a two-week break. So, Friday I took myself to the beach to celebrate the start of vacation. Saturday morning, I woke up and headed to the airport to fly to Madrid to visit some of my college girlfriends. Kristen met me at the airport and we metro-ed into the city. I miss being in a bigger city a little bit and being able to hop on the metro (the tram in Nice is not the same!). The chicas and I grabbed brunch at a cute café near their apartment before wandering around Madrid in the afternoon.
The colored buildings along the calles vaguely reminded me of Nice, but with a Spanish charm. Madrid truly is a vibrant city, from the people to the places. It was also a little nice to be out of my comfort zone, being surrounded by Spanish and only understanding about half of what everyone was saying (people speak muy fast here!)
Dinner was back at (one of) my favorite places I’ve ever eaten – Takos al Pastor! I missed tacos and seasonings so much … don’t get me wrong French food is très delicieuse but Lele needs some spice in her life!
Taco-bout true love!
4 tacos were eaten, none were regretted- from the classic Al Pastor, to a taco with potatoes and cheese to one with spicy warm chicken - ¡muy delicioso! We came back and they had some friends over before going out to a bar in their neighborhood. We didn’t get back until 3 am – classic España!
The next morning we got up a bit early because we went to see the running of 1000 sheep for a parade to celebrate the harvest and fall. Sadly, the sheep were about an hour late (perhaps they had a late night as well?). But it was very cool to see them all trotting through the streets with traditional dancers! After a homemade breakfast, Kristen and I walked around Madrid and found a cute rooftop garden for a cerveza. We also hopped into a flea market festival and did some browsing in the spontaneous sun-shower. Late lunch/early dinner of jamon & tomate meant churros for dessert! We went to the famous Chocolateria San Gines for 6 long, greasy churros just ready to be dunked in the thick steamy, chocolate sauce. If that doesn't sound like heaven, I don't know what does!
I churro was glad I got to try churros this time in Madrid
Monday morning, I had the apartment to myself as the Spain pals went off to work. I wandered on a 20 minute walk to a cute café and got breakfast (and ended up doing everything in Spanish – my [fake] Spanish heritage is paying off)! Some tartines with butter and dulce de leche was a great start to a sunny day. I wandered around the Parque de Retiro until Kristen and I met up for a pique-nique back at Retiro since it was a lovely, day.
There was a tapas festival happening in a neighborhood across town, so we hopped on the metro and stopped at 3 different restaurants for different tapas at each. Tapas is a spanish tradition of a little appetizer/snack served with a beer in the later afternoon. It's the perfect pick-me-up before a late dinner. The international tapas festival meant we grabbed little bahn mi sandwiches, followed by a North African dish of chicken and rice, and finally a mini falafel sandwich (all with cerveza of course). We had a chill last night in calling our other pal from Skidmore. Spain was muy fun but it also made me miss not being in Paris with the metro and parks, as well as being away from my college friends/roommates.
Tuesday morning, I headed to the airport to catch my flight to the next stop on break ... Prague!
Cheers and beers,