Monday, 22 June 2009

Summer equinox in Madrid

Another quirky window display - I spotted this on my Sunday ramble.

Walking the streets of Madrid is the best way to see the city - as it is anywhere! As long as one doesn't linger too long on the corners around Gran Via in the evenings it is fine. Last night I had a good walk from Attocha station past the Cine Doree (home of the Spanish Filmteque) where I could have actually seen a film in English (it was the Piano so I passed up) and on to the Iglesia San Isidoro which is the most amazing cathedral. It used to be part of a Jesuit college and the interior is stunning. I was able to light some lights in memory of the Putticks and take some quiet time to reflect and think about them. I say light lights because that is what happens here. No candles, you pop your cents in a slot and the relevant number of lights come on. I lit a couple extra for good measure for all my friends and family.

From here, it was a short stroll to the Plaza Mayor and it was the first time I have been here when all the tables are out and everyone is relaxing over their beers in the evening sunshine. Previous visits have been in November when the atmosphere is completely different. I wanted to find a very special shop in Calle Mayor but was distracted by the discovery of Mercado de San Miguel which is the most beautiful place to meet and try out snacks and have drinks. I had a lovely glass of cava and some fishy canapes and even a glass of sangria! I promise to take all my friends there!

This walk has given me the idea of creating a foodie ramble so I am going to actively seek out the places that the guide books mention and sample their wares. For example I love the place in Sol where you eat and drink standing up at formica counters and apparently there is more old fashioned formal waiter service upstairs. Review to come ...

Nick in Cornwall sent me a text to remind me that the days start to shorten from 22 June and I find that so hard to believe when I am here. The sun is so bright and the routine of being out at night and taking a siesta is perfect for me. I am sure my SAD would be a thing of the past if I could stay in Spain or somewhere similar for the winter.

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