After spending a few days in Barcelona with Mercedes, we’re on to visit Spain’s capital city. We didn’t have long to spend in Madrid.
There’s much for us to see on this trip, unfortunately Madrid was going to be just a day trip. There was no way we could really see everything we wanted to, so we decided in advance that we’d book free walking tour through the city, this way we wouldn’t be running around trying to find all the great sites.
The train trip from Barcelona to Madrid was quick and effective. The cool thing about arriving into Madrid station was it we had a chance to leave our bags in lockers and I don’t have to drag them around town. The lockers are called “consignas” and are located near tropical garden area. We chose a smallest one which was big enough for two backpacks and it was only around 3.50 euros.
However find the bloody bag drop proved a little stressing as we wandered around the station trying to find the place. The stress compounded by the fact that we needed to get to the beginning of the waking tour before it departed. We didn’t want a repeat of Barcelona!
This time we made it without running to catch the tour. If you need directions from Atocha Railway to Plaza Mayor, walk our of the station and look for the big street roundabout (there is only one). On the Northwestern side you’ll find a few eating places (good stop for Sangria). Here you’ll find the street calle Atocha (named after the railway station). Keep walking for about 2km and it will bring you to an archway that leads into the corner of Plaza Mayor.
Like all walking tours you get the typical tourist spots, such as Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Armería, but you also get the little pieces of gold along the way. It’s the intricate little tit-bits you learn about each place that make walking tours special.
One of those little places tucked away in a little laneway is the oldest restaurant in the world. Don’t believe me? Well they have the Guinness book of records to prove it.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Botin Restaurant in Madrid in Spain is the world’s oldest operating restaurant, which opened its doors in 1725. Famous the world over, Ernest Hemmingway mentioned the restaurant’s signature dish cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) in his 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises”.
Once our walking tour was finished we had to make a way back to the station bound for the city of Cordoba where we would be staying for the night.
Madrid was just a glimpse into what could have been a much longer stay. We’ll be back, as we’re really loving the culture of this awesome country.