Day 1 in Madrid (9/1/21):
-The food markets here are the best kinds. Blending local and foreign foods, locals and tourists visit alike, and everything is reasonably priced. I’m at Mercado Anton Martin and the place is modeled based off of Japanese dives. It’s heavenly.
-The metro is relatively clean, easy to navigate, and cheap.
-The European Spanish here is challenging. People here speak way faster than Colombia or Peru, I can’t read their lips because of their masks, and their accents almost come off a bit Italian to me because both are derived from Latin.
-There are bar restaurants here with liquor, beers on tap, and wide selections of meats and cheeses for charcuterie boards and more. It’s divine.
-There is graffiti everywhere here.
-Don’t ask a wine vendor to educate you on wine tasting here. This guy sent my ass to the shadow realm in the middle of the afternoon.
-The women here are beautiful but different from latinas. Many are petite, dress to look fashionable – not show off their curves, and seem classy.
-People here seem more open-minded. I had an old man ask me why my nails are painted and why my ears are messed up. I stopped for a moment to consider my response and read his tone. He chuckled and said it’s 2021 if guys can dye their hair why can’t they paint their nails? Also, not to hurt him because he knew what cauliflower ears were.
-Fast food restaurants have a walk-thru express. Absolute brilliance.
Day 2 in Madrid (9/2/21):
-Everywhere I go someone is walking a greyhound and I love it.
-Coherent English is not common here.
-If you’re worried about getting out of shape while traveling just go to a calisthenics park or get a day pass at a gym for a full-body workout. Most people hit every muscle once a week so if you do one full-body workout weekly you’ll at least maintain your physique.
-Fast food here is 24 hours and I don’t mind pushing 90kg anymore.
-If you want to meet people but are maybe a little intimidated to, just sign up for a walking tour or pub crawl and you’ll likely meet dozens of people in the same boat.
-That being said, ALWAYS trust your gut, if something or someone doesn’t feel right, make an excuse to bail.
-I will say it until the day I die. Whenever you want to stop and smell the roses put in your headphones, play Gymnopedie No. 1, and watch the world go by. I’m doing it right now in Mercado San Miguel while I have a local draft lemon beer paired with fresh Galicia oysters and it is everything.
-Madrid walking vendors pull the oldest scam in the book which is they’ll offer to give you a bracelet for free and tie it on for you. Once it’s tied on they ask for a tip. So just keep walking when you encounter these guys. Be polite but be firm and don’t stop walking. Just say you’re in a hurry.
-Madrid has invasive parakeets that just hang out with pigeons at the parks all day.
Day 3 in Madrid & Day 4 in Toledo (9/3/21-9/4/21):
-People here party every night. I’m not exaggerating.
-Always look for a restaurant where they don’t speak English. That’s where the best food is.
-The art museums here are superb. My favorite was Museo Nacional del Prado
-Everyone day drinks here.
-Everyone smokes here too.
-Museum cafes have the most underrated food.
-Toledo is a common day trip from Madrid. I did it and it’s beautiful but very touristy.