We knew all week that Sunday in Madrid meant only one thing: El Rastro! We hopped on the green metro line 5 to La Latina and stopped at my favorite panadería, Panísmo, from last year to eat a nepolitana and drink a café con leche. It was just as delicious as I had remembered! If you get off of the La Latina metro stop, it’s right across the street!
El Rastro is a huge open air flea market that is only open on Sunday’s from 9am-3pm in Madrid. You can find handmade goods, clothing, abanicos (fans) and tons of antiques. If only had a suitcase big enough! You have to be extra careful of pickpocketers here, however, because although there are many Spaniards, there are also many tourists. Make sure you are carrying a cross body purse with a zipper and that men carry their wallets in their front pockets. This is important for any travel while I Spain, but especially important in crowded areas. Sra. Perry and I strolled the streets in the 93-degree weather looking for some unique items for our classrooms. I picked up a couple of extra abanicos (fans) because it’s fun to have students act as the Spaniards do and try to use them.
We left El Rastro just about 3pm and were starving! Plaza Mayor is only about a 10-minute walk down the street so we headed there for some people watching and a bite to eat! It is a beautiful place to sit under the umbrellas with mist, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. There are many restaurants to choose from in Plaza Mayor and they tend to do very well because it is a tourist destination. Pablo says, however, that the food is some of the worst in Madrid! Remember when traveling that as scary as it may be, ask a local about their favorite place to eat and try it! This is why learning another language is so important, you can learn from their cultures and do as they do!
We hopped on the metro again, this time the Red line, at Sol and traveled to Goya where we switch to the brown line towards Colón. I’m really going to miss the metro when we get back home. I do not miss driving at all! It is so easy to get anywhere you want to go! I needed to stop at Hard Rock Café to get my dad the obligatory tourist shirt! We then continued to walk the streets, enjoying the sights and sounds of Madrid!
We dropped our bags off at the hotel and for the first time since staying in our hotel, turned left to walk down Gran Vía! All of the food shopping and events are to the right so that’s where we stayed most of the week. We finally turned left! We walked by beautiful Plaza España before finding our dinner destination, Maiia Thai!
Thai food in Spain? I know! Funny thing is, the first time I ever had Thai food was in Argentina 9 years ago! It’s funny how their appetizer was patatas (potato chips with Thai chili flake) and how is was a very Spanish way to begin a meal! We ordered some Spring rolls that were divine (I wanted to drink the sauces) and of course, I ordered Pad Thai. It was not nearly as tasty as Banana Leaf back home, but I had to try it!
We walked back up towards our hotel on Gran Vía and couldn’t end the day without an ice cream stop. I love being in Madrid at night. It’s so alive!
Tomorrow is our final day in Madrid and we have some last items to check off of our list! Ready to make the most of it!