Europe Day 18 – 20 : Madrid

After a full breakfast and a wonderful conversation on our taxi ride with Manuel (thankfully my broken Spanish didn’t fail me), we arrived at Barcelona Sants train station for our high speed train journey to the capital city of Spain, Madrid.  I absolutely love traveling on the trains in Europe. It is easy, affordable, comfortable, and a wonderful way to catch the scenery outside. A short three hours later our train pulled into Madrid’s Atocha station and we made our way to our hotel which was a short two block walk.

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We were quite hungry upon arrival in Madrid and decided to venture out to find some lunch.  By this point in the trip, I was facing serious competition with the World Cup tournament in trying to get my son to leave the hotel to explore or do much else.  Finding restaurants that were showing the matches became important at certain times of the day.  Wanting to eat something different after five days of Spanish food and tapas, we decided to try a well rated Turkish restaurant called Jalo on Calle de Atocha.  It’s not fancy, but they had a TV and the food was quite good.  We ordered the Burek Pachanga (vegetables and meat stuffed in a thin dough like phyllo and fried crisp) and Lahmahjun – A thin dough crust topped with ground lamb, peppers and spices. Both were delicious and we were happy to taste some different flavors while watching the football match.

Our energy replenished, we continued our first day with the walking architectural tour of the city which included some beautiful buildings, but also took us through some crowded areas in the intense heat of the afternoon which we weathered and forged on determined to visit all ten destinations on the tour.

A quick snack in a plaza on our return walk and some very welcome gelato at Illy, we returned to our hotel very tired and called it a night.

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The next two days in Madrid were spent perusing through the Museo de Prado, Museo de Reina Sofia, walking through the Parque de El Retiro and the Plaza Mayor

We also did a walking foodie tour through the city including the famous Mercado San Miguel (crowded and very touristy), and ate at some wonderful restaurants like The Spanish Farm where we found the best sangria and burrata. Other restaurants we liked were Sant Arcangelo with its fresh pastas, and Ramses with its lively outdoor atmosphere and great food.  We even enjoyed our lunch of bocaditos at Cerveceria 100 Montaditos at Madrid airport while waiting for our flight to Zurich, which would be our final destination before heading home.

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