Well peeps, I’ve got an embarrassing confession to make: I’ve been really struggling to come up with ideas for the blog over the past few days. It was an annoying feeling, as usually I don’t suffer from lack of inspiration when I really feel like blogging. Now, I say it’s an embarrassing confession because, before I got back to London last week, I’d spent a few days in Madrid. Yep, I’d very, very fortunately managed to spend a few days in this wonderful city and yet couldn’t think of what to write about on the blog. It wasn’t until yesterday that I had a total lightbulb moment and realised it would be stupid of me not to share something about this unforgettable five-day trip.
Indeed, I feel pretty dumb about that, but then again I gotta cut myself some slack. I mean, travel posts haven’t been a thing in quite some time. At least not in my world – in all honesty it feels completely tone-deaf to discuss anything travel-related. I didn’t initially view my trip to Madrid as a holiday per se; I couldn’t fly back to London from my hometown in Spain directly so I decided to stay in Madrid for a few days with one of my closest friends.
Now the thing is, as much as Spain as a hole is in a crisis thanks to COVID, the restrictions in the Spanish capital are close to non-existent. While I was there, everything had to close at either 8 or 9pm (SO early for Spaniards) – but, for better or for worse, Madrid felt so alive. I didn’t think I’d be doing much other than spending time with my friend, and while we definitely took it easy, I was lucky enough to get to safely explore and enjoy the vibrant area of La Latina and its surroundings.
I won’t make this a guide for Madrid as I wasn’t (and couldn’t be) in full-on exploring mode, but I’ll give you a little insight into my trip with a very pretty photo diary – because Madrid is one hell of a beauty.
You can’t go to Madrid and not visit the city’s iconic sculpture of a bear picking at a strawberry treen in Puerta del Sol. And here’s a little history lesson for you – this sculpture is a direct reference to the coat of arms of Madrid, a design that back to the Middle Ages.
The beauty of this striking church’s cupola is something that only a few of privileged souls (like me) will ever get to admire in all its glory, as this is the view from my friend’s terrace. The Baroque church, named Iglesia de San Andrés, stands on the site where there was once a primitive Christian temple during Spain’s Islamic times and seems to be currently closed to the public – well, its cupola’s balcony is definitely off limits. Lucky for my friend, who won’t be spied on by nosy tourists, although a little bit unlucky for the rest of us.
It was an absolute joy to take in skies and sunsets like these in the middle of February – according to my friend, Madrid has the most beautiful skies. How can I disagree after experiencing this for five nights in a row?
Night views of the Catedral de la Almudena (technically it’s the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena).
This beautiful cinema in the Lavapies district, built in 1923, is part of the Filmoteca Española (Spanish Cinemathèque), an official institution of the Ministry of Culture of Spain. If you’re a fan of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, you can spot this site in his film Talk to Her.
East London vibes, anyone? This adorable flower shop was one of the many ridiculously attractive businesses in the area of Embajadores (FYI, named one of Madrid’s coolest neighbourhoods by Time Out Madrid).
There were so many quirky antique and furniture shops in Embajadores, I loved it! We went on a Saturday and it wasn’t particularly busy, although it’s in this area when the famous open flea market El Rastro takes place on Sundays.
A snapshot of the Metropolis building, one of Madrid’s most iconic landmarks.
So many insta-worthy storefronts in La Latina! This is an Argentinian restaurant located in the street Cava Baja, which was full of super-attractive looking businesses.
A mural called “Run away” by D*Face – made in 2020.
A mural called “The Rhyme of Things” by artist Marat Morik (@maratdanilyan).
Artwork by Boa Mistura.
Some of the areas I explored (such as Lavapies and el Barrio de Las Letras, aka the Literary Quarter), had some amazing street art and murals. After a year in which I was pretty much deprived of street art, it was wonderful to see so many great artworks.
This was my third time in Madrid (you can see my post on my first ever trip here) and every time I go I fall more and more in love with it. I mean, there’s a world pandemic and I was still in awe. I don’t know when I’ll get to go back, but when I do, I hope the world (and Spain) is in a better place.
Pictures taken between the 12th and 16th of February in Madrid, Spain.