Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Madrid, Espana

Keenan and I literally slept walk to Gatwick Airport Friday morning for an early flight to Madrid (1hr45mins from London) to meet up with our friends, Pratish and Bharvi, who are traveling through Spain. Since we arrived a day early, we decided to head to Toledo, a medieval town and UNESCO world heritage site about 70km south of Madrid. It's a charming town with narrow cobblestone alleyways, churches, synagogues, and little plazas. Lucky for us, it was a beautiful sunny day in Toledo. Definitely worth the 30 minute train ride from Madrid if you have the time.

The next morning, we strolled around the posh barrio of Salamanca before meeting up with Pratish and Bharvi. From there we explored Old Madrid (Pratish played tour guide) starting from Sol to Plaza Mayor, Plaza Espana, Palacio Real, Plaza de Oriente, Teatro Real, and saw many cathedrals and churches along the way. We ended the evening at La Finca de Susana and had a pleasant meal with friends, followed by drinks at a bar in Chueca, the bohemian quarter of Madrid.
Pratish, Bharvi, and Keenan in Sol:

Old Madrid Walking Tour:

Good friends, good food, and lots of wine = great fun!:

Sunday, we spent the day in Bourbon Madrid along the Paseo del Pardo, Parque de Retiro, Huerta/Anton Martin, Banque de Espana, and Museo del Pardo -- another lovely neighborhood of Madrid with stunning architecture, culture, and history.
Parque de Retiro:

Palacio de Communication/Cibeles Plaza:

All in all, Madrid was a nice excursion from London. We're definitely looking forward to future visits to Southern Spain (Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba), Barcelona, and the Balearic Islands. You can cover Madrid in 3 days: 1) Old Madrid; 2) Bourbon Madrid; 3) Toledo as a day trip. Madrid never sleeps! Madrilenos eat at 10PM and stay out all night. Neighborhoods for nightlife include: La Latina, Huerta/Anton Martin, and Chueca.

Here's some more photos from the Flickr:

Originally uploaded by London Cosmopolitan

We had fun traveling with you, Pratish and Bharvi! Hope you guys are enjoying Paris and see you in London soon.

It's New Years Eve here; and we're braving the cold and the crowd to see the firework show along the Victoria Embankment. Happy New Years! Love, Lily & Keenan

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