Ola Chicas y Chicos. Hope everyone is having a delightful weekend. Following on from my Madrid Part 1 post yesterday, today I bring you part two. We stayed at the Way Hostel Madrid, which I would recommend to anyone visiting the city. The hostel offered trips to either Toledo or Segovia on certain days. Since we were staying in Madrid for a week, we thought it would be a good opportunity to get out of the city and see some other parts of the region. We booked in for an early morning bus to Toledo (70km south of Madrid) which was the previous capital city of Spain.
Arriving in Toledo felt like we were in a completely different world in comparison to the hustle and bustle of Madrid. The city was declared a World Heritage site in recognition of its uniqueness in 1987. In the past, the city was host to Christian, Hebrew and Islamic culture which is quite unheard of in Europe. The architecture reflects this, and when walking around the city we passed Mosques, Gothic churches, Roman structures, Synagogues and a Renaissance Palace.
Cathedral of Toledo.
The Puerta de Bisagra, city gate into Toledo.
….hanging in the gift shop.
I’m sorry I couldn’t caption each of the photos I took but I’m not too sure what each of the buildings were. I’m sure you can appreciate their beauty nonetheless.
Mercado de San Miguel – Food Market
The market hall Maercado de San Miguel is one of my favourite foodie experience from Europe. Situated right near Plaza Mayor and about 15 minutes from our hostel, we visited on our first night in Madrid and one morning for breakfast. The hall is filled with a variety of produce from fish, pastries, pasta, sweets, fruits and vegetables. During the day there is more of a market feel with locals buying produce and stopping off for lunch and a stream of toursits passing through to try little bites from each of the different stores. At night the place packs out and the atmosphere shifts to focus on small tapas meals enjoyed alongside a beer, sangria or wine.
Steel tables and stools are situated throughout the hall to stop off at and enjoy your purchases.
A lot of the stalls sell small tapas/pintxos which you buy per piece. Ana and I grabbed a few to share but we had to get two pieces of the one on the right. Inside the crunchy exterior was a whole lot of pulled pork seasoned perfectly. Not my typical breakfast but it went down so well.
Jamon Jamon Jamon!
The left was Caramelised Onion & Cheese with the piece on the right resembling a Caesar Salad.
Although early, Ana orders a glass of the White Wine Sangria to try.
I picked up a sweet orange juice at the fruit store to enjoy after our savoury breakfast.
Mercado de San Miguel
Plaza San Miguel, Madrid, Spain
Ph: +34 915 42 49 36
The Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is a famous bullring in Madrid and holds bull fights every Sunday between the months of March and December. With a group from the hostel, we all headed down to view this cultural event that has been a national passion in Spain for many years.
The bull fighter costumes (matador) were beautifully detailed, with the bull fighters themselves being seen as superstars in Madrid.
The whole event was quite confronting and brutal, definitely not something to watch if you have a weak stomach. I felt really sorry for the horses in the above picture as they were blindfolded so they couldn’t see the bull running at them.
Each of the colourful capes distract the bull, whilst the main bullfighter tries to stab it. They keep going until the bull is too weak from the stab wounds and dies on the dirt, at which point horses come out and drag the bull out of the ring. I’m glad I got to experience the whole event (the locals get really into it), but I cant say I would be willing to go and watch it again.
Street performers near the Puerto del Sol…their setup was extremely impressive. Im still questioning how?
We grabbed this meal for lunch one day whilst we waited for our clothes to wash at the local laundromat. The plate consisted of Fresh Red Tomatoes with Jamon, Salty Cheese, Pesto and garnished in Dried Herbs. So flavoursome and the perfect meal with a bit of crispy bread on the side.
These last two photos were snapped on the same street whilst walking to dinner one night. My first name….
…and very close to my last name. Coincidental!
I hope I have overloaded you with my love of Madrid and can hopefully convince you to visit one day. After travelling through Greece, Italy and Spain I have found my second, third and fourth homes. Can not wait to go back and explore more.
Enjoy your Saturday night amigos, I’m off to get ready and head out.