It has been said that a lone Englishman will ‘form an orderly queue of one’ but the Madrileños have taken queuing to the level of a national sport. Perhaps its something to do with the weather but even in the depths of winter a good Madrileño would much prefer to queue for an hour in the snow to buy a lottery ticket from his favourite vendor than to buy instantly across the street. In their queuing, as in all things, they invariably behave with perfect formality and respect but it can appear to an outsider that every person in the city has a personal queue quota to fulfil. Anyone who falls short on this obligation can make his way to the Church of Jesus de Medinacelli on the first Friday of each month where hundreds of his fellows spend up to four hours waiting to light a candle. (On any other day they could enter immediately).
Hello / goodbye - Buenas días / adiós
Please / thank you - Por favor / gracias
Yes / no - Si / no
Excuse me, are you the last?: ¿Perdóneme, es usted el último?
Ow, you’re standing on my toes!; ¡Aieee, me estas aplastando los dedos!
The Education Faculty in Madrid has built a new building destinated to teach people who want to be teacher. As every time there are more and more persons who want to do this career, the Complutense University has ampliated their classes. The photo has been taken in the office with some of my friends there.
Well, i am italian and we usually have a dinner quiet early, arnd 08pm/09pm, so, what was a bit shockie for me was to have a dinner at 11pm, quiet early for the madrilenian...deamn!
I was sufferign!! hehehehehe...
This could be consider something like a custom...
But, surely, this is another way to spend the day, and another way to re-organzie the whole day...if you take a dinner at 11pm, you might find the time for have a a couple of hours of SIESTA...ehhehehehhe...
I for one am not used to see art splashed on a house facade like they do here in Madrid. This makes facedes interesting to look at and admire besides a free advert to the artist who did the job....would be hard to sell the painting though!!
DON'T leave Madrid without trying out the following things (I'm sure you'll never forgive yourself if you do miss it!):
(1) Catch a fiery Flamenco show
(2) Watch an exciting Bullfight (Corrida). I know I'd surely step on a few toes if I were to say this. But it is indeed one of the national pastimes here!! The bullfighting season lasts from May to October and there is a major bullfighting ring in the city center. Please check with your hotel concierge for more details.
(3) Try a dish of Paella (seafood rice). You can try out some of the best paellas here in Madrid.
(4) Drink a glass of Sangria (a nice alcoholic cocktail drink)! I love this drink.
(5) Take up Flamenco dancing and make Joaquin Cortes (did I spell his name correctly?) jealous.
On Sunday mornings.
Now is more a flea market, but I remember when I was a child to come here, and see the most incredible old things being sold here. Like in Carboot sales...
Still if you go off the main street, you can find some little streets with the old charm, but prices lol are not so good!!!
Metro Station La Latina
At Sunday mornings at Plaza Mayor you can find this market, here you can see people changing, buying and selling, mainly stamps and coins, but also magic cards, and any kind of collection you can imagine.
This and the rastro on Sundays are something on my memories of Madrid since I was a child!
Bullfighting is a very popular tradition in Spain, especially in Madrid.
The best places to see a "corrida" is here and in Sevilla at "Maestranza"
Again if you think bullfighting is cruel
or you do not like it...
you do not have to go.....
but let other countries
to keep their uses....
I am spanish
I do not like bullfighting
But I understnad it as part of a culture ...
Tipping in Spain!
Iýve seen many people coming to Spain giving exaggerated tips, even 12 Euros for a meal of 90. Thatýs too much.
In Spain We tip for the quality of service weýve received, the best service, the best tip, but there are some things you have to know.
When you are on a bar, having something to drink, if the service is good (they attend you on time, friendly and they put you a tapa for free I would just round the tip or give a euro. On a restaurant depends also on how they serve you, for a nice service maybe a euro per person is ok, for a good service a euro and a half or two is all right and a for a bad and unfriendly service if you live nothing will be the best thing to do.
If you flag down a taxi, just round the ride, but never give more than a Euro or two, as a foreigner you donýt know if they are being right or if they ripped you off so be prudent and donýt tip if you suspect the driver took you on a tour instead of driving you directly and quick. Taxi drivers are In Madrid and almost every where in this world the best thieves so Why tipping them if 90 percent of time when you travel they took your money?
Any way Do what you consider is right and a tip will always be welcome when somebody gives you a service.
Madrid is a city packed full of famous artworks by many of Spain's greatest masters like Goya (pictured here), El Greco and Velasquez. The Paseo de Arte (Art Walk) on the eastern side of the city will take you by many monuments as well as a triumvirate of great museums, the Prado, Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Spain is known for its siesta (nap) and for its quailty of life: Work to live instead of live to work. And taking a nap in the middle of the day is indeed a wonderful invention. What you have to understand though is that Madrid (and most of Spain for that matter) shuts down from about 2 pm until 6pm in the evening.
The regular business hours are indeed from 9h or 10h in the morning till 13h30 or 14h, and from 17h or 18h till 20h or 21h. The 3 hour break is the lunch and siesta time.
So from 2pm to 6pm approximately, you won't find an open store, except for convenience stores like El Corte Ingles. Other exceptions are construction workers, particularly road workers, who are out all day;.and tourist-oriented places, such as museums, have reduced siesta hours, closing at two and re-opening at four.
So keep this in mind when scheduling your days, especially if you have a limited amount of them....
If you are into photography and you are in Madrid during the summer, a visit to the many photographic exhibitions of PHotoEspaña is a must. The festival takes place between June and July and is, by far, the biggest photographic festival of the country. Indeed, the offer is so huge that I find almost impossible to attend all the expositions I’m interested in. :-p
I particularly enjoyed this year a collection of “vintage” B/W pictures of Spain in the late 50’s, hosted in the Reina Sofia museum. I totally recommend a visit!!
La Feria del Libro is one of the most important cultural events of the year in Madrid, an as the event takes place in my familiar and nearby Retiro park, I could not resist the temptation of visiting the fair several times during the couple of weeks that it usually last.
Here you could buy books with an interesting discount, enjoy the general ambience or simply admire the way in wich famous writers fatten up his/her egos by receiving the adulation of his/her public. Trust me; it’s an indispensable visit!
Two days before we arrived in Madrid on our trip in February of 2003, there were rallies all over Europe (and the world) in protest to war versus Iraq. It was an interesting time to be an American visiting Europe where the vast majority of the population was against war. I had a few conversations with locals about war, politics and other world events and was always treated with respect. This banner hanging from an apartment near Plaza de Oriente was a plea for peace and symbolized the opinion of the majority of the people I spoke with.
At mid night on the 31st of december all spaniards have the tradition of eating 12 grapes at the time that the bells of the Puerta De El Sol's clock in central madrid rings the New Year, one per ring bell. that's the way we welcome the New Year.
This Tradition cames from a over prodution of greaps at late 1800 or beggining the 1900
people show that there where a lot of greaps and they would loose them there was no exit for them so they decided to use them on welcoming the New Year.