Figuring out the Perfect Weekend in Madrid – Spoiler alert: Empanadas are Involved

El Rastro

El Rastro

RACHEL ALLEN- With spring break fast approaching, a lot of students here have started going on weekend trips to places outside of Madrid. I have had my fair share of this with going to Valencia and Segovia, but the first time I will leave the country will be for spring break. Initially, I was jealous of others traveling outside of the country and regretting not making travel plans sooner. But then I realized, Madrid is still pretty much a stranger to me. Don’t get me wrong, I know Plaza de Colón like the back of my hand (Crusto has been and will always be on my radar). Wanting to explore more of the city, this weekend I did just that.

Friday: “I already feel like we’ve done so much today even though we’ve only eaten pizza!”
I started off the day the only way possible – Italian food. A bunch of friends and I decided to grab some lunch before partaking on our adventure of a day (more on that later). Believe it or not, I turned out to be the hero of the day by finding this Italian restaurant with a menú for 9.50 euros. I can honestly say I have never been that contently full in my entire life. On a normal day, this event would’ve warranted a three-hour nap mixed with a two hour Fuller House session. But not today.
The same friends and I who are all in Sketchbook decided to go to el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza for inspiration. The art in this museum ranges from the medieval ages all the way to 2015, so basically the love child of Prado and Reina Sofia. I had always heard about this museum, but never had the opportunity to go. I am so happy I went! There were paintings by Dalí and Monet, and I even saw my first Van Gogh. I was so inspired by the museum that I decided to buy something from the gift shop. I found this poster of a redheaded Joan of Arc cutting off her hair for 2 euro and I immediately decided I needed it. Not really, I went back and forth on the decision for 10 minutes before I decided to buy it. Joan will be a perfect start to my SoGo decoration journey (the aesthetic is girl power and cheese). Okay so I did two very big things so far, surely I just went home after this and slept for 11 hours? Think again!
From the museum we went to Chamartín to go bowling with other kids on the group and our mentors. We might not have been what you would call “professionals” but we sure had fun. I went from 0 to 10 real quick, from getting a 0 the first frame and getting a strike the second. Even though our game ended earlier than we thought it would, we still had fun at the bowling alley eating candy and talking to the other students.
Saturday: “Ya I put our names on the list, but it’s not like we are going out haha”
Saturday definitely started out lazier than Friday. I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the first time. Side note to praise Spanish Netflix: the movie selection is far superior here than in the US. The movie’s concept is very interesting and unique, and if you want to talk about it more reach out to me and we can talk about the beauty that is Kate Winslet. After watching this movie, I went to my favorite restaurant Tacazzo to have a late lunch with a friend. Tacazzo is my favorite restaurant solely for the large tinto de verano glasses and it’s right next door to my apartment building.
After this lunch, I was definitely in a food coma. I spent the next few hours getting homework done and napping. My friend messaged me later that day asking if I had plans after dinner, and I laughed at her naivety. Did she forget who I was? I was already in pajamas by 8pm: there was no way I was going out. But then, I thought “aw what the heck?” The place we went to only played music from the 60’s and 70’s and it was a blast. I first heard the song “Mi gran noche” by Raphael there and I have listened to nothing else but it the past two weeks. Real talk, I am listening to it right now. Perhaps the greatest part about Saturday night is that the night bus got me home so fast. I can never say this enough, but praise be to Madrid’s public transportation system.
Sunday: “Wait, what homework?”
I started my Sunday at El Rastro with Nicole aka the place to be on a Sunday morning in Madrid. El Rastro is a huge market that sells things for very cheap. I was on the hunt for a scarf and after trying 10 different stores I finally found one for 4.50 euros. I also bought Merilla’s birthday present there (sh don’t tell her – it’s a fanny pack).

Rachel Allen, Tufts in Madrid

Rachel Allen, Tufts in Madrid

There were definitely too many people there, but I think that’s the fun of the experience of El Rastro. After this, we headed to some place near Delicias because there was a food truck festival there. The food was obviously delicious. The best part about Sunday was that even though Nicole and I were lost a significant portion of the time, we never felt ill at ease. Being in Madrid for almost two months has taught me not to freak out because there is always a way to find your location.
Needless to say, I very much enjoyed this weekend here in Madrid and I can’t wait to discover more next weekend!

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