10 Things I’m Loving Now – mad about madrid

Fui sobre agua edificada, mis muros de fuego son. Esta es mi insignia y blasón.
(On water I was built, my walls are made of fire. This is my ensign and escutcheon.)
– Motto of Madrid, Spain

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

My first time to go out of Switzerland and visit another piece of Europe, the Madrid vacation has somewhat made me feel close to home. I couldn’t help but repeatedly say this many times during our stay, “Madrid is like Manila. Manila is Madrid…”.

Madrid’s architectural beauty reminds me of a “could-have-been-better” version of the present Manila, or the old heydays thereof. Castillian baroque, as they put it, stands out in most buildings, and we found this classic design in the area we had stayed, Plaza Mayor.  French and Italian influences are evident in some structures. I must admit, I am envious. I just wish that the old buildings in some parts in Manila, like in Intramuros, Quiapo or Avenida, could have been kept way better than what Madrid has done.

The Spanish people we met at the hotel, in the restaurants, at shops or at the streets, were all very nice and friendly. One time, when we were at the bullfight scene, this man in his 50s volunteered himself to take us some pictures, and upon knowing where we’re originally from, he jokingly said (in Spanish), “Ah, so you’re from the Philippines. You are Spanish! You must have spoken Spanish very well.” Apparently, un poco, seňor! His beaming smile and proud-sounding voice couldn’t stop me from assuming how we remind him (and the rest) of their grand empire many centuries back, and that we are the only country in Asia they once had. Talk about reminiscing the good (and the bad) old times with us, right? Well, this is another story to tell.

Madrid is really a captivating city that never sleeps. Well, most people would take short naps in the afternoons (a siesta), but come nighttime, almost everyone stays out and enjoys the nightlife pulsating with energy. Madrid is also a fashion capital of the country. There are so many trendy boutiques to shop at, and more outfits to choose from. Sorry Switzerland, but Madrid has induced me to the things I mostly craved for for quite some time. Nonetheless, Switzerland is still a different beauty.

Here are the top things I like in Madrid.

1. Bus tour around Madrid

This is a great way to see the city’s fantastic monuments and sights, allowing you to get a good overall view of Madrid, with the flexibility to hop-off the bus to further explore any attractions you particularly like.

And then you can hop-on again to continue your tour as the next bus comes round!

You can hop on and off the bus as many times as you like on either of the routes, or even start one route, and join another at one of the interconnecting stops.

The routes are: Modern Madrid and Historic Madrid.

Read more about the bus tour, click here.

NEXT: Los Museos – Reina Sofia y Prado

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