Let me start by simply saying, I am not a professional blogger. As such, I am given
liberty to not have my blogging machine (aka my computer) at all times.
It’s not lost forever- just a temporary unwinding of international red tape. Things really do shift during takeoff & landing. However, “temporary” may mean days or weeks.
So, in lieu, I bring you this blog via my iPhone 5s, circa 2012. The screen is only 2×4″, all images from the phone. Yay me! There is no stopping this blogging machine.
Welcome To Madrid
One piece of advice I’d like to impart is the value of a decent walking tour. In order to familiarize yourself with a new city – history, design, politics – a walking tour will generally fit the bill. If you can zoom in on the image above, you will see a sign, “Refugees Welcome”. The intention was for the sign to be on the building for at least a week – that was September, 2015. Due to a flooding of community support, the sign remains.
For us, we tend to appreciate the orientation the best. “You head this way and you hit the museum district, north is the arts, and some of the best cuisine…”
Gleaning insider tips are indescribably valuable. Trying to discern if the guide is being paid by his “recommendations”, can sometimes be tricky. I felt we had a good-guy guide. LIke most, he was easy to connect with, young and idealistic – a degree in Spanish history. Oh man, that would be a lot of lessons, Spain’s long and tortured history.
I learned their country had abolished capital punishment in 1978 for all but extreme situations. In 1995 it was completely abolished. But get this, it wasn’t until 1974 when they stopped using a garrote – a chair that straps you in to give the executioner time to (slowly) screw a sharp bolt through the back of your neck. 1974! Franco would only use his precious bullets to kill his dishonorable militia.
Madrid Has It All
I believe Madrid is the third largest city in the European union. I love it! The huge train stations, ornate cathedrals, bustling people… one church we poked in has a new (new to me) way for the prayer candles:
Madrid has a lovely custom of serving food with every drink ordered, tapas. This custom originated out of a need to keep flies out of the customers drink. Today, the tapas are more a way to keep patrons from becoming inebriated. We have ordered two glasses of wine, and our tapas were served on dinner-sized plates. You only pay for the drinks – 7euro total! (at El TIgre)
At another establishment, El Respiro, we noticed the tapas kept improving, (less potato & peppers, more meats/seafood) after each drink we ordered. We were not allowed to decline the additional food… I loved that bartender.
Ham is King in this city. We splurged one night to try the famous jamón ibérico. It is true, it practically melts in your mouth.
And, like most big cities, you have the street artists, beggars, performers, pigeons…. and in Madrid, it’s 24/7.
Thumbs need a break
OK, that’s it for this weeks post, hope there aren’t too many typos, hope it shows up on your device satisfactorily- please let me know!