Amazing risotto with saffron and chorizo--so good!
While researching what to do in Madrid I came across La Gatoteca aka a cat cafe! I had heard about cat cafes in Tokyo but didn't think they existed anywhere else. Seeing as both Grant and I are obsessed with cats, visiting was a given. The Gatoteca is really more of a nice shelter with Ikea furniture and a small, self-service coffee and tea station than an honest to goodness cafe. You pay a small entree fee which goes to the care of the shelter cats in order to spend about an hour playing with the animals. DEFINITELY worth it. The cats were all very sweet and we still to this day bring up some of the cats we met that day (yeah, not exaggerating).
We strolled through Retiro park often while on our trip. The park was a nice little getaway from the heat and hustle and bustle of Madrid.
Terrible quality phone pic but GEEZ was the food in Madrid amazing! Definitely our favorite culinary destination out of all the places we visited. We're still dreaming of all the tapas we ate on the daily. We loved the casualness and slower pace of tapas, ordering food wasn't as stressful as in other countries since I still remembered some of the Spanish that I had learned in high school (whew!) and was able to read and menus more confidently as well as talk with the restaurant staff. Pictured: pan con tamate, jamon iberico, manchego, and sangria of course!
So much color and festiveness in the streets! We lucked out and visited during Fiesta de San Isidro. San Isidro is Madrid's Patron Saint so there were lots of parades, fireworks, singing, and dancing in the streets the whole time we were there.
We celebrated our 6 year anniversary while we were in Spain and as a special treat we visited a hammam for some extra relaxation. The hammam was in an excavated wine cellar below the city streets and it was like a whole new world. There were different temperature pools to soak in, a sauna, and a tea tasting room. Bliss!
Stunning ceilings at el catedral de la Almudena. This was a random visit on our last afternoon, so glad we made the time to stop by.
Chocolateria San Gines! I think this is the oldest restaurant in Madrid and it has a storied, glamorous history of serving churros con chocolate to movie stars, dignitaries, and various persons of interest. This place was so good we had breakfast here twice!