On Thursday, March 7th we departed from Rome Ciampino to Madrid, Spain! We met Gabby who had flown in earlier and checked into the airbnb. After washing up, we went to sleep immediately after the busy travel day.
On Friday, March 8th we woke up from a good night’s rest and began to explore our first city.
We started the day with breakfast at Taberna El Paso del Tiempo which was absolutely delicious! A bunch of us ordered the classic Spanish breakfast– chocolate and churros while some of us ordered a tortilla de patatas, or a Spanish omelet.
Next stop: Museo Nacional del Prado. We spent a good two hours admiring the famous artworks inside the Prado art museum.
After the Prado, we got a late lunch at El 17 de Moreto where we wanted to try tapas and sangria. I had chicken quesadillas which were pretty good and the sangria was delicious too.
Then, we walked around Parque de El Retiro which was relaxing and full of greenery and flowers. We found cherry blossom trees that were blooming– just in time of us to enjoy them and get some photos.
In the park, we found the Crystal Palace, Palacio de Cristal which was surrounded by a small pond with a fountain. As we walked further, we came across the Monumento a Alfonso XII which I recognized seeing before in photos.
After walking around downtown Madrid some more, finding cute shops to meander into, catching a coffee shop break, and discovering the International Women’s Day parade, we headed up to the rooftop of Bellas Artes. We timed it perfectly and saw the most beautiful sunset. We stayed until the sky turned from yellow and orange to pink and blue and finally to dark blue.
With our hearts full, we walked over to Ambar Cacao Restobar where we ate a late dinner. I had an arepa which is two corn pancakes with beef, chicken, etc in between.
Saturday, March 9th
After grabbing a quick breakfast at a cafe, we started off the day by visiting the Royal Palace of Madrid. It was huge and had gardens outside. We were even able to see the change of the guards. While I would have loved to go inside it, Kira, Sarah and I decided to save some money by walking around downtown and exploring the hidden streets and corners.
We walked some more, finding unique shops to peep into and finding colorful walls down busy streets. We ended up back at Bellas Artes at one point. We found Plaza Mayor, a square that was beaming with life and tons of good eats. Right next to Plaza Mayor was the indoor food market called Mercado de San Miguel where I tried some tacos. Sarah and I also found this adorable ice cream place called Mistura where I had pistachio ice cream! It was so refreshing and delicious.
I absolutely loved Madrid for its cleanliness, culture and kind people. Next stop: Lisbon, Portugal!