Blogger and Fashionista Deepti Chandak of www.jivewithdeepti.com fame is back from Spain and shares her experience with you all as always.
The first 24 hours in Madrid were super exciting, almost a sugar rush! I stayed in central Madrid, with everything from shopping to restaurants to historical sites, was pretty much close by.
My idea was to get a flavor of popular local places so I started with Hard Rock Café around noon. I had a quick meal and then walked around the area and captured some eye-caching shots of Plaza De Colon, after which I indulged in some luxury street shopping where I found everything at one place. So easy!
I was staying at Villa Magna Hotel, a contemporary hotel with beautiful aesthetics. The rooms were very comfortable, well-appointed and beautiful.
Later in the evening I met some local friends at a cool dinner place called El Perro y la Galleta, It was typically local and beautifully authentic. Being a vegetarian, my options were limited to eggplant and risotto while my friends gorged on the local delicacies. I observed quite soon that since ham is part of many dishes, I need to constantly make it clear that “No I don’t eat ham”. My favorite from the menu was Mum’s biscuit and chocolate cake, it was utterly delicious. All in all, a cute place for fine dining. After dinner, we were set to explore the party scene and Pointer was definitely the right choice. It’s a restaurant that turns into a club late night and they play some amazing club music.
I had a great time till the wee hours when I realized that it was time to go to Segovia as I had booked a Hot Air Balloon Ride. The historical city of Segovia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was around an hour away by car. The experience included a 3-hour package with balloon ride, Spanish brunch with Cava (freshly baked bread and meat), a flight certificate as a souvenir and they were kind enough to share the video with all the guests, who were from various parts of the world, a testament to this experience’s popularity. The incredible bird’s eye view of Segovia Cathedral, the snow covered hills and the beautiful Gothic architecture was astonishing. Amazing panoramic views and beautiful weather are what you can expect on the morning flight. I must mention that the Aerotours team was particularly brilliant.
The whole day was spent sightseeing. I explored the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, Madrid Old Town which included Plaza Mayor,Gran Via Street, Cibeles Fountain and Puerta del Sol. All were lovely sites and remarkably well maintained and beautiful.
Lunch at Puerta al Sol by Chicote: The restaurant is located at the square of the Puerta Del Sol and is founded by the award winning Chef Alberto Chicote, known in Madrid as having revolutionized the concept of fusion cuisine. A wonderful location for tourists, we stopped there for a delicious lunch. Lots of options for non-vegetarians (the place is known for fish, seafood and meat) and a few for vegetarians (don’t forget to try the Veg Paila and Charcoal Artichokes).
Dinner at Marieta: They are open for all day dining and have a great DJ rocking the decks after dinner time. It definitely passes as a pre-starter in the party scene. They have a terrace area, bar area and a fine dining set up. Again, very popular with the locals, I noticed a few of them celebrating special occasions. A great place for dinner and drinks.
After Marieta, we explored the night life again and had a fantastic time. I am so hooked on to Spain’s Top 50 songs J well, it is as good a way to learn a language as any I reckon. Spanish music is brilliant, and I definitely increased my repertoire to encompass more than Enrique Iglesias J
The day started late with a visit to Retiro Park and Crystal Palace (located inside the Retiro Park). The Palacio de Cristal was built by the famous architect Ricardo Velazquez Bosco in 1887. It is made entirely of glass and is dazzling. You can easily spend few hours soaking in the splendor.
For lunch and shopping, I visited El Corte Ingles, where I shopped though their luxury products collection. It’s a massive mall, and combines street shopping with luxury products in an air conditioned environment. Among other things, I came across a wonderful item, Smart Glasses that can take pictures and videos of what you are watching or seeing. Its super fun and the app can be downloaded at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tourspain.smartglasses&rdid=com.tourspain.smartglasses
Madrid of course has a lot of things to do and I doubt that I managed to cover anywhere close to everything, so I’ve kept some for a return trip!
Although I am back home, I still view a bit of Spain through the Smart glasses.
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