Although I was upset to say goodbye to my family, the weekend with them in Rome was quite the success. Because the past week had been so busy, I decided that a nice and relaxing weekend should be in order. Due to this, me and my friend Alyssa decided to take a short weekend trip to the capital of Spain, Madrid. We felt that it would be the best opportunity to see other friends who are studying abroad there and additionally explore the city.
Upon first glance of the city when I arrived in Madrid on Thursday night, I felt that it ultimately resembled Barcelona a lot. Once we settled into our hotel, Alyssa and I met up with a friend of ours from high school for a typical tapas dinner. Much to our surprise, her apartment was conveniently located directly next to our hotel, making it extremely easy for us to all walk back and forth to dinner together. I recommend to stay in this location, in Puerta del Sol, upon visiting Madrid because it is within walking distance of all of the major sites. She took us to a great restaurant called Lateral. It was so good that Alyssa and I even went back to this exact same restaurant the next night. I guess you could say that we were a little lazy and too hungry to look for another decent restaurant in the area. At Lateral, we indulged in some amazing food including a salmon and avocado tartar, salmon sashimi, a sirloin steak, and a wonderful chicken salad with apples and brie. The best part about this restaurant was that there was a button on the table that you could press in order to call the waiter over to the table. This was so convenient and I honestly wish that every single restaurant around the world had this feature as I am quite needy when it comes to wanting a waiter’s attention!
The next morning, we went straight for breakfast and then directly afterwards,we ventured off to Retiro Park. Retiro Park is massive, nice, and relaxing. It is definitely a must-see for any tourist in Madrid. Here we met up with some friends by the lake and admired the beautiful landscape. After this, we visited a church, the notorious Prado Museum which has exquisite art, and the also famous Mercado de San Miguel. My favorite part about this day was the Mercado de San Miguel, for sure. This market is an upscale, enclosed version of La Boqueria except here there were also more prepared foods than fresh produce. There were sangria and tapas stands everywhere and the place with filled with tons of people, tourists and locals alike. In Mercado de San Miguel, I tried delicious frozen yogurt with peanut butter. This was so exciting because I had not had peanut butter since I got to Spain….do not ask me why because I am not sure!
Naturally, our last day in Madrid ended at the Royal Palace of Madrid and also with some shopping at various stores in Puerta del Sol. Following this, we enjoyed a great meal at El Tigre which is a place that you order a large drink for 5 euros and in return you receive a drink and a huge plate of delicious tapas including croquettes, patatas bravas and spanish tortilla.
I am so happy with my choice to not only visit Madrid but for the amount of time I was there and for what I accomplished. I felt that I was able to see everything and every person that I wanted to all while enjoying a great weekend with my friend! As with every other weekend though of course, we were super excited to return back to Barcelona and prepare for all of our friends to visit us.