Thursday, 28 June 2018

summer in madrid
















I'm back in London after a few days of what I can only describe as madness.

A mixture of 13km of walking each day, blisters, 37 degree heat, wild tinder dates and warm toned buildings have characterised my time in the Spanish capital.

I fell in love with the city head first, something I had already anticipated beforehand. The feeling of the sun on your skin and the sound of the Spanish language encompassing you had lured me into the whole character of Spanish charm. I'm already looking to book flights back in late August.

I think what I loved the most about the city was how relaxed and laid-back it was. People strolling at a leisurely pace as opposed to the constant rush in London and the overall late scheduling of days was a welcome break from the previous few weeks of exams and fast-paced living. Staying out until the early hours of the morning just exploring and walking down narrow winding streets had become routine and I hate that it's not something you can do back here in London because a) the streets here are nowhere near as beautiful, literally not even on the scale of Madrid's and b) it's definitely not safe.

Madrid doesn't have any main tourist attractions unlike other European cities which made it so much more enjoyable as I didn't feel like I had to do certain things- further adding to the relaxed and loose style of living there. I went out with two guys I met on tinder, mainly for touristic purposes as opposed to romantic ones. I felt like it was the best way to be toured around, by a real Madrileño, and also get a friendship or love interest out of it. Although one night did end up in a club with foam being thrown around. Not an innuendo. When alone, I used the Plaza Mayor as my base and explored the different 'barrios' of the city from Malasaña and Chueca to Salamanca and La Latina. It's crazy how different each of these neighbourhoods are. I was also lucky to experience the religious festival of San Juan. A huge float with candles, gold decorations and a statue of what seemed to be the Virgin Mary was being carried by about 50 men or 'costaleros' which was so interesting to see as I had literally learnt about this stuff in lessons and to see it materialise was slightly surreal.

I must say there's something about small balconies donning cascading flowers and bright Spanish flags that has earned a special place in my heart. When I move to Madrid (speaking it into existence) I will definitely adorn by lil balcony with both decorations- although I'll find a way to hang up a Moroccan flag as well, obvs.

The Retiro Park was amazing and made me realise that I should probably take advantage of Hyde Park at home too because something about large green spaces in the middle of a busting city is very calming. They have a massive crystal palace which, aside from literally leading you to overheat because it's basically a huge greenhouse, was stunning. There's also a huge lake where you can hire a small rowing boat for a couple of euros which was such a great way to wind down after a long day. If I lived in the city, I would definitely spend my Sundays rowing on a lake, as you do.

My love of history and Spain in general were heightened whilst in Madrid. The Plaza Mayor was the site of the Spanish Inquisition, the Almudena cathedral whose name derives from the Arabic word 'al mudayna' which shows clear Muslim ties and also has 3 facades in neo-gothic, neo-classical and neo-romanesque styles, the statue of admiral Alvaro de Bazan at Plaza de la Villa commemorating his aid in Habsburg success at the Battle of Pavia, the actual tower (Torre de los Lujanes) where Francis I was held hostage (along with his two sons) after that battle and his subsequent agreement to the Treaty of Madrid...I could go on. Whilst I absolutely despised the Charles V and his wars with the Valois dynasty and the Ottoman empire part of my A-level course, it was amazing to be able to trace Habsburg history during this trip- something I wish I had done more of in Vienna which was also a Habsburg stronghold.

I'm going to shut up and stop gushing about this place because a gal's gotta start packing for her next trip. I took hundreds of photos throughout this trip (including a few on my disposable camera) I think I may include the rest of them in a Madrid travel guide as posts on things to do in the city are so scarce (due to the fact that Barcelona and Seville basically overshadow Madrid)

I feel like no other trip can top this one to Madrid- it has definitely set the bar high- I've clearly fallen head over heels for the city and I truly cannot wait to get myself there permanently in the future. It has set the bar very high indeed.

Hasta luego Madrid volveré muy pronto, no te preocupes. 

-Dalal

*A few people have commented saying that they're planning on visiting Madrid so I thought I'd mention that I have a full itinerary I made prior to visiting. Feel free to email me at tahiradalal@gmail.com and I'll send it over!

36 comments:

  1. I love these pictures! And it sounds like you had an amazing time. I've never been to Madrid but it definitely sounds like it would be a great place to visit!

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    1. Thank you, I have hundreds more as it was so picturesque!

      Dalal

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  2. These photos and they way you write makes me want to visit Madrid so much. Take me with you next time Dal ;)

    Sophie | www.sophiesspot.co.uk

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    1. That's so nice of you to say Sophie- haha hopefully we can go as a blogger group soon ;)

      Dalal

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  3. Meant to be going here in summer and cannot wait! Love this post your photos are so pretty :)
    Feel free to check out my latest post x
    LOOK LOVE WEAR

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    1. You're going to have the best time! I have a whole itinerary that I made before visiting and used during the trip if you're interested in it (just dm me on insta)

      Dalal

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  4. Ah these pictures are bringing all memories of my trip to Madrid! I'm so glad to hear you loved it as it is such an amazing place. There's a national park just outside the city that is well worth a visit during a cooler month and did you go to the nature reserve next to that lake you mentioned? It's massive and an amazing spot to pretend you're no longer in a busy city. You've made me want to go back now haha!
    Louise x

    http://ribbitsaidthefrogcalledtoad.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm going through all your Madrid posts on your blog as I write this :) I knew of the national park but it was so hot (reaching almost 40 degrees) so it definitely was not an option in such heat haha. I want to go back too!

      Dalal

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  5. Gorgeous photos Dalal - I'd love to visit Madrid one day, and I'm sure I will!

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. Thank you! Maybe we can make it into a blogger group chat trip as I suggested to Sophie above haha

      Dalal

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  6. So your photography skills are A1 and you have convinced me to head to Madrid one day,and literally all of your blog posts inspire me to travel, to explore. Thank you!!! Good luck with your future travels - i can't wait to hear about them!! <3 <3

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    1. This is one of the best comments I've ever received on a post, I'm so happy that my posts inspire you to travel and explore the world haha. Thank you, Zoe!!!

      Dalal

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  7. your trip sounds dreamy as hell, I am SO pumped for your postcard (yours from buda is still sitting on my desk lmao quality pen pal). The pics are beaut as ever and i NEED to hear more bout these tinder dates!!! (i never lived up to my side of the deal...my friends showed me Hungarian tinder and lets just say I didnt download it). SO excited to see pics from Venice and actually do all the above with you in just 3 weeks EEK!x

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    1. It was beautiful! I'm hoping it arrives soon because lol it's almost been a week. Haha just wait for the letter I'm going to send you soon, it has all the details ;) I'm v excited to share photos from Venice and then ofc experience Marrakech with you!

      Dalal

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  8. Gal this sounds dreamy! I've never been to Madrid but you've made me put it on my list. Also props to you for getting boys to show you around - a hint of genius and very ballsy!

    LEXI LIKES

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    1. It 100% was. You should definitely visit, maybe as a small gap year trip? I felt very innovative with that tinder strategy, I must admit- so so useful haha!

      Dalal

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  9. Ok so this has made me DETERMINED to visit Madrid this summer! I was hoping to go to either Madrid or Barcelona, I've been to Barcelona before but for some reason it's always the city you hear more about! Definitely time for me to see Madrid too! Thanks for sharing,
    Eva x

    http://www.whatevawears.co.uk

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    1. You have to- it's so beautiful and I'm sure that you'll love it. I have a full Madrid itinerary if you're interested! Barcelona definitely steals a lot of Madrid's limelight, it's such a shame. Enjoy :)

      Dalal

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  10. I’ve never been to Madrid but now I REALLY want to! Your photography is absolutely stunning and you describe the place so beautifully. I love walking around a new city and exploring the sights. Sounds like a wonderful trip, thank you for sharing <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thank you, Bexa! Walking and exploring in new cities is my favourite thing to do and is definitely the best way to get to know where you're visiting.

      Dalal

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  11. These pictures are absolutely stunning! I've never been to Madrid but it sounds like somewhere that should certainly be on the bucket list. What a wonderful descriptive post - if I could suggest something though, it would be to use those beautiful pictures to break up your writing a little more so readers can keep glancing at them as they are reading!

    Love your blog!

    Meg x | the-writeblog.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! I would definitely scribble it down onto your bucket list if I were you :) I personally prefer to have all my photos at the start of the post as it does not risk breaking up the actual writing which is essentially my trail of thought. Thank you for your constructive feedback though, it is very appreciated.

      Dalal

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  12. ahhhh i love this! ur pictures are so beautiful and it sounds like like the perfect vacation stop. u def convinced me that i will have to one day check it out myself so thank u! looking forward to hearing abt ur other travels <3

    a fucking look

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    1. Thank youu! I love taking photos in new places, it's honestly so exciting to turn things that are probably mundane for the locals into something artistic.

      Dalal

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  13. The way you write is so beautiful as are the photographs! This post really makes me feel like I want to visit Madrid one day.

    lahondureina@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you! I highly recommend a visit :)

      Dalal

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  14. Madrid looks and sounds so dreamy and beautiful, I've never been before but loved visiting through your lens! :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (I would love to follow each other on bloglovin if you like :D)

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    1. It was indeed- I hope you liked the photos and writing!

      Dalal

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  15. Madrid looks beautiful! It seems like you had such a good time, now I wanna go there too!

    venus | http://venusaby.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. It certainly was- I highly recommend it as a city break :)

      Dalal

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  16. it looks and sounds amaze! hope you had the best time

    Tasha x
    https://lovefromtasha.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm sure you'd love it! Thank youu

      Dalal

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  17. Ah Dalal it sounds amazing and the photos are so beautiful (just like your writing!) I'd love to go to Madrid, or Barcelona, this summer but I don't think I'll get a chance to go anywhere, I look forward to vicariously living through your travel posts! Hope the rest of your summer is as lovely as the beginning was x

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    1. Thanks Libby! I'm yet to visit Barcelona but Madrid is fairly cheap for the end of August compared to other places (although I've just remembered you're going to Paris then)

      Dalal

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  18. Madrid literally looks so stunning! The idea of going round with guys on Tinder is actually genius and it sounds like you had an incredibly time. The history of Madrid sounds so interesting as well and when you were talking about the ease of walking from place to place without any main tourist sites I totally felt the same with Stockholm as well - there was just no rush to get to anywhere it was great! x

    eleanorclaudie.com

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    1. Madrid is a beautiful city like no other. You should try the tinder thing the next time you're abroad! I do love a no-rush city, Stockholm is definitely on my travel bucket list too- walkable cities are the best

      Dalal

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stop procrastinating and just comment already
jk
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