My parents came to visit me for a second time, providing me with the luxury of seeing them every two months, instead of having to wait for six whole months. Also, I had the chance to show them more of the city this time. This resulted in my parents being the only ones who visited me TWICE.
First, we went to Malasaña. Last time, most of the shops were closed (oops!). This time, I looked up when the stores were on siësta and we went on Saturday so the neighbourhood was buzzing! We had breakfast at Ojala! and I introduced them to the tostada con tomate.
Then, we explored almost every shop until it was time for lunch. My mom is a vegetarian and Malasaña is the perfect spot for vegetarian (and even vegan) food! So we ended up at Sanissimo! and the quality exceeded way beyond my expectations. Across is the Veggie Room, which also specializes in generally healthy food, where I found a great sugarfree chocolate bar without any weird replacers or a higher amount of fat. Then my dad went on for a walk based on a route from the app Ingress, while my mom and I went on to look for shoes. I definitely trashed my old ones with all the walking around I’ve been doing here so I replaced my baby blue ones with these old pink ones!
Then we went to Real Jardín Botanico and it was mesmerizing. They had a patch of all kind of flowers, one entirely dedicated to roses and I took a picture with a kiwi tree. It was really fun to guess what was what and to try to guess the Spanish names for them (my dad is also a fanatic Duolingo user). The garden also surprised me in a timeline of plants, where you walk among the most primitive to the most evolved plants. We also came across this guy whose face has been completely eroded. My dad is also a fan of bonsai trees and they had so many! There were also themed greenhouses. I think this garden is especially nice during summertime, because of all the nice shadows. Or perhaps also in spring, because now most of the flowers were withered.
In the evening, we went to a very traditional Spanish tapas bar González in Las Letras and the quality was great, as well as the wine and the service. Then we went on to watch the Champions League game between two teams in Madrid… We were so lucky to be here that particular evening! To celebrate, we had churros.
Sunday arrived way too fast. We had breakfast with pastries from the bakery downstairs and caught up on the latest Game of Thrones episode that we wanted to watch together. Priorities, right? We spent most of the day strolling through the Prado and even though this was my fourth time, I still discovered new paintings and rooms. We had dinner at 100 Montaditos, the cheap student place that I thought they should see once with some nice vegetarian options. We walked through the food market San Miguel towards Las Cabaleras, a flamenco restaurant. Such a restaurant specialised in this dance is called a tablao. From what I’ve gathered, the tablaos are fairly touristic but flamenco in itself isn’t. I’ve met numerous locals listening to flamenco, or dancing or playing it. The dancing performance is a real spectacle and it calls for a deep admiration for the performers.
Monday morning I sent my parents of to Lago, the lake, where they could have lunch and enjoy the Spanish weather (which is particularly cold for this time of the year, around 21 degrees), while I was off to take an exam.
Mom, dad, I had a great time and we’ll see each other in a few weeks!
P.S. The same evening my parents left, another friend came over. So keep an eye out for the next blog!