Musings from Madrid.

IMG_0034After my last accidental photo post (mobile WordPress and I don’t get along so well), I thought I would report some observations from Madrid as I make my way back to the states.

Some highlights from an Americano after a full week in Madrid:

Sounds of motorcycles, mopeds, horns and sirens can actually be soothing if you give it a minute.

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7 out of 10 people on the streets seem to smoke, anywhere.

Scarves can make any outfit fashionable. Especially in Madrid. But then Madrilènes could make trash bag dresses look cool.

The architecture is magnificent, with myriad towering steeples, daunting domes and intricate corbels – everywhere..

The eating schedule is a challenge to get the hang of. However if you say ‘tapa,’ you can be fed any time.

Don’t even think about ordering a martini in Madrid, unless you’re at an Americanized hotel bar. And what’s the fun in that anyway.

Remixes of pop American music from the seventies and eighties streamed throughout retail stores and one taxi ride treated me with Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. I wondered if they had an American flag button on the dashboard and tapped it when they saw us coming.

Politely attempting to speak the native tongue often is rewarded with a gracious welcome. Calm politeness can get you far in any city.

Drinking, of beer and wine especially, takes place all day. Seems to be five o’clock all the time. In most places beer choices were ‘large or small’ rather than our overkill assortment of brewery concoctions.

Servers never walk away from your restaurant table with your credit card, instead bringing a device to the table, which makes much more sense when it comes to security.

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If you can figure out the metro (subway) on your own as I did, high-five yourself. It’s a maze down there that makes Manhattan subways look like a walk to your mailbox.

Beautiful iron balconies, balconies and more balconies everywhere you look.

Old Madrid is my favorite area, overflowing with rich history at every turn.

Every door I pass on the street in Old Madrid is a masterpiece in and of itself.

Everyone on the streets looks like they put some thought into what they are wearing — even the joggers.

Flamenco dancing. Now I totally get it. Sexy, emotional and heart pounding.  Parts made me cry.  Wow.

Bull fights. Couldn’t do it. I know its tradition, but the thought of watching eight bulls die brutally and some horses die as collateral damage for human entertainment weakened my knees and hurt my heart.

20130518-182658.jpgThe city is beautifully clean and lush.

Dog breeds of popular choice on the streets are Bulldogs and Yorkies.

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Ham (jambon) is to Madrid what pizza is to New York and hot dogs are to Chicago.

And there you have it, for now.

Ps: I’m announcing a caption writing contest for that last random photo post I did of a Ferrari in traffic in Madrid (contest jokingly suggested by one of my readers). Submit yours as a comment on that last post and the caption that makes me laugh the most wins an exciting prize, or at least gets a public pat on the back. Honorable mentions will be listed as well.

Many cooler pics to come. Madrid was a wonderful experience and opportunity.

Gracias.

21 thoughts on “Musings from Madrid.

  1. Sounds like it was an overall excellent getaway. I’ve never set foot off the continental US, but one of my dearest friends is from Spain. She’s lived in New York for so long, she might as well be a native albeit with a very sexy accent. I think the sounds of sirens and vehicular traffic would make me feel like I’m home in Manhattan.

    • Indeed. It exactly reminded me of listening to the same sounds outside my cousin’s tiny Manhattan apartment window as I lay on the floor on a pallet when I spent the night years and years ago!

  2. Oh I am utterly green with envy.. Madrid looks and sounds like the kind of place I’d love to visit..So glad you had a fabulous time..you so deserved it..now let me go see this photo you speak of 😉

  3. Madrid sounds like a place I want to visit after reading your blog. A party town, they’ve got style, cool dancing, they’re polite! Ok, so their subway system is a maze. That’s probably true of any large city. But you figured it out. I don’t blame you for choosing to see a flamenco dance instead of a bull fight. Sounds like you had a great change of pace, with lots of visuals, sounds, history, pictures and many things to savor.

  4. You made it to Madrid!!!!! Seems you have a mixed emotion regarding the city; I am the same, although I live here now. I agree the music here is sort of behind the times – seems as though Spain has missed out on some sort of transition to the modern day with that. I am a Radio One girl anyway!!!!! Beer, yes, coffee after 12 in the afternoon is often questioned!!! Bex

      • Hi, no I shouldn’t have made my reply seem as though you were being negative. You weren’t!! What I suppose I was trying to say is that since moving here I have realised the city has its good and bad points, like anywhere else. The terrible music, and the ‘5 O’Clock’ all the time culture can be tiring – to be honest too, I don’t really like tapas or flamenco. Oh dear!
        Bex 🙂

  5. Happy you had a good time in a wonderful city. Doesn’t appear that Madrid has changed that much over the years. As for the “five o’clock all the time” atmosphere, I remember walking by a Burger King that had a full bar. A concept that didn’t catch on over here. 😎

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