Posted by: illinigirl | May 9, 2012

Madrid–Day #1

So. . . time to blog about my trip (finally!). . .

Some summary items:

Spain was nice. . . but not even close to comparing to Italy, Greece, or Austria.  Not even close.  That being said, it wasn’t a bad trip. . . just not somewhere I would ever need to go back again.  There are so many places I want to go and so many places I would want to revisit before going there again.


  • I think maybe if we’d gotten out of the city more and seen some pretty countryside, gone to the wine country, or seen Seville. . . or Portugal, maybe I’d feel better opinion of Spain.  Unfortunately, our timeframe and other travels did not allow for that.  We really wanted to hit up Amsterdam this trip, too. . . and I’m glad we did that. . . so no regrets.
  • I can only have so much tapas.  I was fairly sick of it after day #2 and wanted REAL FOOD.
  • It’s the most challenging country to not know the language. . . and I knew a lot more Spanish than Greek or Italian. . . but it was really difficult to find people who spoke English.  (Not saying this is their obligation. . . just saying, it wasn’t that easy!)
  • Liz had a different opinion than me. . . but I felt the people were not overly friendly. I would describe very few people we encountered as friendly at all.
  • If you aren’t into museums, there isn’t much to see in Madrid (in my opinion). . . and I generally don’t LOVE museums. . . and am not a big Spanish art person.


  • I love sangria.
  • The cities were very clean.
  • I love croquettes.
  • It was warmer in Spain than Amsterdam.
  • Gaudi is cool.
  • Did I mention I love sangria?

That being said, it was a GOOD trip!  Let me share some of my pictures from the first day!

We stayed near Sabatini Gardens and the Royal Palace. . .

Sabatini Gardens

A purple building I loved

Couldn’t help myself

Our first experience in a cafe where no one spoke English. . . eating and drinking was a challenge there, but we learned how to order coffee the way we wanted it! This was the basement of the cafe. . .

An indoor market in Madrid called Mercado de San Miguel. . . Reminded me a Quincy Market in Boston. This place was a lifesaver. . . as it was open when many restaurants were not!

Mercado de San Miguel

More Mercado de San Miguel

Plaza Mayor. . . mostly filled with creepy street performers.  We always tried to quickly get the hell out of this area!

Example of a creepy (but nowhere near the most creepy) street performer. To play the role of “headless soldier”, you must be an exceptionally short person.

I’d love to dance in one of these dresses! 🙂

Love the detail on this building

A really cool store 🙂

A Spanish Pinocchio 🙂

Our swankity-swank room. 🙂

Our hotel had a terrace that overlooked the royal palace. . .

A colorful cupola as seen from our hotel rooftop

Front of the Royal Palace

Cathedral. . . love the sky in this picture

Mannequin meet-up. 🙂

Mercado de San Miguel has a bar, too. . . actually, multiple bars. This was our first sangria (of many!). . .

Yummy 🙂

Love the colors of the flowers/tablecloths together in this picture. . .

We had to go out for churros and chocolate!

Let me just say. . . I was not so much a fan of these.  Very disappointing, seeing as fried things and chocolate are two of my favorite things.  The churros were not sweet.  No sugar. . . just. . . oil, lots of it!  The chocolate was also not sweet.

Please also note another hot mess item. . . I burned my foot almost two weeks prior to our trip by scorching my foot with ham juice while pulling my Easter ham out of the oven.  The picture below was taken the night after the burn.  (I will spare you pictures taken during the trip, as they will make you want to throw up in your mouth.)  We walk a lot on these trips . . and by the afternoon of this first day, all of this area was one huge blister, and was super painful.    After this night, things got better with it. . .  God bless Liz for putting up with me, my complaining, and my needing to doctor this area up each day with creams and bandages!  Also, God bless my boyfriend for running out and getting me supplies late on the night that it happened.

Next up. . . Barcelona!

Buenos noches!



  1. That’s funny because my SIL loves tapas. And ouch about your foot!

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