Today, on our 4 month Madrid anniversary, we have decided to profess our love for Madrid and celebrate with a planned Metro Challenge to the Anton Martin stop. How in the world has it been four months already? Apparently, we blinked.
As you have probably noticed, a lot of the metro stops here in Madrid are named after historical European figures. Anton Martin was the immediate successor of Saint John of God. He lived from 1500-1553. In all of the metro stops we have visited (so far), there is a wall that pays homage to its namesake.
Spain has such a rich and unique culture, we can’t seem to soak it up fast enough. And what is more Spanish than tapas? So, I signed us up for a four hour long tapas cooking class. On the menu: Sangria, Catalan cream (think crème brule), garlic shrimp, chorizo in cider, Spanish tortilla, and potato bravas. The class size was small. There were a group of four Parisian girls here for the weekend and a couple from California and our teacher. We had hands on instruction and when we left, our bellies were full.
The tapas tradition started when King Alfonso XIII (who also has a metro station named after him), insisted that bars serve food along with alcohol because workers were coming back from “lunch” drunk. And boy, did it catch on… Now, whenever you go into a bar, you are served a small dish of food (for free) before you order your drink or meal or both. Although now, they are consumed mostly between the long lunch (2-4pm) and dinner (10pm and on).
We love tapas. Most nights, we only eat tapas for dinner because they are quick, easy and healthy-ish. Our favorite are chorizo stuffed mushrooms and pan tomate. Somehow, the Spanish have taken something so simple and made it into a lifestyle. It’s certainly a lifestyle change that is permanent in our house.