The land of food and wine lovers, the land of Siesta, land of sun, sea and beautiful beaches!!! Yes, you got it right…Welcome to Spain!!!
Spain is beautiful, modern and dynamic. I won’t say that I have never thought or dreamt of going there as once I too had that “ Zindagi Na Milegi du bara ” effect on me. So when one of my close friends offered me to visit her place, I accepted her invite with alacrity. I booked my tickets from Etihad Airways with a layover stop at Abu Dhabi. On the day of my travel, I was having butterflies in my stomach 🙂 and after 14 hours long flight finally I landed in a land of senoritas.
I found Spain a little laid back, the pace of life moves slowly here. People enjoy themselves and love to eat and relax. Once landed in Madrid, I choose south Spain to explore and ditched Barcelona and Granada which were the usual choice for people who visit Spain for the first time. But before heading to south, I already fall in love and hooked with the capital – Madrid 😉
On my first day, I booked a Madrid city tour through its hop-on-hop-off bus. This is the most convenient and cheapest way of exploring this beautiful city. It runs on two routes namely Modern Madrid and another one is Historic Madrid throughout the day. One can hop on and off as many time as want and can choose any or both the routes. It typically cost around 21 Euro for a day and 25 Euro for two consecutive days.
I hopped off to the famous Retiro Park to spend some time of a hot summer day under a tree to watch the Madrid life in its own unique way. So many happy little lives playing, passers-by taking a stroll hand in hand. It was sometimes quite wonderful to walk aimlessly or to lie down under a tree and relax.
Madrid has many museums and most of them have free entry on Sundays. So if you are spending Sunday in Madrid, don’t forget to cash this offer. Next, I Visited Plaza de Espanol, Palace of Madrid, Various squares, marketplace, numerous calle or colorful streets. Below is the quick glances which definitely make you fall in love with this beautiful city.
It would not be wrong if I say Madrid is a modern city with wonderful food, amazing fashion sense and vibrant nightlife with an equally well preserved and historic side too. The city which starts late and goes till late. Some of the first impressions I found being in Spain are:
I have heard the nightmare of being a vegetarian in Spain before coming and believe me it’s difficult but not impossible to find vegetarian food. Though the food I found a little bland as per Indian taste. Spanish Tortillas and Mexican Tacos pleased and satisfied my taste buds. The cost of food is quite affordable considering various options available. You can even find a good portion of food in 1-2 Euro during happy meals hours.
I have heard a lot about Tapas and every street or corner has tapas and cafe boards all over. Though my friend had already warned me not to go with it as these tapas are really not at all recommended for an Indian appetite which I realized soon. Tapas are really a very small portion of food with a drink of your choice. But if you are in a land famous for Tapas, who cares even if it doesn’t satisfy your hunger and thus made it a must try.
for more information about this famously interesting tapas check the below link.
The Spanish people really love their lunches and like to relax after that. In small towns, every shop shut down from 2 – 5 in the afternoon. People enjoy their 4-5 course meal with wine and no one seems to be in a hurry. The streets looked deserted during that time. In fact, you can find people sitting in a various cafe and doing nothing with a glass of wine or beer. Spanish people seem to follow their own lifestyle and timetable, free of worries and looked fine with what happens.
Different Culture and lifestyle
Madrid is a cross-cultural city with an amazing architecture and one can find hundreds of tourist in every corner of the city. Spain has a very rich and impressive history but a way different lifestyle culture. There are lots and lots of restaurants and bars in every corner and step. Lots of shopping places with main shopping center in Madrid is – El Corte Inglés which you can find in every city and major streets.
You can explore few more places in Spain thru my lens. Please visit the below links and share your thoughts.
Postcards from Spain (coming soon).