Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Spain Trip - Él Primer Día

It's 5 am and I'm nestled in my cozy loft bed on Calle Juanelo. We slept as we flew through the night, the world turning 9 hours ahead beneath us, and landed in Madrid at 7pm.  My bag caught a later flight, but we managed to round up, catch a cab and head into the heart of the city. Yes, we.  In an amazing last minute decision Greg arranged to come with me for the first week of my trip. We cruised through the city with our cabbie friend pointing out all the sites; Retiro Park, Reina Sophia, the Prado, it all looked beautiful lit up against the night sky. I love coming into a city that way. 
We met up with Emi, our airbnb host, and got settled into our little Madrileño nest. It's perfect, with brick and plaster walls, ancient wood beams in the ceiling and an adorable little terrace.  There's an ancient looking gate, heavily locked, right off our terrace which apparently leads to the massive network of underground passageways beneath the city.  These tunnels were used over the centuries as everything from wine cellars and storage to escape routes and prisons.  You won't find that in a Holiday Inn! 

We are right in the heart of things here.  Emi left us a great list of tapas bars near by, but we decided to just wander out into the night and let our Jedi knight skills find us the perfect spot. It worked. We ended up in this very cool place called China Mandarina, packed with locals, and we blindly took all of our waiter's suggestions.  It was amazing,but we both agreed that the croquettes will be on our short list of best things we've ever eaten in our lives.  

Now we're waiting for the sun to come up so we can head off, painting bag in hand, on our first day of adventure. 

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