Tag Archives: Madrid

Mercado de San Miguel

Sooo this is pretty much my favorite place in Madrid. The Mercado de San Miguel. I am so incredibly jealous/craving everything they sell there right now: jamón, vermut, chocolate, Crianza, aceitunas, queso. Man. Mr. Bourdain, you have quite the life.

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I am starting to put together a little map of some of the places I enjoyed in Madrid. Here’s the first bit!

Note: For some reason the map isn’t centered, so click on it to see everything!

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No Te Enamores

Here is another little sample of some Spanish music that I took a liking to while in Madrid. There isn’t a video available online for the song, so as a bonus it’s just a video of the lyrics so you also get a Spanish lesson! It’s from Madrid-based band  Ellos and it’s called No Te Enamores (don’t fall in love).

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El Rastro

El Capricho Extremeño, originally uploaded by jhoko.

Another ridiculous meal, consumed entirely by me. These lovely tostas come from El Capricho Extremeño, which you will find smack in the middle of the Rastro chaos any Sunday morning. One is covered in a generous heap of pulpo, or octopus, the other is gulas, or baby eels (imitation of course), topped with a few little shrimp. There’s always a line, but it moves fast, and it’s the perfect snack (I guess ENORMOUS MEAL would be more appropriate for this serving size) for a day at the market.

I’ve repeatedly heard El Rastro described as the largest flea market in Europe. “El Rastro” means “the trail,” as in the trails of blood that the animal carcasses left as they were being dragged down the street when this was the old meat market…or so I hear. Honestly, I don’t know if it really is the largest flea market in Europe, but what I do know is that I am not the person to ask because I have never fully explored the depths of its enormousness. I usually go to pick up something small like a pair of cheap sunglasses or a pashmina for 2 euros, but you can get literally ANYTHING here. Underwear? Got it. Swords? Yep. Old motorcycles? Random ass junk? Check and check. An entire booth of rubber hoses? Got that too.

There are also an insane number of tourists, all of whom seem to be American girls between the ages of 18 and 24. Can’t really point any fingers with that one, but where you find those, you also find pickpockets, so be careful here. I’ve seen more than one altercation in the incredibly densely packed crowd. Definitely worth a visit though, especially if you need to buy, well, anything. It always makes me sad because there are such incredibly awesome antiques there and I can never buy any furniture because it is stupid enough that I buy things like books and shoes here considering the budget and suitcase space I have. Speaking of suitcases, back to packing! 😦 Waa.

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Spring was short here in Madrid. One day it was cold, the next there were flowers blooming everywhere, and then within a week, the heat arrived.

It’s been about 85 degrees the last couple of days, and it’s incredible. I can’t fully enjoy Spain when it’s cold out, and after a winter that lasted from November to April, full of snow and floods and mold and every imaginable horrible thing that winter can bring, I am so ready for the heat. I’ve been spending a lot of the daytime lounging around in parks, mostly Retiro (in the photo) or in the little park near the house with Bruno. I’ve started to get a nice tan and cannot wait for an opportunity to go to the beach, though that’s a little hard considering the short weekends and long distance to the coast from Madrid. I think the only way that this experience could be better would be if there was a beach nearby. Or if I had full weekends off. I think I might actually go for that second option if I had a choice. Nighttime has been spent on a variety of terraces, in bars, in the street, walking around and enjoying the fact that layers and layers of clothing are no longer needed. I had been dying to go to a rooftop bar, because that just feels like the epitome of a cosmopolitan, big-city summer night activity, and by some wonderful twist of fate I happened to find myself here this past week. Honestly, Madrid is very, very good.

I am still wavering back and forth between whether I should stay in Spain or go home. All practicality and reason points to the fact that I should go home, wherever that is. I am super excited by the idea of being in California again, but then I think about the fact that that means leaving Spain, possibly for good, and I can already feel the sick longing feeling in the pit of my stomach. Its a bit melodramatic, but I love it here and I feel like I am at my best as a human being when I am in a place that excites me. I don’t know what it is about this country (well, maybe with the big cities of this country), but I have fallen hard for them and I can’t bear the thought of leaving. Then again, maybe I have to give America a chance. Everyone says I would love San Francisco. I am going because I feel I have to, and maybe that is why I feel so confused and lost. I have no real reason to go back, but no justification to stay. I want someone to make up my mind for me!

I think I just have to make the best of the last month and see what happens. Everyone is telling me that I am too young to be stressing about huge future decisions and I am finally beginning to believe them. I am supposed to be having the experience of a lifetime, and that is what I am going to do.

I also found another video from that Spanish band that I’ve learned to love, and I’ve decided that it’s not the language that I like. I just like the band. I’ve been trying to translate some of the lyrics and it’s been a fantastic exercise for me. I also now have a soundtrack for my incredible last two months in Madrid. If only they weren’t currently touring Mexico 😦 But seriously watch this video it’s great.

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