Ok, after months of planning, saving up and years of dreaming,I finally arrived in Madrid where begins my month long journey to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

Of course I AM excited!

Spain, after all, is one of the hottest destinations in the planet and being the sucker for (geeky?) historical things that I am, well, it had to the country of my choice for my first European escapade.

And besides, we did spend a good 333 years under her titulage.

Great job, Madre España, you have an ex-colonial returning to your arms.

And now, on to my first view of the city…

view from hostel espartero

…the one from my hostel.

almuneda cathedral

For a European capital, Madrid is very young city, it was only established in the 1500's by King Felipe II (of Filipinas fame!) and the cathedral above isnt even 50 years old!

Well, it was only finished in 1993, a good 114 years when it was first built in 1879…

Took too much siesta if you ask me. Anyway, at first, I thought the cathedral was remarkable but I ain't seen nothing yet…

palacio real facade
The Royal Palace across the cathedral.

palacio real- islas filipinas detail

Inside, it was what you'd expect a European royal palace to be- gilt carvings, throne rooms, chandeliers, huge banquet halls but what was interesting amidst that opulence was this little detail above the main banquet hall. It reads Las Islas Filipinas. Cool. We are represented.

gran via

The Gran Via- Madrid's version the Fifth Avenue and Orchard Road- glitzy shopping for the Euro-laden.

I loved the architecture of the place.
gran via2

Another shot of the Gran Via


Uhhm. Fun time anyone? And this is something you'd never find in our part of the world…porn on airports and on the street!

parque retiro6

Parque Retiro. A charming park right in the heart of the city.

K.S.P. or Kulang sa Papel. Everywhere in Spain, graffiti and lots of graffiti. Even the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was not spared.
street scape

Well, here's something you don't see in Manila, 3D paintings on buildings in the city's old quarter. Very creative.

sili malaki

Taking a peek inside one of the city's markets…check out this oversized chili! I wonder if its size is any indictiion of the punch it packs…

me thinks this chili is a sissy.

street show

Street show, Madrid-style. This fella thought it woud be cool to pose on a cloudy, windy day.

Well, the wind was blowing…

post office2

the grandest post office Ive seen in my life…and it's in Madrid.