Chapter 7: Madrid!

song: put your records on

Well, friends, time is flying. I hope this season is treating you well.

Today is the day that I share about my trip to Madrid, the lovely capital of Spain. 

plaza de cibeles

On a hazy warm morning, we boarded a sleek silver train to Madrid. After about seven hours, we hopped off the train with our luggage to find our shuttle bus. Our suitcases rolled along the bumpy sidewalk winding up the small hill to our meeting point. The air was crisp and the breeze carried an autumn chill, unlike Barcelona’s warm October weather. 

The bright blue bus brought us through the city, letting us admire the intricate ivory buildings with flags flying. Shortly after, we arrived at our pretty little street hotel. We quickly dropped off our bags, then began our exploration of Madrid.


Our tour guides were kind, entertaining, and knowledgeable! The way that they told the stories of history fascinated us all. Their charisma distracted me from our brisk pace and lengthy walks. That is another part of Barcelona (and Madrid) that I like – both are cities where you can walk around and enjoy the beauty of the buildings, fountains, and gardens. One of the tours led us to a small tapas bar with eccentric wall decorations. Here’s a little snippet about our time there:

My bright Nikes tapped down the marble stairs into a cozy dining room with tables clustered together. I pulled a wooden chair out and gingerly sat down, taking in the rustic decorations lining the walls. Somehow the small room made me feel comfortable so I eagerly examined the menu, excited to eat comfortably in the company of others. My eyebrows raised as I read “Squid in its Ink”. Curious, I asked the enthusiastic tour guide if he had tried it. His eyes lit up and he sat next to us to explain how it could be prepared. I felt expressions of shock, bewilderment, disgust, and fascination cross my face (to the tour guide’s amusement).

The waiter brought out plates of bread with various spreads and toppings. The first slice of bread was topped with a fluffy white spread with tiny red bits. My teeth sunk into the airy spread and immediately my mouth was filled with a strong fishy aroma…shrimp.

“Not bad…I guess,” My friend said with a scrunched nose.

“I like the consistency of the spread and the shrimp is juicy,” I nod in happiness.

The next bread slice was topped with an oil and…the strong salty taste was invasive which meant that it must have been…

Anchovies…” My friend exclaimed in disgust. I tried to hold my laughter in as I remembered that my friend despised anchovies. She scolded my chuckling as I finished the bread in delight. The next bread slice was topped with a creamy orange spread. I raised my hand.

“Do you know if this contains lactose?”

“I can ask for you,” He disappears towards the front of the restaurant before I can even say thank you. Then he quickly returns, jogging to our table.

“Hmm, I’m not sure. Are you allergic? Let me see,” He pops the slice into his mouth as my jaw drops.

Our Madrid adventure spanned the course of three days with guided tours around the city, museums like El Prado and Reina Sofía, and the beautiful El Retiro park. Browse through the gallery for a slice of Madrid!

tip of the week: don’t be afraid to try the anchovies – unless you’re allergic…then maybe don’t try them.

Published by Ayanna Bailey

Class of 2023 Psychology Major, Neuroscience Minor IES Barcelona, Spain

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