Madrid is more fun with friends. I spent the weekend exploring the city with Mags, who is from the Toronto area, and Javier, who lives in Malaga on the southern coast of Spain.
We walked through most of Madrid’s historic neighborhoods, and followed Javier’s lead on Spanish traditions such as afternoon refreshment breaks, siestas and dinners that, by American standards, were late. Although the three of us come from wine regions in three different countries, we agree completely on Rioja, Spain’s classic rich red, which is produced in the northern part of Spain and usually made with tempranillo grapes. I love wines with big noses — or “buque” as the Spaniards say — and Riojas certainly have that. We enjoyed classic Spanish tapas such as roasted artichokes, papas bravas, and gambas, and even some Thai curry.
During our outings, I thought it would be fun to identify Madrid’s summer fashion themes.(Although, as you can see by the photo, Mags is a fashion statement, she does not qualify as a fashion theme, since she is only one person). The first time I visited Madrid (1982?), I remember seeing a lot of flowery sun dresses. This summer — and Desigual notwithstanding — shorts are everywhere. Some are really short, some are longer. They appear in all colors and fabrics. Most are on tall skinny twenty-somethings with long hair but others enjoy them as way to stay cool in Madrid’s hot summer climate.
On Monday morning, Javier returned to Malaga for his teaching work. Mags and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at Pain Quotidien (our go-to place on two continents for healthy food), and the headed for the train station for the 64 minute ride — at 180 kilometers an hour — to Cuenca.