Wandering, not lost

I think we’ve adopted the Spanish way of life … not getting going till late morning, hiding away during the afternoon heat and staying up way to late at night. Every morning I awake and think I’m going to get up early and every morning I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed until at least after 10am.

We’ve also realized what “kind” of tourists we are … none. Neither of us really has a desire to see the main attractions, the big squares, the old buildings, the royal whatevers. We prefer to wander the streets just seeing what we see. Today was no exception.

Upon leaving the flat, we grabbed a quick coffee and pastry to get us going, then jumped on the metro to the south end of the Centro neighborhood. I had found a great website that was all about street art in Madrid, the Madrid Street Art Project. I found out that every year the project does a mural installation somewhere in the city, so we went to seek it out.

In the same neighborhood there is a truly hidden gem, La Tabacalera. Inside an old, abandoned tobacco warehouse lives an astounding collection of street art. In equal parts creepy and beautiful, the space is an open invitation to creative expression. Every square inch is adorned with murals, graffiti and art. I will do a separate post of all the wonders this place holds, but suffice to say, its well worth the visit.

La Tabacalera

With our hearts and minds full of the collective spirit of the people, we checked the map and found a couple stores in the area for Eli to hit up. Feeling a bit hungry, we made our way over to Mercado de la Cebada, only to find that we were a bit too late in the day to catch this vibrant market. It was approaching 3pm, and most vendors had already packed up for the day.

The afternoon sun beat down hard, and with the temperature pushing close to 100, we decided to head back to Malasaña and check out the popular weekend spot across the street from our apartment. La Gringa does not disappoint! Only open on the weekends until 5pm, and serving brunch fair, we indulged in a couple of delicious benedicts, washed down with an extra large mimosa.

Eli wanted to try to catch some of the Real Madrid match, so we stopped by the apartment. Just before halftime we decided to go checkout the last store in the neighborhood we hadn’t visited, so we made the quick walk over, but it was closed. We returned to the apartment, where Eli decided to watch the last Premier league match of the day, while I decided to continue wandering.

I wandered the streets with no plan, happened into the Museo ABC for a bit, wandered so more before deciding to rest and enjoy the early evening. I stopped off at Plaza Juan Puyol, and grabbed an outdoor table at Ojalá, which as it turns out is a sister restaurant to La Musa, which we dined at last night.

I chilled in the plaza as the sun slowly set, people watching and enjoying the Spanish vibe. A couple of Aperol Spritz later, Eli joined me and we walked over to Slow Mex for a taco dinner.

To complete our day, Eli found Malvy’s Shakes, a wonderful spot for milkshakes. Not to be outdone by our milkshake exploits in Copenhagen, this milkshake gave it a run for its money!

Stuff with good food, good company and plenty of sugar, we ambled back to the apartment to relax and fade to black.