Tapas. Wine. Flamenco. Wine. Bull Fighting. More Wine. As I entered the city of Madrid, Spain, I was immediately bombarded with a culture so different than my own, yet, so intriguing. At first glance, I thought I was experiencing Deja Vu; I felt like I was in New York City (or maybe New York City on steroids), with the thousands of natives and visitors alike, walking the streets. After further analysis, I became enthralled with the “architectural artwork”, as I called it, surrounding me. It was the buildings, the statues, the plazas, the cafes, and the people that made up this artwork. I found myself caught up in a traveler’s high as I continued to gaze in awe. Oh, I knew that this high would be the keep me up for some days. This was that “good-good” high.
So, what is so great about Madrid? Read above paragraph again. Then add fabulous shopping, rich history, and just plain fun to the mix. What does that equal? THE EXPERIENCE. And because I had such a FAB experience while there, I had to compile my list of “must do’s” in Madrid, Spain:
Enjoy the fine cuisine of tapas and the seem-to-be-never-ending supply of wine at your choice of tapas bars….day or night. Literally. I really am questioning if the Spaniards even sleep!
Flamenco. The experience was like the 80’s TV show Fame….Spanish style. I am talking about singing, dancing, and music. I call it a musical in its purest form; No elaborate stages, bands or orchestras. It was just the singer, the musician, and dancer (or dancers). It is also an interactive experience with the audience. Even without knowing much of what they are singing about, the performance captivated me. I almost felt the urge to join them on stage. I then came back to reality. But it was a great experience.
So you think Paris and New York are the only cities known for fabulous fashions and shopping? NOT! Madrid is very fashion-forward; their runways house some of the top designers of the world. Spain is also one of the top manufactures of shoes! Shoes (not diamonds as you were wrongfully taught) are a girl’s best friend and there are plenty to choose from in Madrid. Shopping is an absolute must.
You can’t come to Spain without experiencing what Spain is most known for: Bullfighting. The bullfighting experience was more than I imagined. It was held at the world renowned Plaza de Tores de Las Ventas, which in itself was a breathtaking space. The costume that the matador had on was fabulousness on top of fabulousness. I wasn’t ready for it all. The actual bullfighting was appalling to me. I could not figure out how (and why) these little men fight these 1300+ pound not-so-nice bulls! I think my mouth was hanging open most of the fight. It was definitely an exciting experience that I will never forget. I have so much more respect for bullfighters now. It was amazing. You will be amazed also.
These activities, plus the history that you will encounter just by walking around this beautiful city, makes this city a great place to visit. Madrid exceeded my expectations in every way, and I met a lot of great people while there. I would encourage anyone that wants a great mix of culture and fun to visit Madrid. I promise, you will also experience that high that will last for days. That “good-good” high.