Compared to some of the other days on our trip, Friday and Saturday in Madrid happened at a slower pace.
The location of our apartment, Calle de León, 6, is in what is known as the Barrio de las Letras. In the 1600s there were many authors, playwrights, and poets living in this area and many theaters and bookshops. Cervantes lived across the street from our apartment and there is a steady stream of tour groups stopping in front of his building.
We explored the area by foot and found many interesting stores, shops, and restaurants. We liked what we saw so much that we changed our plan to go to the city of Segovia–a day trip–in favor of spending another day right here.
In my last post I mentioned that we were going to see flamenco at Cardamomo and that it was nearby. It took us less than 5 minutes to get there. The show was pretty good, but in front of us was a group of tourists who constantly stuck cameras up in the air to take pictures. At one point there were 11 cameras between us and the stage. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the high-energy show. The short walk back was an added plus.
On Friday we found a local place for breakfast right around the corner. It was fun to sit there and listen and watch for a while.
We visited the Thyssen Bornemisza art museum. It is within easy walking distance. We spent over 2.5 hours there before our ability to appreciate the art began to fail. From there, we walked up Calle Mayor to Plaza Mayor and Mercado de San Miguel. That’s about a mile and a 20 minute walk and we could have done it in that time except for the hordes of people on the sidewalks and the lure of store windows.
We had read about the “revival” of Mercado de San Miguel into a new market an place for tapas. Indeed, there are now many places in the Mercado that sell fish, vegetables, wine, bread, and many other things that also make tapas from their offerings. With so many choices we had to visit a number of places before settling on some paella and pizza. There are huge [I’m not talking Trump huge, but really large] crowds inside the Mercado and I was amazed at the pizza tapas place that the clerk/server/cook took our order and, when I returned in 10 minutes, remembered exactly what I had ordered.
We strolled around two sides of the Plaza Mayor [Main Square, or, better, the Large Plaza in the Center]. It is all out in the open, as the pictures show, and on both Friday and Saturday it was full of people. Tourists, of course, but the predominant language I heard spoken there was Spanish, so lots of people from Spain, too. There are shops and restaurants lining the arcades and performing artists (buskers, I suppose) all over the plaza.
On Friday night we stayed in and dined on cheese, wine, and bread, all of which we purchased in the neighborhood.
Saturday we went out when it warmed up a little; the nights have been cool and the days quite comfortable. We wandered around the area for a while getting even more comfortable with the streets. It isn’t as complex as the old parts of Seville or Jerez or even Córdoba, but few of the streets are straight for any distance.
We had a late lunch (we could get used to this) at Plaza Mayor. We were able to watch a little bit of March Madness at the apartment because the internet is fast enough to allow streaming.
In the evening we went to Tablao Flamenco Villa-Rosa. It is near Plaza Santa Ana and is just 6 or 7 minutes away. We had really good seats next to the stage and heard/saw good flamenco. It was a very enjoyable day.
I added 20+ pictures to the Madrid pictures page.