Before The Camino…Madrid

Madrid, formerly known as Mayrit when the Arabs occupied the Iberian Peninsula, is a city that honors its’ history while simultaneously welcoming modernism. It was created around 860 A.C. and has been the capital of Spain since the 17th century. Here are some observations we’ve made thus far.


There is an eclectic mixture of architectural styles. You can see historical buildings dating back to the 1500’s that have been preserved and continue to draw in one’s interest in visiting them. One such place is the Royal Palace or Palacio Real de Madrid. The first stone laid there dates back to the 1500’s. With over 3,400 rooms and over 135,000 square meters, it is one of the largest palaces in the world.

The Palacio Real is used for Heads of States events and is visited by more than 2,000,000 people from around the world.
Staircase that leads visitors to the various rooms open for viewing.
One of the many frescoes within the palace that adorn the ceilings.


Cafes, bars and restaurants are plentiful in Madrid. It is hard to choose where to go because everything looks amazing! So we have decided to visit some well known establishments not just to try the food out but also to experience the actual place.

For something sweet, we went to Chocolatería San Ginés. This chocolatería has been in existence since 1894. It’s a small place but has huge flavor, especially the chocolate. For a snack, we ordered churros and porras (BIG, THICK churros) with melted chocolate for dipping. Oh My Goodness was that good. Anna and I would have licked the cups if we would not be seen. Unfortunately, there were other patrons that would most likely not appreciate such an action.

It’s located in an alley next to the Iglesia San Ginés.
We started devouring the churros and chocolate before I remembered I wanted to get a picture. 6 churros with a cup of chocolate runs you less than 5 Euros. How comforting was that and delicious to top it off!
We forgot to take a picture of the porras so this is the best we could do.

In addition to the Chocolatería de Ginés, we had a late lunch/early dinner at Sobrino de Botín. This restaurant has been in business since 1725 and the building where it is housed dates back to 1580. The menu includes Spaniard cuisine with specialties such as Morcillas de Burgos (blood sausage from Burgos), Cordero Asado (roast baby lamb), and Ensalada Riojana (salad from the Rioja wine country). The sangria was exceptional as well as the desserts except for Jim’s flan which he did not like as much. Annie and I both had a taste and thought it was good. The food was so good, we forgot to take pictures again. However, the ambience was photo worthy.

The restaurant has a cellar dining room which we requested when making our reservation. These are the steps from the upstairs dining area.
The “large” cellar dining area. It includes about 10 tables. The smaller is adjacent to this one and has 4 tables. The downstairs kitchen is next to the small room. The far back wall on this picture has the date the restaurant was founded.
At the end of our meal, our server gifted us a small glass of a drink from the restaurant which tasted a lot like Bailey’s but the color was different, more like a light beige. I added mine to my coffee. So good!

Walkable City

If you are looking to get in lots of steps, Madrid is a perfect city to visit. It has some inclines that will get your heart rate up as well as leveled, wide streets that go on forever. In addition, there are many narrow, curvy streets that are fun to explore. In two days, we’ve been able to accumulate over 42,000 steps. It should help us not gain weight, right????

Puerta de Toledo is located in one of the many roundabouts we have come across.
Plaza Mayor dates back to the 15th century and was originally named Plaza del Arrabal which housed the main market of the town. Now it’s home to restaurants and small shops.
Puerta de Alcalá is currently under restoration so they have covered the scaffolding with this facade of the structure.
One of the many narrow, cobblestone streets in Madrid. This one is close to where we are staying, our friends’ home.

Tomorrow our Madrid adventure continues with visits to museums, more food places, and whatever other surprise the city has in store for us. We can’t wait!

7 responses to “Before The Camino…Madrid”

  1. Ooohhh! It’s been too long since I’ve been to Madrid! And now I’m hungry! And Jim is just comparing the flan to Lourdes’! It’s hard to beat!


  2. We love Madrid! Such a handsome city. I hope you get to see Picasso’s Guernica. If you have time, go to Vides Vinoteca for some tapas and wine. Also, be sure to try the Vermouth – it’s on-tap in some bars, like beer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. We’re going to Prado and Reina Sofia today. Is Picasso’s piece in either of those?


  3. Yum! The food sounds delicious and the architecture warms my heart! Looks like good weather, too. With 42,000 steps you’ll be ready for the Camino stroll 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha hopefully not too tired for the Camino.😘❤️


  4. I love remotely being with you and the adventure you are having. This is such fun and I’m so happy for you two!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jef!❤️❤️


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