Saturday, July 4

Madrid, Part 1

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I've been a bit of a tourist lately.

One of my best friends Katie, (who runs Katie's Kitchen Journal- check it out- it's epic), has lived on a year abroad in Madrid for a year as part of her degree. With her accommodation not running out until the end of summer, it seemed silly to not pop over with a cheap flight for a few days.
I was promised damn good food, a blistering heat, and a beautiful city. Winning!

The apartments and architecture and so unbelievably beautiful, all decorated in classic Spanish style with detailed tiles, enormous doors and intricate balconies. We happily spent a great deal of time wandering round the streets, oooohing and ahhhing at all the cute little corner restaurants, and basically doing an iced-coffee bar crawl.

Katie & I spent hours house hunting, especially as you could get an amazing flat in a location the equivalent of Bond Street, London for at least a quarter of the UK price.
I loved this pink corner setting, right off the main shopping street and with a bar directly below... I was definitely getting my priorities right!

But the weather was getting too hot by lunchtime; the week started at 35C & by the end of the week we were struggling at 42C. This pale skinned ginger isn't made for the heat.
So when it started to get a little bit too much, we went to a local fruteria to pick up some essentials for a picnic.

The Parque de El Retiro is stunning. 
Plenty of shade under the trees, gushing fountains, a rowing lake and a pretty rose garden. 
Definitely hop along for a bit if you're ever in Madrid, Katie said it's just as beautiful in autumn with all the falling leaves.

So we settled into our sunny spot, smothered me in sun cream, and set about reading old editions of the Waitrose magazine whilst nibbling on doritos and guacamole. 

But after a few hours, we got a bit bored and snuck off from the protective shade in search of something fun to do.

Rowing seemed like a great idea.
"Lets row a bit, then eat the brownies that we bought on the middle of the lake"- We thought. 

Katie was a great rower, a natural, and before long we were right in the middle of the lake to nibble on our brownies in the sweltering heat.

But then it was my turn...

I didn't tell Katie that I've done rowing before, and it ended up with the boat going round in constant circles... 
Yeah, well. Nothing has changed.

After a little bit of a rest back in the flat at the peak of the sun during the afternoon, Katie and I headed off out for some incredible tapas, very cheap wine (3 euros & it tasted amazing) and to soak up the atmosphere a bit.

In true Spanish style, the squares and streets remain heaving until at least 2am as everyone enjoys the cool night air and serenading guitars.

It was the perfect introduction to a beautiful city.


  1. You took some lovely photos, and it looks as if you've had a great time as well! X

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful time! xxx

  3. It looks like you had a great time in the blazing sunshine!

    I love the patterns on those tiles!




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