Last weekend, Peter and I were in Madrid, Spain. It was a very short tripped fueled by a lot alcohol, food, and laughs. We were highly intoxicated for 48 hours straight.
We landed at the airport at 7pm and hopped in a taxi to our hotel. As we drove through the city, the first thing I noticed was that I didn’t see any restaurants or shops open. I said to Peter, “Fuck. Another city where nothing is open after 8pm. We are fucked for dinner.” Peter then informed me that, yes, restaurants were closed but they were closed because they had not yet opened after siesta, not because they were closed for the day. Ah ha!
Spain is different from most other European countries in that people eat very, very late. We were eating dinner on Friday night at 9:20pm and the dinner rush had not yet arrived. The rush began as we were finishing up our tapas (and mojitos and beers) around 10:15pm. Restaurants typically stay open until 2am and most bars are open until 4am. This was a nice change from England where pubs (and most restaurants) close at 10pm with the last food served at 9pm. Madrid (and I guess Spain in general) has a big food and drink culture which makes the city feel very social.
After dinner on Friday, Peter and I ducked into a long and narrow cervecería located off one of the main streets. We ordered two beers and the little old Spanish man poured them, slammed them on the glass counter top, smiled, and slid some tapas in front of us.
We went back to this cervecería three more times during our short weekend. I couldn’t get enough of this little old man slamming beers on the counter top in front of me. The old man spoke no English but he recognized us each time we visited and I loved him. He was so cute!
As for the tapas, we weren’t sure if the tapas were free or if it was a situation as in Portugal where the server/bartender lays out a spread of appetizers on your table and then they charge you for what you eat. Peter decided to test our logic and ate one of the tapas. It was bread with jamón (Spanish cured ham). How else were we going to find out if the tapas were free? Our test yielded positive results – the tapas were free, a very important piece of information to know.
On Saturday, Peter’s friend from Oklahoma City and his wife arrived for a conference/fancy appreciation dinner. They met us at our hotel and we proceeded to get hammered beginning at 2pm by way of cervecería crawl. By 8pm we were too drunk to figure out where to eat dinner, so we went back to the same restaurant that Peter and I ate at the night before. It was a safe decision because we knew where it was located and knew the food was delicious.
We ate, drank, and went our separate ways back to our hotels. I think Peter and I stopped for frozen yogurt on our way to our hotel and possibly for another beer but I’m not sure. It’s all a bit fuzzy. What I am sure of is that I jumped on Peter’s back once we reached the floor of our hotel room and we nearly tumbled to the ground because he was not expecting me to jump on his back. For the record, I wasn’t expecting to jump on his back either. I’m not sure why or even how I was able to accomplish jumping on his back.
Sunday morning brought a headache and some slight nausea but nothing a little ibuprofen and Dramamine couldn’t handle… eventually.
We met our drinking friends and went on one of those hop-on-hop-off bus tours because we felt like we needed to see the city but could not physically walk without one of us getting sick.
I did the best I could with photography on a moving bus. Below are a few of the 35 photos I took whilst Peter was sleeping on the hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Just kidding. Peter was not sleeping but that doesn’t mean he didn’t want to be sleeping. There are no photo captions because I have no bloody clue as to what I was taking photos of.
After the hop-on-hop-off bus tour, we crawled into a bar and consumed a couple of cocktails. We then parted ways with our friends because they had to go to their fancy dinner and Peter and I continued crawling to various drinking holes. We then took a two-hour nap and when we awoke, I packed (we were departing the hotel at 6am the following morning) and we went to dinner.
At one point, Papa Smurf made an appearance in Plaza Puerto del Sol.
And that’s a wrap on Madrid. I feel I conquered the city in my own special way.