Our last day in Madrid. No tours, no early get ups, just an easy wander around and maybe we’ll buy some shoes? Who knows?
Me Jenny had read about a square not far from us that had a flower market. We found it on the map and headed in that direction. When we got there, we thought, oh bless…. there’s one stall….
… but as we walked in further, we saw that there were exactly 4 stalls. All a bit sad really, even though the colours were pretty and the flowers were pretty cheap!
The other night on our tapas tour we visited a stall in the Mercado de San Miguel. It has some history that is too drawn out to go into, but now it’s a tapas haven, full of tapas bars and seating for people to try different things. It’s a bit pricey, but it was all good. On the tour we only visited one stall and it was really crowded, so we decided to go back before the Spanish go for lunch and have another crack.
Here were some of the little delicious delicacies on offer…
There is some seating – but ALL taken, so most people just stand at the bar have a drink and quick bite and move on.
Then it was shoe shopping time.
With a pair of shoes for Me Jenny in hand, it was decided that we would take the long way home through the area we went on our tapas tour, but this time in the day time and down some streets that we hadn’t been before.
There were some groovy restaurant fronts…
And interesting murals…
Once home for a small siesta, we were jolted by the sound of drums and chanting. Out our window we watched the parade for World Mental Heath Day go by.
On our last night in Madrid decided to head back to Casa Alberto – one of the tapas bars we visited with our tapas guide, but again, we decided we were going to get there earlier than local Spanish people would turn up. This time we got a table and and it was a much more relaxing experience… even if the tables are so close together that you literally have to sit hip to hip with people behind you.
The way this place was run was fantastic, as were the people who frequent it (local Spanish people or people like us trying to fit in). There was no pushing and shoving, there were no loud yobbos – people were respectful and waited patiently – like they all knew the rules and knew that they weren’t going to miss out. Also the people working there were like a fine tuned machine. One person behind the bar and one person in front (and a couple roaming around). They knew where everybody was, what they’d ordered, what they were waiting on and where they were up to in their tapas experience. It was great to watch and be a part of. We also had some lovely tapas and a complimentary drink to finish – not sure what it was, but it was delicious.
Let me just talk to you briefly about the ‘rhythm’ in Spain…
7am-9am – breakfast
by 12pm (obviously starving, but not saying anything!)
2pm-4pm – lunch
6pm-9.30pm (not one bit hungry, then after 9.30pm too tired to think about eating!)
8.30pm-10.30pm – dinner
It’s no wonder so many primary school aged kids want to move to Spain. I’ve not directly asked any, but I’m sure they would when they discover that kids go to school from 9 until 2pm, then they go home for their lunch (2pm-4pm). However some other schools (depending on the area and school) go from 9am to 5pm with a 2 hour lunch break, so that might not be as enticing. But then they’re out and about with their parents in restaurants at 9 or 10pm for their dinner (some probably even later, but we were home in bed by then, so we wouldn’t know!). Some restaurants don’t even open their doors until 9pm. I’m sure that some families are eating in their own homes, but we didn’t witness that.
We asked one of our guides in Seville about the lateness and she couldn’t see a problem with it. “The kids go to bed by 11pm – they get 8 hours sleep a night. How much more do they need?” she said. Probably more than that is what I thought, but didn’t say out aloud and also – if kids are up until 11pm – when do the grown ups have quiet time?
Since we arrived in Spain we’ve been trying to eat like Spaniards – pushing lunch back until 3ish and then not eating again until about 8.00pm (which is still super early for people here). I can’t imagine that flying when we get home! #kitchenisclosed
This was a scene that we came across on the way home from our tapas meal at about 9.30pm. I think these poor babies were tired and ready to go home, but they sat there patiently waiting until their selfish, late eating human was finished (well I assume they did – we would have been home in bed by then!)
How mean! 😦