Nueve meses de invierno, y tres de infierno.
Nine months of winter and three of hell is what the Spanish say about the continental climate in Madrid. When I arrived, I found it to be neither winter nor hell, but a sunny and mild 20°C.
I did not know anything about Madrid’s history or background, so I was eager to learn about its humble beginnings as a fortress to protect Toledo to its status today as the third largest city in the EU.
Although rigorously catholic, many Moorish and Jewish traces can be found throughout the city as a remembrance of once peaceful coexistance between the three religions.
Side note: tapas were invented when the king decided to make it mandatory for tavern owners to give out free food with their wine. The small plates were often placed on top of the glass as a cap, which is the translation of the word tapas. ‘Wow, what a generous king‘, you might think. Well, the rule prevented farmers from getting too drunk and wreaking havoc, while the taverns did not complain because that meant their guests bought more wine.
After walking around in the city, we headed to Madrid’s main park El Retiro to breath some fresh air. The city was already dusty and I can only imagine how it will be during the summer. Probably not the best time to visit.
We saw two glorious sunsets during our stay, and there’s nothing better than watching the sun set on a rooftop overlooking Madrid while lying on a deck chair.
I left on monday around noon, but we still had enough time to make a quick detour into the Prado to sneak a view of Vélazques Las meninas.