Oct 19, 2015


El Retiro Park, Madrid
Friends, I didn’t imagine this would be possible, but I think I had an even nicer time in Madrid than in Barcelona. All in all I probably liked Barcelona more as a city, but Madrid is absolutely stunning too. It’s a more imposing city, full of wide avenues and neoclassical buildings, and it definitely says Major European Capital in a way Barcelona doesn’t. But at the same time, it’s full of beautiful architectural details, districts with their own character, and welcoming little corners. It’s a city where I found it easy to feel at ease, despite how large and bustling it is. And I loved how El Retiro, where I ended up spending a few hours despite not having planned it, truly feels like the city’s communal relaxation area.

I’m sure it helped that the good mood I’d been in since Reims not only remained in place but actually swelled. The weather remained lovely; people continued to be kind; the world continued to move me. I really had the best time. A few photos:
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The early morning train from Barcelona to Madrid, on my way to another incredible day.

The Biblioteca Nacional de España, which dates back to 1712, was definitely one of my favourite places. The library itself is gorgeous, and there’s also a lovely museum on the ground floor dedicated to the history of books and libraries. In addition to the permanent display, they had an exhibition on the history of calligraphy, which was more fun and informative than I could ever have imagined. The whole thing reminded me of Paris’ wonderful Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits, which was another serendipitous discovery.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez garden in the Paseo de Recoletos.

“Refugees Welcome” banner over the Cybele Palace, which houses the Madrid City Hall. ♥

The Barrio de las Letras.

Book stalls!

...and Museo Nacional Del Prado, which I loved and only saw a fraction of, despite walking around it until I was ready to drop from exhaustion.

After that there was nothing for it but ice-cream and resting on the grass at the aptly named Parque del Buen Retiro.

Later in the evening we went to Museo Reina Sofía, which I liked even better than Museo Del Prado. Guernica is as impressive as everyone says, but it wasn’t just that, of course; it was everything else. Part of me wishes I had planned my day the other way around, so I could have had more time at Reina Sofía, but alas. Then again, those twenty minutes starring at The Garden of Earthly Delights in the Museo Del Prado were absolutely worth it.

Gazpacho at last!

The wonderful Malasaña district, which I went to on my last day on Masanobu’s suggestion.

Just as I was falling for Malasaña, I spotted this: “The markets are in charge, but we haven’t elected them”. ♥

Puerta Del Sol — “the very heart of Madrid”.

The Mercado de San Miguel, which I found pricier and not as interesting as Barcelona’s La Boqueria. I still had lovely Churros com Chocolate, though.

The Real Basílica de San Francisco el Grande.

Okay, I promise I’m done with travel posts now. I’m staying put until I go home for the holidays, and that shouldn’t result in more than cat and dog pictures. Thanks again for bearing with me. I’m more grateful for these weeks than I can say, and it was lovely to be able to share a glimpse of them with you all.


  1. Really pretty pics! I'm glad you enjoyed Malasaña - it's definitely one of my favorite places in Madrid. It's full of life in a way the rest of the city isn't.

    1. Thank you again for all the tips and suggestions - they really made a difference :D

  2. Wow! I am really enjoying armchair traveling with you!

    1. I'm glad to hear it! I'm done for a nice long while now, though :P

  3. I really enjoy looking at your pictures and they are amazing!!!!!

  4. Gorgeous photos, as always! I'm so glad you had a good time in Madrid.

    1. I really did, and it made me want to make more of an effort to see the world. If all goes well, maybe I'll ask you to meet me at The Stand next year? :P


  5. I loved Madrid too, such a beautiful city. Your pictures brought back a lot of memories!

    1. Aww, I'm glad to hear it! I want to go back - so much left to see.

  6. You make every city you visit sound so warm and inviting!


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