This past year, we lived on Calle Toledo, which is on the edge of El Rastro, an open air market that happens every Sunday and public holiday in Madrid. My mom, who spent a semester studying abroad in Spain 30 years ago had told us to check out El Rastro before we left, but since it was on Sunday mornings, and we were hoping to find a church to get connected with during that time, we weren't sure exactly how we were going to work it. Little did we know that every weekend when we went to and from church, we would walk past streets closed off due to El Rastro, and would be secretly glad to have a reason to leave the neighborhood for a while, as hordes of people poured in from about 10am - 2pm every Sunday.
One of our favorite finds in Madrid has been the Madrid Río. I love water and spending time near it - lakes, rivers, oceans, you name it, I'm not picky - so when a friend of a friend recommended the Madrid Río, and then another acquaintance recommended it and said she liked it more than Retiro...well, we figured it was high time we give it a chance.
Two months ago today we flew into Madrid with our five suitcases, two backpacks, and a good idea of what we were getting ourselves into. Ha. Turns out we I kind of overpacked (really regretting those seven pairs of shorts that made the cut) – I didn’t have to rewear anything but pants for over six weeks - and as far as what we thought we were coming here to do (learning Spanish and teaching English, by the way) – we’re not doing a lot of it.