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.
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.
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.
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????
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!
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