The biggest stop of our north roadtrip was Madrid, and because it is the capital we spend 2 nights here.

We came from Santander and arrived late, which had the nice side effect of experiencing the sunset right when entering the city. As always I had my camera ready.

Cool view on the sunset

After finding spaces for our cars we checked in in our hostel called safe stay. It was quite a nice hostel and we had a room with 8 beds.

our hostel, some building and a METRO STOP CALLED BILBAO :-)

For the first night we decided to go out and party. When going through the city I felt like Madrid has a Vienna-like flair with Spanish notes. It is quite a typical European capital. Michelle lived in Madrid for a few months before she moved to Valencia. Therefore she knew some places to show us.

Our hostel room, a university building and E-Bikes as in Bilbao

We got ourselves some Asian food to eat and met up with Lenni and Madike, some other guys from EPS, who where also touring around Spain. And again Jasper reinitiated our old quest for mate, which was quite easily satisfied in a local hipster pizzaria. Jasper quickly got a little over excited as you can see on our success picture 😜.


Taking Pictures of the Christmas lights

We went to a quite nice bar at first, where we saw a really cool singer. After that we explored some more streets and saw some street dancers. Then we went on and checked out a funny little club that unfortunately closed at 2 (what I thought kind of confusing because people usually start going out at that time in Spain...).

The next day

On the next day we woke up naturally a little late. Lena had contacted a friend of her living in the city to show us a little bit around, so we started our trip. After some time of running around we found several mascots and people running around with costumes on the main square of Madrid. I still don't know what exactly was going on with them but I took some pictures, and there was even a Mr. Bean among them.

funny mascots, including Mr. Bean plus Teddy

Another thing that you could see quite a lot was people offering lottery tickets. In some places the people where even queuing for them. Lena's Friend explained that there are special blocks of numbers given away to different places in Madrid and that people who want to have a specific number then queue up in some places to get the one.
Lottery sellers, unfortunately out of focus and the only picture I have of them

We went on to have lunch and since Johanna and me do not really like calamari sandwiches (which seems to be a traditional food in Madrid) we went to a taco place. This turned out to be a great decision because they were absolutely delicious. On our way out we noticed one of the calamari places. It was really messy because people did not seem to care where they drop their paper and leftovers. That was quite weird and disgusting and we where happy we had some good food in a clean place.

Really nice tacos! 🌮🌮🌮

We where told that this place was quite famous.... for its trash I reckon?

Since we where already on our own by then we decided to continue exploring the city together. Our way lead us to a Christmas market in La Plaza Mejor. But after seeing 3 booths It already felt like we have seen all of them. There where only three categories of huts: gimmicks and joke articles, crib building stores, and some small ones for chocolate and sweets. What I thought was missing the most was some place to get Punsch, or any other warm drink. (We later discovered that when we went to Toledo...).

stores at the Christmas market

Also there where street dealers. Probably thousands of them. They where all selling similar products: some funny slime ball, a weird mini pipe, some soap bubble gun and a few more things. We saw many of them, also in the night before and they did seem to be illegal in Madrid. Some of them also sold shoes, handbags of fancy pens. In the night we saw how a police car arrived and before the officers exited the car all of the street dealers had vanished. Later I saw that many of them have string hooked into their blankets they used for product display to quickly pack their stuff up and escape. It really amazed me how many of these guys where running around and I felt curious were they got their stuff from or who organized them.

bubble guns and funny hats at the Christmas market

We went on and sow many cool stores, in a tee store we found a tee called "Nordic Punsch" that would make a nice Christmas present for our families.

Nordic Punsch

Who are you?

What I also liked in Madrid where the street signs in some parts. Of these little painted tiles each had an image underlining the street name. Here are just a few examples:

street signs

We all met up in a coffee shop and had some coffee, then we went on and checked out some more places in the dawning night.

coffee selfie ☕️

Glass organ player in the night

We also discovered a really cool shop with art from Toledo. That means swords, helmets and more swords. Later when we visited Toledo we saw so many more of these little shops but back in Madrid we where really impressed.

Hugging trees and checking out sword stores 🌲⚔️

Johanna and me then went for another frozen yogurt. We already had some of it but we could not resist to get some more, this time with a crep.

Frozen Yogurt

After some silly troubles with re-parking the car (Jasper and me went quite far away to find a spot...) we finally all got home. We were all way to sleepy to go out, but around midnight we decided to spend some more time talking and playing drinking games, that made the next day much harder, but that is a story for the next post...

The bear and the light