Monday, March 26, 2012

Spain: Madrid, Part I

The Palace Hotel
(After a blogging hiatus, I am back in action!  I couldn't think of how to organize my week in Spain into blog posts, so I decided to do a post for each city I visited.  Dad and I stayed three nights in Madrid and Seville, with day trips to Toledo and Cordoba.  This post covers the best of Madrid, Part I!)

Dad and I arrived to Madrid after a bump airplane ride, complete with mid-air return for radar repairs before we crossed the Atlantic!  We were relieved to finally get to our room at The Palace Hotel.  It was gorgeous; we had a delicious breakfast every morning, and a central location to walk from to explore the city.

The day we arrived, I walked to Puerta del Sol to check out some shopping!  They had my favorite European-based brands, including well-known stores like Zara, H&M, Sephora, and TopShop, as well as some of the brands I used to shop in Paris like Pimkie, C&A, and Etam.

Puerta del Sol
The next day, we took a bus and walking tour of the city.  Dad loved the Plaza de EspaƱa, with its statues for Cervantes and Don Quixote.  (He loves that book!)  I loved the colors as we walked through Plaza Mayor.  It was a great way to explore the beauty of Madrid.

Plaza de Espana

Plaza Mayor
We joined a few others in our group for dinner at Restaurante Botin, the world's oldest restaurant according to Guinness!  It was an intimate, classic Spanish restaurant, with a tiny staircase and tiled walls covered with old paintings.  I chose a prix-fixe menu of garlic soup, their famous cochinillo asado (roasted suckling pig), gelato, and red wine. 

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