A few years ago I elected to live in Spain for four weeks. I had always wanted to participate in a Spanish immersion program and I finally got my chance. I took a leave of absence from my job and headed to the home of Prada and the Prado …Madrid. Having visited Barcelona a few years prior, I already had positive feelings toward the fashionable country and living in Madrid further solidified those feelings. I blogged while there using travelblog.org. Check out my photos http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Atllady81/
Like Barcelona, Madrid is beautiful with lush green spaces and centuries old architecture. The culture is lively with equal parts sophistication and pretense.
Living in the heart of Madrid, I found the city to be clean and safe. The public transportation system is easy to master and very economical.
The food didn’t do it for me and it took a while to get used to dining after 7pm (usually 9pm). But once I got accustomed, the tapas and countless glasses of authentic Sangria held me over until dinner.
The city abounds with impressive sights, from Retiro Park’s well manicured grounds to countless museums and historic attractions, not to mention the 3-4 story H & M and the many other fashion outlets along Gran Via (Madrid’s main artery). Europe fashion is unmatched. The cut the quality …need I go on?
Aside from the fashion, there were several highlights to my trip. I went to see a Flamenco performance. It was quite possibly the most entertaining dance performance I have ever witnessed. A definite must for any visitor. I also made my rounds to several night clubs. The most memorable was Kapital.
Kapital is a seven story party that starts after 1am and goes well beyond 5am . End the night with churros and chocolate at a local café..you’ll feel like a local in no time.
The Prado museum, the second largest museum in the world with collections that can only be matched by the Louvre it’s larger counterpart located in Paris, France. Make multiple visits to see the collections. You cannot and should not try to see the entire museum in one visit …your head will explode and you won’t enjoy the experience.
The Running of the Bulls, although not located in Madrid is one of my fondest memories of Spain. Do try to attend if you happen to be in Pamplona, Spain during that time of year (beginning of July). It was exciting, crowded, and quite an exhilarating experience. The festival starts with several days of all night parting and culminates with the running of the bulls.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that during my stay EuroPride held its annual parade in Madrid. It was really fun. The whole city came alive and my classmates and I had a ball.
Madrid is a must see. There is something for everyone. Exciting night life, exquisite shopping, beautiful architecture and art and endless sites for the history buff.