• I have just come home from a weekend in Madrid. I’ve never been before but my daughter moved there to work late last year and this was my first chance to pay her a visit. The daytime temperature is usually around 12° in February but was much colder this weekend, not getting above 5°, and very windy. The nights were well below freezing but the sky was mainly blue and the sun pleasant if you could get out of the wind. Most of the fountains and ponds were frozen but walking around the city centre kept me warm enough and there was plenty to see.

    Arriving on Friday evening I had a long walk to the Metro at the airport but the journey into the city centre was quick and easy. The Metro is clean, quick, efficient and cheap, the only disadvantages being the number of stairs I had to climb and the fact that you don’t see anything of Madrid while travelling underground!

    Having climbed the narrow stone stairs to my daughter’s very cold 3rd floor apartment it was time to set off to explore at 9.30 in the evening.

    La Latina was our destination that evening, taking in the river and views of the royal palace high above us as we went. La Latina is one of the oldest parts of Madrid and the streets are narrow but the squares are large. Like everywhere in Madrid there are hills and steps to climb and cobbled squares to wander through. We decided on Korgui as a place to eat and it was a good choice, the food and wine was excellent and the atmosphere busy without being rushed. A very enjoyable evening.

    The next morning we set out to explore further. Again we walked so that we would see as much as possible. We walked miles, passing the royal palace, shops, gardens, cafés and statues. We explored the Egyptian temple of Debod and took lots of photos. Churros and hot chocolate in a café warmed us and we found a lovely café for paella and cava at lunchtime and a good bar for cocktails in the evening.

    On the Sunday we visited the Prado art gallery and, after tapas and sangria, explored the Parque del Retiro. The weekend was over all too quickly and it was back to the airport for an evening flight home. I was tired but I had enjoyed a lovely weekend exploring Madrid and spending time with my daughter. All I need to do now is book in another weekend when it gets a bit warmer!

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