Sagrada Familia looks a bit different since I last visited. The stained glass work inside is stunning and photos just can't do it justice. If visiting make sure to go to the museum and watch the short film about Gaudi and the history of the construction. Very informative and there is much more planned then I even knew for this one of a kind basilica.
Starting off the day with vegan avocado toast at BV cafeteria right down the street from our hotel!
29 June 2017
Getting to Park Güell was a bit tricky due to the taxi strike today. We took the subway as close as we could get but there was a 25 minute walk straight up the mountain. What felt like 500 stairs later, we made it to the opposite side of the park and wound our way through to the monument entrance with 2 minutes to spare in our ticket window. It was cool to see Gaudi's work but not all the trouble and cost to get there.
Taking a break from tapas we ate dinner at NAP in El Born. Traditional Neapolitan 🍕 worth the 40 minute wait. It is a small joint with a huge crowd waiting. They do take reservations and I would go that route next time.
How did we wait almost two whole weeks before ordering a pitcher of Sangria?!?!
Lunch at La Bona Sort for the win!
Just some city pics walking around the El Born barrio, on our way to the Picasso museum.
28 June 2017
A perfect dinner of tapas at Quillo, finally patatas bravas.
Staying at the Yurbban Hotel in Trafalgar and love, love, love the atmosphere. Signage is spot on in this place and a dog with spectacles as a room decoration is the perfect touch.
How can we forget wine o'clock from 5-7pm with amazing manchego to boot!
Made it to Barcelona and just walking around the neighborhood. Can't believe it has been 13 years since I was last here!
Tummy bug is still bothering me but have to power through!
27 June 2017
Dinner was a miss tonight as we tried the 'best restaurant in Toledo', Adolfo. The wine presentation was the highlight of the meal and the food was not at all so great. Undercooked fish and heavily fried vegetables did not make up for the gorgeous plating unfortunately.
The city is so dead at night and the restaurant was eerily quiet with only four tables. Not to mention the price is pretty steep. You win some and lose some but our suggestion is to skip this restaurant if you find yourself in Toledo.
Some of the amazing city sights!
Walking around the city around and inside the Cathedral.
26 June 2017
We had dinner at our hotel's restaurant and it was one of the big reasons we chose to stay here. The ambience was absolutely amazing. It didn't really get dark until around 10:15pm and the terrace was lit with twinkly lights all around.
Getting ready to walk around the city walls of Toledo.
Had lunch in a cave-like setting at Alfileritos 24, and then walked to an area with a convent. We were looking for some nuns selling the traditional Mazapan and we were in luck! They are very sweet treats made from sour almonds, flour, and sugar. Now we just have to figure out what to do with the rest of the package, having only been able to eat two a piece.
La Hacienda del Cardenal (an old cardinal's house)
Staying just outside the city walls and a bottle of cava at check in, yes please! Expect many more photos of the exquisite property to grace this Journi.
Trains, Tortugas, and Toledo
Just 30 minutes south of Madrid is Toledo, a medieval walled city recommended to us by Alejandro. We took the train from Madrid this morning and are staying two nights. If the stunning train station is any indicator of what's to come, I can't wait!
25 June 2017
Headed to a different area of the city to a Croquette restaurant. Menus were only in Spanish and my translation did not go far. Luckily the handy Google Translate camera mode was there to help and so was a very kind waitress. Unfortunately I am still not feeling well so I ate only two very small croquettes- one cheese and the other mushroom. Both were very tasty!
Ambience is great at this place and if in Madrid you should check it out. For all my vegetarian friends, there are only about 4 things on the menu to try, but still worth it.
Walked to Plaza Mayor this morning and then down to the Rastro flea market. Saw this cute community basketball tournament happening right by the La Latina metro stop. A very cool area and I would stay here when returning to Madrid I think.
24 June 2017
Tried out the 'best' place in Madrid for 🥘 last night but I wasn't feeling well and didn't get to eat any at all. :( Nothing beats the streetside Paella stops in Valencia but we will try again in Barcelona!
Ryan enjoyed the complimentary Sherry better than the dish I think.
Time for lunch, so we hopped in a taxi heading north to Platea. This place is similar but more upscale, to San Anton's market with different restaurants and food stalls all around. Just take a lap to survey the selection and grab the tapas of your choice. The space used to be an old theater and that is taken advantage with live music throughout the week. We highly recommend going here for a festive lunch.
Afterwards we walked on popping in and out of shops and another weekend market. 👍🏽👍🏽
Walked through the Parque de el Retiro this am with a cool breeze and slight overcast. Would be the perfect place to run if you lived here. You can even practice your rowing in the pond in the middle.
Then we continued on to the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, where there was a very large Picasso exhibit on display.
Turns out we are staying above a wonderful gay disco. Our glass windows are triple thick so we weren't worried about the late night sounds. However at midnight our buzzer goes off. It is the neighbor down stairs, letting us know our 'air conditioner was raining in the disco'. Turns out the leak was very much ruining the red carpet experience downstairs.
So as the thoughtful neighbors we are, we turned off the air conditioner and opened the doors in order to cool down the apartment. This meant a considerable amount of noise from the disco goers late into the morning. I really enjoyed the many renditions of Adele's Hello from their karaoke at around 2:30 or 3 AM and honestly I just wanted to join in on the party. Maybe tonight we will be down there too or our newly acquired fans will afford us a more restful sleep.
23 June 2017
The Marcado San Anton directly down the street from our place is so cute mostly different places you can grab drinks, tapas, and other foods and snacks. Check out all the cute Pride!
Arrived at our AirBnB in the Chueca neighborhood. World pride begins tomorrow and about 5 million people should be visiting Madrid this next week! 🌈