Muchas gracias Spain

1 Dec

It was the best Sangria I´ve ever tasted. Red wine, fresh fruits, soda and juice all mixed by the barman in the pub down the road from our hostel in Madrid. The two glasses went down way too easy and even Matt, who rarely drinks alcohol, took more than his share of sips. Ahhh Sangria… traditionally a summer drink in Spain, but a must for our first visit to this country, even when the weather outside is nearing zero degrees. Guaranteed yum and a great way to wind down after a relaxing day in Madrid, although mostly our time here has been terribly relaxing.

Relaxing, but so cold! So cold that while we were cycling around the main part of Madrid, it started to sleet. Ice was falling to the sky, trying to be snow. What was going on?! It was the end of November in Spain and it was almost snowing… Our guide on the bicycle ride told us this weather was very rare for this time of year in Spain (likewise for the rest of Europe!). It was thrilling, but after three hours, our feet, hands and face were tingling and going numb. We couldn’t walk properly after our ride… we had to sit in the warm until we could feel our feet again.

Our weekend in Spain really has been one of the most laid-back weekends we have spent since arriving in the UK. After our plane landed, we took our time getting into the city and to our hostel, located in the older part of Madrid. We were keen to embrace the tradition of siesta in Spain and laid down for a little nap (which we did the next day too) before heading out into the cold to explore our surroundings later that afternoon. It´s a pity that the UK doesn´t enjoy this same mid-afternoon sleep. We both came back feeling refreshed and actually woke up this morning feeling energized for work – it’s a good feeling!

The hostel wasn’t really a hostel in the traditional sense of the word – it was more like staying at Nanna´s house. Everything is floral and clean – clean enough that you´re not afraid to walk around in bare feet. The only staff we really saw was Nanna herself – softly spoken – didn’t speak much English and whispered away to herself while she worked. We could hardly understand her at the best of times. There is also a cat (the cleaner´s we understand), which scared the bejeza´s out of Matt and I when we came around the corner and walked down the hall to the reception. We looked up and it was staring at us with yellow eyes, wearing it´s Nike coat, sitting in it´s basket, taking up the whole reception counter. It looked evil, but really wasn´t when we were gestured to pet it – really soft and oh-so-cute! We´re not entirely sure what it´s name was (check out the photo on Facebook)!

Madrid itself… what can we say… it´s beautiful yes, but after visiting here, I can imagine the rest of Spain to be even more so and we cannot wait to explore more of this country. Everything looks typically Spanish. Shades of terracotta-coloured buildings, every window adorn with shutters and wrought-iron balconies, cobble-stone walkways, and town squares surrounded by the same terracotta-coloured buildings, nuns, churches, more squares with waterfalls, and gardens, Paella, km zero (the spot in Spain where all measurement begins), the massive Spanish gardens… Very beautiful and very Spanish.

We spent our four days slowly making our way around the city. We took in the main square, Plaza Mayor, the Real Madrid Football Club stadium, the local markets, shopping (cheap shopping galore!), the park where we took our own picnic tapas and where Matt took me out on the lake in a row-boat (what a laugh!), the museum with Picasso, Monet, Edgar Munch, Pollock, Degas, and everything else in between.

Spain is one of those countries to explore all-over, most likely in summer when you can make the most of the sun, siesta´s, Sangria and dancing the flamenco, the ferry to Africa in the very south, vineyards, olive oil! We´ll definitely be back.

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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

I am the world's oyster

Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747

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Love for hand-knitted & -crocheted beauty. Proud designer & founder of LN|Beanies and LN|Andes, my two knit brands, my two loves.

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