|Madrid, Spain is immediately, indelibly stamped into the visitor's heart after walking down its sometimes chaotic, winding streets, and tasting Spanish wines and delicious tapas from the countless little bars and restaurants. Above you are endless balconies with flower pots reaching up to a cloudless, Velázquez sky. A few more steps and you hear guitar music from around the corner. Unusual voices fill your ears. You are in Madrid!! - Spain's capital of music & romance, art & culture, energy & excitement, food & family. You'll never want to leave. But if you do, you'll quickly be planning your NEXT visit.|
Notes from MadridMan:
|At MadridMan.com you'll find useful, insightful information if you're planning a trip to Madrid or other cities in Spain. If you've been to Madrid before, you can appreciate my attraction - which is why I decided to move to Madrid permanently. The people are special, the food is delicious, and the history and culture is second to none in the world. Become a pre-trip traveler through my website, watch live Spanish television and listen to the live radio stations from Madrid, admire the many Madrid & Spain photos, and be sure to visit the MadridMan's ALL SPAIN Message Board, packed with more than 10-years of questions and answers. When you least expect it, you'll become a REAL madrileño!!|
Lodging in Madrid:
|There are countless Madrid lodging options for every type of traveler to Spain's capital. From 5-Star Luxury Hotels to Youth Hostels, from family holiday apartments to hostales, and everything in between, MadridMan.com shows it all. The message board has first-personal reviews about many of them and discounts can be found directly through the various links. Where should you stay? I always recommend the first-time visitor to stay somewhere in the Old downtown center of Madrid. This way, the most important and most historical things can be seen within a few short minutes on-foot.|
|I am a "Madrid Maniac". And because I love Madrid, Spain so much, I created and dedicated a website to it in 1996, registered the domain name in 1997, and continue answering MANY emails on the topic every week. If that wasn't enough, I moved to MADRID, SPAIN in 2005 because of my passion for this wonderful city. You could call me crazy and you would be partially correct, because I AM CRAZY FOR MADRID! I don't claim to be an expert on Madrid, but when you love it as much, I'm rapidly becoming one.|
Video: San Isidro El Chotis :: WebCam: Calle de Alcalá (munimadrid.es)
Recent Blog Entries:
2013 San Isidro Festival in Madrid's Pradera
Today, the 15th of May, is Madrid's Patron Saint's Day, "El Día de San Isidro Labrador". It's a day for the city of Madrid to come together and celebrate its history and traditions, costumes and music, and of course, its people. Sure, the festival started on the 10th and ends on the 19th of May, but today is THE BIG DAY.
Many years it's hot and sunny, but this 2013 San Isidro Festival in Madrid's Pradera de San Isidro Park was cool, cloudy and rainy - until about 11:30am. After the last drop dropped I edged outside and looked up, saw some blue sky between the dark clouds and decided to take a chance. I'd also checked the (mostly unreliable) weather forecast which said it should stop raining by noon.
2013 Madrid San Isidro Festival Preview
Yesterday, the 10th of May, was the official start of the 10-day 2013 Madrid San Isidro Festival and it lasts until the 19th of May. The 15th of May is THE BIG DAY, San Isidro Labrador Day, Madrid's Patron Saint, and is a city-wide holiday.
I know many people hear "San Isidro" and first think of the world's largest bullfight festival, "Fería de San Isidro", with daily bullfights from 9 May to 1 June. But Madrid's San Isidro festival is much more diverse than that.
Spectacular Madrid Puerta del Sol Rooftop Views
Last week I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying some INCREDIBLE views from a Madrid rooftop - IN THE PUERTA DEL SOL!
Sometimes I think to myself, "I really am blessed to have such good friends and good contacts." My new-ish Madrid buddy Nacho Gil, of "Callejeando Madrid", is an impressive photographer hobbyist and seems to have more (rooftop) contacts than the Prime Minister of Spain. This time he brought me along.
Fun For Kids in Madrid: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Renting a rowboat isn't the first priority on tourists' To-Do-List in Madrid, Spain, but it sure is a pleasure if you have time, if you have good weather, or if you have kids!
Over the Easter holiday I rented rowboats in both of Madrid's "lakes", Retiro Park and Casa de Campo Park, and both are similar experiences apart from the setting. A couple relatives came to visit me in Madrid over the Palm Sunday weekend, one of which was a 10-year old boy. So what does one do with a 10-year old in a big city? Answer: Anything which has moving parts. So that's what we did!
2013 Semana Santa in Madrid Holy Week
Today is Easter Sunday in the world of the believers - and that's a pretty large percentage of the population. It also marks the last day of the week long Holy Week festival of Semana Santa in Madrid and throughout Spain.
Events and lavish, yet often stoic processions are scheduled daily, with the most important days being Thursday and Friday, Jueves Santo and Viernes Santo respectively. In all, I witnessed four processions including one as an Official Press Photographer. That was quite an honor. (more on that later)
Rain Threatens Laundry in Madrid
As those of you who know, here in Madrid it's either hot and dry OR it's cold and dry. So whenever it rains, snows (like MAYBE once a year - and only a "dusting" at that), or even gets cloudy, it makes the news. Today's one of those days.
Today, Monday, the clouds and threatening rain are making news not only on the news channels, but also in my own household! How often has it happened that after a perfectly sunny weekend it then gets cloudy on Monday and calls for rain either late in the day or in the following days. Usually, those rainy weather forecasts never come to fruition. If it does rain it's better if it rains during the week than on the weekend when we're all out and about, but I need to get my laundry done - and I do it on Monday mornings! Again, oh, sure, why not change the day since the laundry gods seem to have it in for me? Good question. I have my reasons.
Doing Neighborhood No-Car Shopping in Madrid
Wasn't it great living in the USA, driving from pillar to post, parking less than 50 meters away from any given store, leaving all your multi-stop purchases in your trunk while going out for more? Ahh... THOSE were the days of comfort, convenience, ...and laziness.
That's not the case living in "The City", of course. Here, you walk, putting one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, dodging meandering Spaniards and random dog-do-droppings along the way. You go to one store, buy your groceries and carry them to the next store. There, you buy more and carry them to the next store, and so on, until you eventually carry everything home - and then, potentially, UP 4 flights of stairs to your flat.
Anti-Fluff Blogs or Rainy Monday Mornings in Madrid
You know what they say, if you can't talk about anything else, you can always talk about the weather. Today is Monday, the day I usually do the laundry and hang it out to dry on the rooftop clotheslines but I'm not, because it's rainy and cool. Sound boring? It is, to me, now.
My blog entries have always been a kind of "No Fluff Zone" for me and my readers since the beginning. "If it's worth writing, it's worth writing well and in detail", I always say. I know that "Writers write", and all that, but I've never been one to talk about what I had for breakfast, sore throats or bathroom habits. But sometimes when I scan back through the entries they look very long, maybe even long-winded and exhaustive, maybe even boring to readers more accustomed to the "short blurbs of life" as hosted by some of the social media websites.