The Best Views of Paris

For a moment, let’s put aside all of the bad things I have ever said about Paris and just be completely superficial. Rustic, uniform, and architecturally exquisite, Paris is one of the most photogenic cities in the world come rain, shine … Continue reading

So You Want to be Madrileño? The Tourist Edition

When I first got here I didn’t get to do a lot of touristy stuff as I had to go to training and had loads of other stuff to sort such as bank accounts, sim cards, travel cards and filling my fridge, but once that was all done it was time to enjoy the sunshine, and boy was there a lot of sunshine. Aside from week two which may as well have been monsoon season in some freezing rainforest, the first month here was hot hot, so after the chores I donned my summer clothes (much to the bemusement of the Spanish folk) and went to do touristy things! My favourite place in Madrid by far is Parque del Retiro. It’s so beautiful in the summer and is full of trees and ice cream stalls, and there’s even a lake where you row boats for the bargain price of around 4€ for 45 mins. The 4€ is per boat, not person, and you can fit up to four people in a boat (maybe five if one or two of said people are children). Here’s me trying out for Team GB…

If you’re a French tourist you may wish to follow suit of those who came before you and dress up for the occasion as sailors…

Another really awesome place is the El Rastro flea market which takes place every Sunday in La Latina. The place is full of kitschy jewellery and bags, band tshirts, incense stalls, art stalls, poster printers, fabrics and wall hangings, books, DVDs and the occasional antique. I’ve bought bracelets, rings, a little Spanish dish for my hair grips, a painting of some wandering camels and a beautiful string of coloured silk elephants which are now hanging from my curtain rail. I love this market and the busy Spanish atmosphere there but BEWARE. El Rastro is pickpocketter’s paradise. Only take with you what’s necessary, use a bag which is fiddly to open and keep a firm grasp on it at ALL times. The same goes for pockets… As long as you keep your wits about you and don’t advertise yourself as a tourist you should be A-OK!

One other must is the Teleférico, a cable car which provides amazing views over the city, across the countryside and towards the mountains. You can take a one way trip which costs around 3€ and lasts 11 minutes, or you can do a return trip for around 5€ where they make you get off and walk through the gift shop before getting back on for the return journey. So sly, so sly.