Terrence Chan

follow me as I play poker and look for new ways to get punched in the face

Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry
(partial) Madrid trip report
terrencechan
My impressions of Madrid, having been here for five days now, are very positive. Madrid seems like a very underrated city. It never really seems to get mentioned as a top-tier European city, but I think I like it better than the other Western European cities I have visited for more than a couple days (which admittedly, is a very short list: London, Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona). Cost of living also seems a bit lower here.

The train system seems quite good and taxis seem to be cheaper than most of Western Europe (flagfall is just E2.20). We've also never spent more than 3 minutes waiting for a cab. The centre seems very walkable.

It's probably a bit below average for scenery, not being a coastal town, but the parks seem okay. There is some pretty cool older architecture, in some part due I guess to Spain's non-participation in WW2.

There are a lot of panhandlers. The majority are non-aggressive (simply posting signs while sleeping on the street) but because there are so many of them, the aggressive minority means you are bothered quite frequently. If you are eating outdoors on a big street you are seemingly a favourite to be approached for money.

Late at night there are also a lot of prostitutes, or at least this was the case last Saturday night. Some Russian hooker grabbed my junk as our large group of Canuck jersey-wearing tourists were returning to the hotel. (Speaking of the Canucks, watching American sports in this time zone is one thing that absolutely sucks.)

The girls are very attractive. Probably even better than Vancouver. I'm not entirely sure if it's ratio or volume. Everyone walks around here, so the really hot girls are a lot more visible.

I've yet to find a really great restaurant here, though we've been enjoying the cured ham pretty much everywhere. Suggestions welcome. (On this topic, if you are ever in San Remo for EPT or anything else, eat at Mare Blu. Dan and I ate there every day that it was open.)

One of the best pleasant surprises: I went to a store to buy some bottled water. I asked what time they close. The answer was 3am. Love that. I also like that because Madrid is on CET but almost as far west as Europe gets, the sun is still out at 9pm in May.

As for me, I hosed the tournament, obviously. Am considering side events but I've been working out with ElkY (who has a Muay Thai fight later this year against Lex Veldhuis) and his trainer, so that has been more fun than side events. Might play the SCOOP turbo at 11pm tonight depending what time I get back from dinner and whether the PokerCast team has anything going on.

Restaurants

(Anonymous)

2011-05-10 08:30 pm (UTC)

Don't stay in Madrid - buy a Michelin Guide and go touring. Get to Can Roca if you can get a reservation it will blow your mind. Failing that L'agadal in the business district is fantastic

Can Roca looks fantastic, H and I had a reservation there for our birthdays last year but ended up not going to Spain at all. So it's doable and they didn't ask for a deposit.

But, that was a month in advance, and it's moved up to #2 this year on the top 50 list, and you're closer to Barcelona right now than the restaurant. So, maybe not the most practical choice.

If you go, you might as well pop in to El Bulli and check off the top two at the same time. Spain has four in the top ten (!) but apparently they like to make the masses work for their food - none within about 5 hours of Madrid, and even the Barcelona-ish ones are waaay outside the city.

I went to Europe and Madrid for the first time last year and also enjoyed it more than Paris and London (despite speaking a bit of French and no Spanish). It was the color and vibrance of the city that struck me. And not surprisingly the Spanish were nicer to me than the French.

I don't know about restaurants, but do get some chocolatta and churros (thick hot chocolate with fried dough). I also found Retiro Park to be one of the most beautiful places I've seen, especially at sunset (and I also loved the 9pm sunsets... so cool).

Go to Segovia (NW 30 miles) and get roast suckling pig.

I'm very fond of Madrid. I think the Spanish are as stylish as the Italians but much less self-conscious about it - dressing up more for fun than effect.

The only restaraunt I remember from my time in Madrid was Botin, opened in 1725. Claims to be the worlds oldest restaraunt.

http://www.botin.es/web/?q=en

C/ DE LOS CUCHILLEROS, 17
28005 Madrid, Spain
913 664 217
Subway: La Latina
Get directions

Canucks

(Anonymous)

2011-05-12 05:20 am (UTC)

How many vancouver/Canucks fans did you go out with? and how hard was it to find a bar that showed the game?

Hi, thanks for sharing the experience of your trip. The experience that you have shared will definitely help many as who are planning to visit Madrid.

You are viewing terrencechan