Madrid

‘They love carbs with carbs’ Michael Soud perfectly summarising his view of the Spanish people. All foods, no matter how fattening they may be, come with a side of bread or crisps.

In many ways Madrid is beautiful. The city streets are wide surrounded by many different coloured buildings, that rise up about 5-6 levels. It is classical and elegant and although the buildings look different, they are designed quite similarity: small balconies with iron bars. It is quintessentially European.

There is ancient architecture to take your breath away. Especially the Royal Palace. Room after room decorated in the most beautiful colours, with the most expensive artefacts. Just when you think you’ve seen the best room, the next takes your breath away. The highlight, perhaps unexpectedly, was the dining room. It was enormous, with giant chandeliers, dominating the room.

There was some museum sight seeing. We won’t review that. Art isn’t really my thing. Some classic pieces were nice and if my feet weren’t hurting me so much, I may have appreciated it more, but my feet. There was a lot of pain. A lot of it.

The food in Madrid was nothing special. In some ways, I had expected the food in Spain to a highlight, and perhaps with that expectation, the reality has been a disappointment. Maybe it was the restaurants we went to, they weren’t the right ones, we didn’t look hard enough. Although I believe it’s simply that the quality of food in Sydney is just so high, we’ve become accustomed to fine cuisine. I’ll be sure to keep an update on that, once I’ve done France and Italy.

The apartment we stayed in was very small. Thien and I shared a sofa bed. Every movement, no matter how slight, no matter how insignificant, would making a creaking sound and the entire world was waken.

The night life on a Saturday night was boisterous. Clubs not really peaking until 3am. I’m no clubber, so that was probably lost on me. I went home and slept at 2am, still unaccustomed to the time zone change. Other nights of the week, unsurprising, did not peak anywhere near as much.

The best thing we’ve learnt about Spain, is siesta. One of life’s greatest things. Literally, the country stops for a couple of hours. Shops close, offices close, job sites close and everybody goes home and sleeps for a couple of hours. A wonderful thing. Although with that attitude, no matter Spain’s unemployment rate is stuck at 25%.

The highlight of Madrid, wasn’t even in the city itself, but about 30 minutes by train outside the city. A place called Toledo. A village/town, that houses one of the biggest Cathedrals in the world. The Saint Mary of Toledo. It was a truly breathtaking place. My favourite place of the trip so far. It was so grand and inspiring. Tall gothic poles all round. The main altar made from gold. Small chapels, dedicated to different saints, Cardinals and Monarchs. The choir, it just has to be seen to believed. There was so much to contemplate. So much to consider. Many prayers were made.
Next stop Seville.

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