Europe

Day 2: Madrid by Míriam

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The next day we woke up with better weather perspectives. It was a bright sun, although a wind was blowing at times strong and cold. As breakfast at the hotel was separate, we prefer to go out and have breakfast in one of Madrid's bakeries with more tradition: La Mallorquina, founded in 1894. On the ground floor there is a bar where they serve coffees and pastries, but we go up to the lounge of the Upstairs and we had the classic breakfast of the house: two coffees with milk and two Neapolitans, one of cream and another of chocolate.


The morning plan was to take advantage of the good weather to walk. We went down the Rastro neighborhood, although we already knew that the market itself was only on Sundays. From the Plaza de Cazcorro we went walking to Calle de los Curtidores, where there are many shops of tanned skins (as the name suggests) and accessories for horse riding. We arrived at the door of Toledo, where we took the subway to go to the Temple of Debod. Since I found out, thanks to Isabel in her blog, that there was an Egyptian temple in Madrid, I was curious to visit it. I found it very surprising! The temple was a gift from Egypt to Spain in gratitude for the Spanish help to save the temples of Abu Simbel, endangered by the construction of the Aswan Dam. Inside the temple you can see different reliefs of gods and kings, hieroglyphs and a model of the original site of the temple, along with the other temples in the area (including Abu Simbel). Overall it seemed a very interesting visit for those of us who haven't had the chance to travel to Egypt.

Debod Temple in Madrid

When leaving the temple, as there was still a while to eat, we went to see the Puerta de Alcalá and walk through the Retiro. The walk was very pleasant and quiet and, although the park still did not shine in all its spring splendor, it was beautiful. The Crystal Palace had its interior in works for an exhibition of Queen Sofia, but luckily I was able to photograph it without problems.

Crystal Palace in the Retiro

It was almost 2 o'clock and a squid sandwich was waiting for us at El Brillante (which I also met thanks to Isabel). I confess that the first time I heard about the squid sandwiches, it sounded very strange to me (for the record it was very young and with little criteria!), But finally this time I decided to try it and it was really worth it, because the squids were very Tender and tasty. Curiously, I thought that the squid sandwich was always served with mayonnaise, so I asked for it like that, without further ado, and it was served without, but I didn't care. My partner ordered a tenderloin with very good green peppers, although he also hit my tooth.

Interior of the Brillante, famous for its squid sandwiches

Upon leaving, the sky was covering up. The plan for the afternoon was to walk through Malasaña and Chueca. As far as I knew, there are many bars and music venues in Malasaña, but in the afternoon there was not much atmosphere. We thought it would be good to go out for a while at night, if we still had strength after so much coming and going through the city. We reach Fuencarral and go down this commercial street, looking at shop windows on one side and another. We arrive at Gran Vía and continue up to the Cervantes Institute, from where we climb towards Chueca. I liked the neighborhood atmosphere of a lifetime, like El Rastro, Lavapiés ... It was starting to drizzle, but it didn't bother us much at the time of walking. Without realizing it, we ran into Fuencarral street again. Then we discovered a very curious and colorful candy store called Oomuombo and we could not avoid entering and filling a couple of boxes with their original "goodies" (one of them was half eaten on the way to the hotel).

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