In a small stopover before heading to France I returned to Madrid for a one night stay and an attempt to allow the city to redeem itself in my eyes. My two days there had been all work and no play, staying in not so sexy accommodations, and being too tired to go out post meetings and really experience the city. I met some incredibly wonderful people and walked the length of the city seeing all it’s wonderful sights, but sadly had no real time to actually enjoy it. Too much running around, networking, and general jetlag prohibited me from even eating a meal that wasn’t a store bought sandwich or ready made salad.
Sinful, I know.
So I returned for one day/night and committed to being a tourist and seeing what this lovely city was really all about. And I can safely say that Madrid has redeemed itself, quite beautifully, by way of tapas, and I have the pictures to prove it.
Because that’s all I do when I’m being a tourist, I take pictures of my food.
I feel it is important to note before showing said pictures that I am aware that there is absolutely nothing sly about taking pictures of your food. You try to be discreet, you try to wait for the waiter to walk away, for the other patrons to be so engrossed in their conversation and their overblown hand gestures that they couldn’t possibly notice you photographing your sandwich. But they always do. The click of the camera always echoes across the room and when you put the camera down everyone is watching you, not sure what to make of the person who takes pictures of what to them is so stupidly normal.
But that’s what I actually loved about the Madrid people. Every time someone caught me taking a picture of my food I was met with either lovable laughter, agreeable mumbles of love for the food, or I was given something for free to try!
They, like me, agreed on one thing – the food of a city is representative of the city itself, perhaps even more so than its most famous monuments. The food holds the real energy to the people’s hearts and will undoubedtly help you better understand who they are and why they live there. And it is what always, always makes me want to come back.
Here are some of my official tourist photos along with my tapas/food porn:
So there you have it. Madrid’s redemption by way of food and friendly people, both of which will no doubt bring me back.
I will however still maintain that as far as cities go, it’s not my absolute favorite. London and Lyon have control of my heart, New York will always seduce me with her unapologetic and invigorating energy, and the beauty of Paris always overwhelms me in a way that I have no real words to describe. So Madrid has stiff competition in my eyes, but at least she’s now on the list, and I can’t wait to come back and see what else she can offer me in the future.
Next up – a week in Annecy! French lessons, cooking class (!), a visit to Chambery, and an attempt to get my money back from a French bank. This should be interesting…