Discovering Madrid on foot

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“Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar.” “Traveler, there is no road. You make the road as you go along.”    -Antonio Machado

During the first weekend in Madrid, my school offered a walking tour of the city. Although I had already been in Madrid for nearly a week, I felt like I’d only seen the areas around my house and school. It was a strange feeling because during Eurovision we only had one, maybe two days if we were lucky, to see everything a city had to offer. I was really excited to finally get out and see Madrid!

Of course, it was the only day it “rained” in Madrid for the entire time I’ve been here, but thankfully the drizzling stopped when we got out of the metro at Ópera. We walked down the street and all of a sudden we were in front of El Palacio Royal!

The building has 2000 rooms! I can’t wait to go back when my parents visit at the end of October and get an inside look.

The King no longer lives in the palace, but it is used for government meetings and interviews.

The Royal Palace even has a beautiful next door neighbor…

The Almudena Cathedral

We continued walking and took a pit stop at one of Madrid’s best pastry shops.

I ended up getting the dessert in the upper right hand corner. It’s a traditional Spanish dessert that pretty much tastes like exactly what it looks like, caramelized Chinese noodles.

Above is la Plaza de la Villa, which is one end of the smallest street in Madrid.

The street is named Calle del Codo, meaning Elbow Street, because it is shaped like a bent arm.

We ended up in an area that has some of Madrid’s best tapas restaurants. I’ll definitely be going back at some point during the semester.

Spain has this hugeeee obsession with ham…

so of course it has a whole museum dedicated to those precious little piggies!

This shop is not out of the ordinary. Like I said, everyone’s obsessed, but I guess they have a good reason to be because traditional Spanish ham, known as jamón serrano, is 10x better than any ham I’ve eaten on a sandwich in the U.S.

El Restaurante Botin is Madrid’s oldest restaurant. Ernest Hemmingway and Bill Clinton have eaten there, and so will my parents and I as of October 30 (yes, I made a reservation a month and a half in advanced, but only because I accompanied my friend there when she was making a reservation for this upcoming weekend).

And finally, La Plaza Mayor! Once used as a bullfighting arena, Madrid’s most famous plaza is now a giant tourist trap when it comes to overpriced restaurants, but still beautiful.

I am more than satisfied by the city I decided to study abroad in. It’s amazing to be surrounded by all this history, beauty, and culture. As the quote says at the beginning of my post, I will continue making my own road here in Madrid, Spain, and Europe and loving every minute of it!


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