I gave myself far too much credit for finding such a peach of a hotel in Madrid. The nights previous had been bearable, not overly noisy and sleep manageable, but welcome the weekend and as Friday night approached, a street lined with pubs, clubs and gay saunas meant our much-needed eight hours were wiped out in an instant.
I was incredibly impressed with Madrid’s partying skills and as I stretched sleepily upon our terrace at 6am, a few strays were reluctant to give into their night and retire home, I enjoyed watching them sway merrily yet not inconsiderably to their ancient surroundings. In my mind I set a similar scene in Dundee and curiously wondered about the differences within both cultures. I strongly believe the Spanish nurture their young more, they give every age a welcomed and celebrated place in society.
I let Ruby sleep late as I packed our bags, I pride myself on my ability to organise two weeks worth of belongings for two people in one carry on suitcase and an extra backpack for travel documents, tickets etc. It’s incredibly anal to enjoy such tedious events but I get a kick out of my scrupulous organisational skills.
We have only four hours left to enjoy the relaxed vibe of Madrid and I suggest a visit to the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple which was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid as a gift from Egypt as a sign of gratitude for the help provided by Spain in saving the Abu Simbel Temples when UNESCO made an international call to save this rich historical legacy in the 1960’s. Thereafter we accidentally stumbled upon the area of Tribunal, which is rich in independent lifestyle stores, quirky antique shops and chic vegan eateries.
Next stop was Museo Arte Público, which was slightly off grid (if walking) but well worth a visit. An unconventional museum, the 1970s space at the junction of the Castellana with C/Juan Bravo, features sculptures from Pablo Serrano, Chillida and Joan Miro. The outdoor museum is definitely one to put on your to do list, it’s a permanent exhibition which is open twenty four hours and free.
At nine years old a trip to McDonald’s is still considered a treat, so Ruby was elated with her lunch at the ‘poshest McDonald’s she had ever seen’ on Gran Via, before making our way to collect our luggage and further to Atocha, Madrid’s main train station. The Atocha Station is not only a transportation hub, it is home to an indoor botanical garden complete with turtle sanctuary, making it the perfect place for our departure from a city that is one of a kind.
Long Live the VEF and I don’t want to leave Madrid QUEEN!