Monday 29 January 2018

Madrid minibreak

The view from the Templo de Debod SW towardsthe Royal Palace
Last November we went on a family trip to Madrid. I never bothered blogging about it as time was short, but in the depths of January it somehow seems more appropriate. I love travel as you know, and Madrid is a wonderful city that I am beginning to know quite well – I have another flying visit scheduled for February, which is all the more reason to get this one blogged and out of the way. 

Ostensibly this was a trip to visit our old Au Pair, Silvia, who came from Madrid, but in the time between booking the tickets and the trip happening she actually moved back to London. However armed with her advice on what to do, where to go, and crucially where to eat, the five of us had a really nice time. In addition to having been given the best location for lunch and churros, we leveraged modern technology to go on a morning walking tour of the city centre via an Android App that took your location, time available, and interests, and then creates a bespoke self-guided itinerary. This worked an absolute treat as one leg of this tour took us through a park where, binocular-less, I spotted a Hawfinch! Rather than wander aimlessly, we beat a logical path between churches and monuments, and at the end felt we had learned something. Just like when you read a blog post on this website ahem.


To be honest it is so long ago that I have now forgotten almost everything historical, but I do remember the food. Saturday evening was spent at a fantastic tapas bar in the Sol area. I arrived first as the advanced guard with one half of the family, and Mrs L arrived a little later with the other half who had been busy during the afternoon. This gave me the opportunity to consume several quarts of wine and beer during the early evening, and then to start again later on.

The interior of the amazing Catedral de la Almudena

"It was this big I tell you!"
"Stop exaggerating!"

The following day we all had breakfast together at the hotel and then went on our walking tour which at its conclusion deposited us at Silvia’s favourite restaurant, Casa Lucia, for a slap up lunch. This was truly excellent, a multi-course extrazaganza of taste. The place was packed, and we were lucky to get a table for five on a Sunday. We savoured it, a proper european family lunch, prolonged and meaningul - they take food far more seriously on the continent as a matter of course. You can find the same in London of course, but only if you are prepared to cough up. In Spain, as with most places in Europe (Western Europe, don't get me started about countries further east!), any place you go does a solid job and cooks properly. Sated we rolled gently back to the airport for our flight back home. As a quick weekend trip it is up there with Rome in my opinion, and it is so easy to do, and flights so cheap, that I don’t understand why I don't do it every weekend. Beats sitting at home or trudging around looking for invisible Grey Wagtails!