With our busy schedules and many commitments, we would love and quite frankly, I think we are close to needing an extended time away, we just cannot seem to fit it in. We have mastered the quick trips, 72 hours in a city, as chronicled in another post from several months ago 72 hours in London. This time around we found a great deal over Thanksgiving and headed to Madrid, Spain. The trip was just amazing, here are some must see and must do for anyone’s trip, pack it all in.
A trip that far from home, NYC, would seem daunting to some but I will share our tricks. Fly overnight going and be sure to get settled in and comfortable, you will need to use this flight to sleep. Arriving in the morning in Europe from a night-time flight from the U.S. is key. Know however, you will be kind of tired but keeping moving is key. Get checked in to wherever you are staying or drop off your things, grab some coffee and knock off a few things on your list. In the afternoon, we take a healthy nap, about two hours, this allows us to adjust to the local time and be sleepy at a normal bedtime while not sleeping away your entire first day.
That is our “getting there adjustment” to a trip now to the trip itself. I am a planner. I plan and execute everything. This time though it was different, it was about us being in a different environment and relaxing, being away from the hustle and bustle. I did of course have a loose list of things I would be remised if I did not see or do, now let me take you on a tour of Madrid, Spain in a quick 72 hours.
While I am a “hotel” person by trade, when I am on holiday honestly, that is the last thing I want to do- stay in a hotel, we booked a magical apartment close to the palace. The host was very easy to work with and the apartment was even better than described in the listing. We had all of the comforts of home and lived like locals. I made a mistake in booking dates and it worked out perfectly as we landed at 9:30 AM, by the time we cleared immigration and made it from the airport in was close to 10:30 AM, we were able to settle right in- drop our bags, brush our teeth, and get on with the enjoyment of the city.
Day one- Our first stop of San Gines Chocalateria, here we had coffee with melted chocolate with fresh churros. Yummy….just yumm, I can tell you about it all day but until you enjoy the soft inside from the crunchy churro dipped in hot chocolate and washed down with slightly bitter coffee for yourself…wow. We walked around and visited Plaza Puerta del Sol then settled in for our nap. Once we were rested we were up and ready to go for the evening, we took a walk through Cathedral de Santa Maria as well as the Royal Palace and had no agenda for the rest of the evening. This freed the way for tapas, a ton of wine, ham, bread, and cheese (a daily occurrence!).
Day two- The day started with a run, a nice jog in a location I have never been, enjoying parks, this run took me to Parque Oeste, a beautiful large space where everyone just strolled. I was impressed by how sparsely populated the park was, even though it is on the “must see” list for many. The statues of historical figures was pretty impressive. The day itself was beautiful, 62 degrees Fahrenheit, lovely for exploring, we walked so much that day, my Fitbit registered that we walked 9 miles (on top of my 3 mile run), so easy to do, even along the river is an entire park. The day was complete when we visited and had a tour guide show us around Basilica de San Francisco, no words can really describe the beauty the head to the rooftop of Curculo de Bellas Artes for a pre dinner glass of wine. This day was Thanksgiving and we celebrated our day with a big pan of paella and of course more wine, seemed in Spain like having a soda for dinner in the U.S.
Day three- This was our last full day, this day we just walked, explored, walked some more, no agenda, nothing to do. The Market at San Miguel was by far our favorite place to eat, we ate here twice this day! The market offered small places to have anything you want- desserts, seafood, caviar, anything and enjoy it at communal tables, just the kind of thing we like. The absolute highlight of this day was seeing Flamenco live at Corral de la Moreria. I must say, I do not think I can adequately describe this experience and the emotion of the performance, the guitars, the stomping of the heels on the wood, the emotion… wow.
Our last morning was a day to shop and decide what small pieces of Madrid we wanted to bring back with us aside from the cherished memories. Then time to head home, quick, but just enough time, as we headed to the airport, the plans for the next trip began.
Me encantó nuestro tiempo en Madrid, fue increíble. La cultura, la rioja, el jamón, el pan y el queso eran deliciosos. El tiempo con mi compañero, no hay precio. Hasta la próxima vez España.