Madrid, Spain

There’s nothing boring about Madrid. From flamenco dancing to suspenseful bull fighting, this place brings all the drama. And unless you like loud and rowdy fútbol fans EVERYWHERE, then avoid going during the Copa de la Liga championship. We really enjoyed the excitement.
What were the highlights?
 The Bull Fight: Although it’s very, very sad that they kill these bulls, the sport is a huge part of Spain’s historic culture and we knew we couldn’t miss it. I’ll leave out the gory details but one of the bulls actually won and the matador himself was carried out of the stadium unconscious (!!!).

Cloistered Nun Cookies:

Okay this was the most bizarre thing but SO fun. There’s a Convent in Madrid where cloistered nuns make these delicious cookies for sale–if you can find them!  We winded our ways through a series of alleyways and doors in the Convent to the lazy susan cupboard where the cookie exchange is made. Thank goodness Dillon speaks fluent Spanish from his LDS church mission in Argentina; he was able to communicate our order through the hole in the wall next to the cupboard. The cookie sales provide an income for the nuns, and we were so happy to contribute.

San Miguel Market:

I could live in this place. SO. MUCH. FOOD.
 (Photos of us devouring jamón, olives, and pan con tomate were lost on my phone that was stolen later in the week in Barcelona. RIP pictures.)

Botin:

“Oldest Restaurant in the World”. We were led to our table through this tiny cellar-like door and down the narrowest spiral staircase to an actual stone cellar where we ate amazing Spanish food.
(Again, pics lost on the stolen phone.)

Patagonia:

On our list of Top 5 Ice Cream in the world. Which is REALLY saying something.

Food Tour by Devour Madrid:

Where to even start? We tried churros con chocolate, traditional tapas, beef stew, calamari sandwiches, Spanish tortilla (not what you think), fried ox tail (yes, I actually ate it!) and of course jamón.

Gran Via:

Cutest shopping street with some amazing architecture. (During a Spanish protest we knew nothing about.)

Retiro Park:

Basically Central Park, but in Madrid. The Crystal Palace in the park is a must-see! Blurry iPhone pic:

Free Walking Tour:

Saw all the must-sees and some off-the-beaten path sites.

Tartan Rooftop Bar:

Stopped for Diet Coke and a break from walking–with a VIEW.

The Prado Museum:

No better place to see Goya’s “The Third of May 1808” than in Spain itself. (Plz excuse the art nerd in me.)

Chocolateria San Gines:

The touristy “famous” spot for Churros con Chocolat, but probably not the best we had in Spain!

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