Dan and I decided to tackle the mother of all tourist traps on Valentine’s Day… Gran Via. From the moment you walk out of the metro, it feels more like the United States than Madrid. All of the surrounding buildings are the ones that you see on postcards, the people were speaking English and dressed just like Dan and me, and the store fronts were familiar.
I say that it feels like the United States, but the reality is that it doesn’t feel anything like Indiana. It is the Spanish version of Broadway in New York City. There are brightly lit marquees advertising plays and productions, movies, variety shows and concerts. The Lion King or El Rey Leon is currently playing. Clothing stores and fast food restaurants line the street, including the first McDonalds in Spain. (As a general rule, the Spanish don’t eat fast food and the availability is nothing like it is in America). More than that though, there was a hustle and hurriedness that we aren’t used to anymore. The Spanish simply don’t move that fast. Americans that are trying to check everything off a to-do list before they catch their flight the next morning, however, move quickly.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Spanish, while not warm and fuzzy people, celebrate Valentine’s Day with enthusiasm. The little street outside our apartment that leads to the metro was covered with hearts on every tree. The restaurant where we had tapas had the ceiling covered in heart shaped balloons. The metro was even full of couples loving each other more noticeably than usual 🙂
Dan and I had a delicious perch ceviche for tapas. It was so tasty and so fresh. The music was loud and Latin and we found that our spirits were high just from the ambience. Check out the sights from the rooftop terrace! That’s our city 😊
We then moved venues (like true Madrilinos) and had the BEST cheese fondue ever (Sorry, family, its true). There was even a rose on my place setting when we arrived at the restaurant. Love was certainly in the air on Valentine’s Day. My favorite day here so far.