De Madrid al Cielo
Trip Start May 04, 2011
125Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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Well, we never did make it back to the hostel in time for a photo, but I did manage to buy a sim card for my new unlocked phone. It turns out this week is the Festival of San Isidro which is the Saint of Madrid. It kicked off today with a walking procession down c/Alcala, and the festivities will escalate, with a full blown celebration on Sunday.
It was time to charge all batteries, including my own. I managed to get in a little siesta and then spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering around Parque Retiro. It brought back such memories, watching the lovers rowing in the lake, the carp and turtles snacking on whatever bread crumbs the kids tossed at them in front of the Palacio Crystal, and more so, learning that roller blading is quite the popular sport on the west side of the park in 2011
I exited on the north east end of the park into the elegant and stylish residential area called Salamanca, aka the Brentwood of Madrid. All around me were innovative and pricey restaurants, I chose one for the beautiful display of tapas. Here I sit sipping on my cana (beer) and enjoying a jamon de bellota (acorn fed ham) con brie and championes (mushrooms).
I really am quite taken back by how the city has changed in 20 years. It is flooded with fashionable stores, a super modern feel and 90% cleaner than I remember. The one thing that hasn’t changed is its pure love of life. As described in a recent LA Times article, the one word that best describes Madrid is "energy." It is a city of night owls and its’ Madrilenos don’t care much for solitude.