Sunday, June 5, 2011

My trip to Spain- Part 1: Madrid

Happy Hippo and Iwent to Spain to visit one friend of us living now in Madrid. We stayed in Madrid for one week. Besides the capital of Spain, we also visited some cities in the proximity.

This is how the Kingdom of Spain looks like. As you can see, there are 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities (Ceuta, Melilla). If you don't have a keen interest in visiting Madrid, but Barcelona, you have to go to Cataluña. 

A she-bear and a strawberry tree (Spanish: madroño) -Arbutus unedo- are the symbol of Madrid.

I'm not sure, if this hand-made stuffed animal is a "cat", because it looks more like a little dinosaur to me. However, his creator considers it a cat. Maybe, at first, he wanted to sew a stuffed cat. The final product varies from the idea very often. Anyway, I like it.  

My friend in Madrid cooked dinner. It tasted good.

The 2nd day in Madrid was Sunday. That's why I went to El Rastro- the most popular flea market in Madrid. I like flea markets. Things are cheap here and sometimes, with a bit of luck, you can find some odd-looking but very interesting ones.
I got this wind chime, made from sea shells, as a present.

At El Rastro, I found a lot of stalls selling Spanish fans. I love hand fans of all kinds: Chinese folding fans, Japanese round fans, Vietnamese straw fans. Why shouldn't I add to my fan collection a Spanish one?
I'm not really a fan of Real Madrid. However, if there is a final match between this football club and FC Barcelona (as usual), I'm in favour of Real Madrid. 

I have heard, churros with thick hot chocolate is very popular in Spain and Latin America.
No one in my family is fond of chocolate; so am I. In my opinion, we can eat the churros without chocolate. They themselves taste already very good. Eating churros reminds me so much of Youtiao 油条, which my Mum likes to eat with rice congee for breakfast.

Street plaques in Madrid are beautiful. Have a look at some I saw not far from Plaza Mayor!

There is a lot of cockroaches in tropical countries. When I was in Vietnam, I saw them everyday. Since I've been in Germany, I haven't seen anyone. It made me think, these stinking creatures don't inhabit in Europe. I'm totally wrong. In the warm Mediterranean area, there are some of them.

While walking across Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square), I saw this artwork of Fernando Botero, a well-known Colombian artist. I don't have a clue, in which relation this statue of a naked "large" woman holding a mirrow has to Columbus.

Motives I cut from a brochure for the 28th festival "Fall in Spring" (???). What a name!

At the night of the 4th day in Madrid, the friend in Madrid and Happy Hippo gave a cocktail party.
Don't mistake this kitchen implement for a microscope. It's a juicer, comes from Venezuela and is made specially for oranges. Oranges in Spain taste very, very good.

I visited Museum of the Americas on the 5th day in Madrid. My favourite object is this vessel in the form of a guinea pig. If you google the word "Cui/Cuy", you get a lot of scary pictures of a dish made from the meat of guinea pigs. A whole baked/grilled guinea pig showing its teeth is often served on the dish.

Other objects in the Museum of the Americas.

On the 6th day, I went to Toledo-located 70km south of Madrid- for a one-day trip.
This is my dinner, cooked by Happy Hippo, with some rosemarries we got from Toledo, after we arrived in Madrid.

(Sketches from Toledo and Aranjuerz are coming soon.)


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  2. Hey its Chris Brown from Italy, great blog, keep sharing. For cheap tickets for Spain visit euroafricatravel.!!

    1. Thank you for your comment and tip!