At 9:30 on a Wednesday morning, sitting in my office chair at work, looking outside to a grey and rainy London, I said to myself, “Fuck it.” Bored, restless and in desperate need of an escape, I booked two tickets to Madrid to surprise Lien as an early birthday present and selfishly for me to just get away. I was so excited I could barely focus on my work. In all the spontaneity, I failed to realise that instead of booking a weekend trip, I’d accidentally booked a 1-month trip. Yep, I fucked up. I had to pay the extra fee to change my return flight to a couple days later instead of (sadly) going to Madrid for the whole month but once that was all sorted out, I was so ready to leave. As soon as the clock hit 5:00 PM, I rushed home and told Lien to pack her bags. She was in shock for about 6 hours and it only hit her when she woke up at 1:30 AM and we had to leave.
We arrived in Madrid just after midday and still couldn’t believe what we’d done. Though we were running on only 3 hours of sleep, we were ready to do and eat and see (but mostly eat) as much as possible in the couple nights we had. Lucky for us, we’d already been to Madrid before, so the trip was more about going back to our favourite spots and catching up with friends.
Our first stop was Fit Food, a juice bar I always visit whenever I'm in Madrid, for some refreshing smoothie bowls. The weird thing was, even though I'd been to this cafe twice before, it took us so long to get here. We kept following the maps app and it kept taking us to the wrong place. But we eventually got there in the end and it was well worth getting lost.
We spent the rest of the day wandering around the city, feeling more and more at home and ended it in Parque del Retiro, where we mostly complained about how single we were as we passed romantic couples in love. I know they say Paris is the City of Love but fuck me, Madrid is passionate in their P.D.A. Seriously though, one guy was literally serenading his girlfriend with a guitar while they shared a picnic. Like, really guys? Really? Where and how do I find someone like that?
We began our second day with breakfast at Federal Cafe. I'm not even joking when I say that this was the BEST BREAKFAST OF MY LIFE. Everything was perfect. I ordered the eggs benedict with smoked salmon and Lien ordered the baked eggs with creme fraiche and sage potatoes. I couldn't choose which dish was better. And the coffee ... smooth and strong. The last time I had coffee that was this good, I was back home in Australia! If you're ever in Madrid, you HAVE to go here.
Though this trip was brief and we are now very poor, I have zero regrets for buying those tickets to my favourite city in the world. We ate amazing food, got lost in the quiet streets, caught up with close friends and drank the best wine and coffee.There's no doubt that I'll be back again in this beautiful city that feels like home. Te quiero mucho, Madrid.