Our first day in Madrid was really productive. We walked around a lot of the city. We started by our hotel on Gran Vía and walked to Puerta del Sol. Then we went by Plaza Mayor and ate outside in the square. They were actually having a big exhibit in Plaza Mayor about Argentina, with musicians playing tango music, wine samplings and other vendors. It really made me want to travel to Latin America and made me even more committed to learning how to tango!
After Plaza Mayor, we walked over to Palacio Real and took the tour throughout the palace.
Today was the day the winner of the 2016 Olympics bid was announced, so there was a cool crowd of people gathered by Plaza Oriental nearby. They were all wearing the Madrid “Corazonado” shirts and waving these big hands that Madrid made with its logo. The energy was awesome – everyone was so hyped up! Of course, I was still rooting for Chicago. And of course, they were blasting Black Eyed Peas´”I Got a Feeling.” Man, that Will.i.am is some kind of musical genius! He really knows how to create pop songs that are huge commercial successes and get picked up by various organizations/events.
It was an anxious few hours, waiting to hear the winner of the bid (they really know how to drag those announcements out!). I was devastated to hear Chicago didn´t get it – and that we didn´t even make it to the final two! I almost teared up about it. In the end, the madrileños felt our pain once Río de Janeiro won it. Than again, it´s hard not to be happy for Rio, all things considered.
In the meantime, we headed to the La Latina neighborhood to check out the area. Once we got there, we realized it was known more for its evening tapas and bars, so we were just a bit early (ok, maybe several hours early). We ended up eating at some random spot at a plaza between the La Latina and Lavapies neighborhoods. There, we got dinner AND a show, as we got to watch Rafa and his girl go at it, screaming at each other for a good 15 minutes.