Europe · 6 Days · 12 Moments · December 2018

Madrid and Brussels Dec 2018


31 December 2018

Dinner at an african restaurant where we had grilled tilapia aftican style here the fish is grilled in african spices served with plantain and a spicy dipping sauce prior to celebrating new year in a trendy hotel bar. The fish was outstanding and the dipping sauce is very spicy.
EU headquarters
Atomium and mini europe
Old town walking tour with an eccentric dutch guide. Pleasantly surprised by how arty and hip the city is with many vintage clothing, old book and vinyl and music shops and street art.

30 December 2018

1st evening in brussels and it has exceeded my expectations. The light show at the grand-place is unique, the christmas markets have so much variety of different cuisines, beers, wines and liquor and the delirium cafe which has over 2004 varieties of beers and craft beers and hundreds of different gins and vodkas. At least so far it is a city i loved to hate (maybe brexit has something to do with it??? 😅) but can't.
Breakfast with a view before our next adventure.

29 December 2018

Went to Las Ventas Bullring to understand this important spanish pass time (though it is not my cup of tea) prior to eating beef stew with mashed pumpkins and a spanish beer for lunch before flying home before our next adventure.

28 December 2018

Emergency snack which is crumbly and contains nuts on the coach back to madrid, calarmari sandwich and afternoon visit to real madrid stadium. The calarmari sandwich is a bit dry and can do with some tartare sauce. Temple de debod is an egyptian temple which was a gift from egypt to thank spanish archaeologists for their efforts in surveying for the aswan high dam project. For dinner, we accidentally walked into an asian fusion restaurant and something unusual is fried ice cream with cointreau. It was lit and tasted like an ice cream filled doughnut.
Half day tour of foggy toledo visiting the outside of a cathedral, synagogue of santa maria de blanca where there was only 1 star of david inside to disguise it as a 'meeting place' instead of a place of worship to avoid paying higher taxes and a famous painting called the burial of the count of orgaz by el greco which shows a rebirth of the soul after death. Lastly we crossed a bridge which would have a perfect view of the old town on the targus river.

27 December 2018

Anchovies with olives and crisps as snacks in the afternoon and sharing pork cheeks with fries and 'seafood' paella and a dessert with quince, goat's cheese and dark chocolate with honey for dinner. Everything apart from the paella was good. The 'seafood' in the paella looked like they are from frozen and does not have mussels or king prawns which was disappointing. We also tried vermouth as recommended by the guide of the free tour which at £2.80 per glass was a bargain and also had a zechini wine. Both wines were tasty and the waitress was friendly and helpful.
Churrios, spanish potato omelette and alcohol free beer (by accident) for lunch and a walk along the river via the palace gardens and athletico madrid stadium back to the hotel.
Half day free walking tour. Nice weather and informative tour. Most interesting symbol was the sculpture of a bear at the strawberry tree which is a symbol of madrid at plaza de sol and km0.