Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Real Madrid

I just came back from a vacation in Spain and it really blew my mind. It almost seemed like 10 days wasn't enough - I divided it between Madrid and Barcelona and there was still so many places left to see: Sevilla, Costa Del Sol, Ibiza, Granada, and Pamplona (I originally planned to go to San Fermin to Run with the Bulls, but there were no available hotel rooms and the train schedule didn't cooperate). I absolutely fell in love with Madrid: the food, drinks, music, people watching, and lifestyle (siesta anyone?). Madrid is a nice mix of metropolitan, historical, sophistication, relaxed/laid back, and a touch of hustle and bustle (Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor are constantly active). I stayed at the Westin Palace which is centrally located and within minutes of the major sites: Prado Museum, Plaza de la Cibeles, Puerta de Alcala, Parque del Retiro, Palacio Real, etc. Everyday began the same: awake at 10am, eat breakfast, sight seeing until 2pm, eat a nice lunch with bottle(s) of wine / pitcher(s) of sangria, siesta until 9pm, dinner around 10pm, bounce from place to place drinking/people watching, and repeat. Jet lag never set in and everything was informal (no dress codes and no rush to close out your bill in restaurants). Unless I find a better city, Madrid may be where I hang it up when I call it quits.

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