Wait. We spent three days in Madrid? When did that happen? I remember being extremely hot for 72 hours… Is that when we were there?
I’m only kind of kidding.
You know the type of hot where it feels like your eyelids and fingernails are sweating? That’s how hot it was in Madrid. With temperatures well above 100 in the sun, and no known access to an ocean, lake or hell, even a freaking ravine would’ve sufficed, we were actually dreading heading to Madrid from the coast.
But off we went.
To get there we took a five hour bus ride from San Sebastián, which was much more pleasant than it sounds. My bus experiences in the States have been pretty bad, so I initially wasn’t too keen on this option. I still have PTSD from pushing my way onto a Chinatown bus in Philly with no AC for three hours and you couldn’t pay me to do that again. However, in Spain, buses are highly regarded for inter-city travel and I honestly enjoyed the ride. (Large in part because we decided to buy seasons 1-5 of Game of Thrones on iTunes to re-watch. Since then, it has been a lifesaver when traveling with no WiFi.)
The first night in Madrid we found a local gem called Takos, where they serve (you guessed it), tacos! After eating bocadillas and Pinxtos for four days straight I was craving some normal food. The tacos were incredible and only 1 euro each. Can’t beat that.
While we were eating, two young guys (one was from France and the other from Iceland) sat down at our table. We got to talking with them and they suggested that the best thing to do in the Summer heat was to go to the pool. Apparently Madrid got smart at one point and realized that in order to keep the sanity, you must build nice public pools, and a lot of them.
The next day we took their suggestion and headed to the closet pool which was only a 10 minute ride on the metro. I am SO glad that we did this. Once again, the stigma in the States about public pools is that they are filled with peeing children and large sweaty men, but honestly this pool was awesome. There was artificial grass to lay on, the pool was cold, and the clientele was made up of mostly young Spaniards, looking to escape the city heat just like us.
The last day we were in Madrid we tried to get an early start to do some sightseeing and beat the midday heat. Fail. By the time we got to the Royal Palace at 11am we were dripping in sweat, starving and completely over the whole thing. So much for being a tourist. Luckily my friend, Nicole, gave us an awesome recommendation for tapas at a place called El Tigre, where you get a heaping plate of food with your beer for 5€. Thank you, Nicole. (Miss you/love you!)
Honestly, Madrid was so god-awfully hot that we spent more time than we would’ve liked in our Airbnb. Between the hours of 1-6pm it was completely unbearable to be outside so we just sat in our room and finished Stranger Things on Netflix and did some laundry. And once the sun went down we went out to grab food and drank beer in the park, but other than that we didn’t do much. It’s a shame because what we saw of the city, we loved, but we really didn’t get to see as much as we had hoped.
Definitely visit Madrid, but don’t go in August.