The thought of a Capital city like Madrid, for me, is overwhelming; towering office blocks creating intimidating dark shadows on the streets, the pushiness of those on the morning commute, and the continual ducking and hiding from view of the tourists’ lens. In reality, however, the collocation of voices and the humming of passing engines were almost rhythmic; easing me into the hustle and bustle of the city way of life. Each architecturally stunning street flowing into the next, and every lane connecting to the central Puerta Del Sol; a labyrinth of boutique shops hidden among named brands.
Madrid is an individualistic city, which pushes the boundaries of fashion, presents an infusion of cultures and inspires one to dream big. My mind was overrun with thoughts of the theatre on a Saturday night, a stoll to the hilltop to look over this vast city on a Sunday, and trying every quirky cafe with their vintage- chic decor on every other day of the week!
With a bump back to Earth in realising I had to devour every inch of this city while I was lucky enough to be there, we continued to roam free; map not essential.
Stumbling across the ‘Museo Del Jamon’, I couldn’t resist bringing out my Spanish side and ordering (or shouting) in my best (worst) Spanish for a plate of Jamon and Manchego (freshly cut cured meat, with typically Spanish cheese). After no wait at all, the plate was flown in my direction and I slotted into a standing counter space; surrounded by an uncountable number of pigs legs, and the roar of the jostling crowd continuing in their cries for food. What an experience; topped off by the accidental find of Mercado San Miguel- a wrought iron domed coven of vendors selling sliced fruit, handmade sandwiches and pouring fresh Mojitos. After just
having had 2 lunches, the tempting waft of newly baked bread proved too much, so onwards I went to walk off the glorious lunches I had stuffed myself with.
Madrid left me feeling as though I wanted more; so much to see in not nearly enough time. The image originally conjured in my mind at the mention of the capital city couldn’t have been more wrong, with a small piece of my heart still left in Madrid; padlocked to a bridge.