The three Madrid Adventurers woke up slow this morning but to a beautiful Spring day in the City. Our location right next to the train station means there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby.
Our choice for breakfast can only be described as a Spanish diner – complete with dishes banging, a big varied menu, orders being yelled out and servers bustling through the crowd.
We passed on many of the Spanish classics on the menu – tripe, anchovies, calamari – a little early in the morning for those options. Tracy and Suaram chose the Omelet which was more like an egg casserole with potatoes. Tiffany chose the Pisto con huevos or ratatouille with eggs. It all came with fresh crusty bread.
Then we spied the next table eating something at looked tasty – churros! These weren’t covered in cinnamon and sugar like usual (and they were honestly sort of greasy) but they tasted crispy and light.
Our apartment is located next to one of the older parts of Madrid. As we took a short walk through the streets (straight uphill) we saw more lovely cafes we wanted to try and charming street views looking down the hill over the city.
After that we regrouped at the apartment to figure out our Madrid plan. We were 25% of the way through our two days here and finally doing some planning – guess that’s how it goes sometimes.
We decided on tomorrow’s adventure so then we started figuring out the rest of the day. Too late to get tickets to the Madrid Palace – all sold out. But lots of time slots were available for the Prado and they let people in for free starting at 6pm. We debated but decided not to buy tickets ahead since we wanted to do some wandering and weren’t sure of our timing.
Our first wander spot was the iconic Plaza Major – the heart of Old Madrid. The ‘town square’ dates back to the 15th century when it was the main market of the town. Over the centuries it has hosted bullfights, soccer matches, executions and these days, the annual Christmas market.
The space was huge – our photos couldn’t capture it all. On this fine day is was filled with people relaxing at cafes, following chattering tour guides and generally just passing through. It was a fun space to spend some time.
Our next stop was Chocolatería San Ginés. It’s one of the most famous chocolate shops in Madrid. It’s very popular specialty is chocolate with churros – ever since 1894 when it was founded.
We then walked just a few minutes to the Puerto del Sol. This well known and busy plaza is where Madrid rings in the new year under its’ famous clock. Its also has the famous Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree representing Madrid’s Coat of Arms. The space is currently under construction but we still got to see the clock and the statue.
By now it was time to walk over to the Prado to see some art. As we arrived at 530, our plan to buy tickets and enter before the free visits started was thwarted by a long line and no more tickets available. Rats! Looks like we outsmarted ourselves.
But, we did get to see some souvenir versions of the Osborne Bull – so that was a good addition to the day.