16.10.21 — Journal

The Parents Return

After being graciously hosted by Loredana and David in Vienna, it was time for me to be the host for an important visit: my parents were coming to Madrid! Seeing as I hadn’t seen them since January, which wasn’t the most pleasant of trips, I was excited by the prospect of seeing them again and sharing my favourite spots with them from across the city.

Their visit began with some drama at the airport when I want to pick them up. I arrived on the metro but then couldn’t enter the terminal building as I had no boarding pass, so I’d to leave via a car park which spat me out onto an abandoned exit ramp which took me to a rather large and busy road. There, I’d to jump over the metal barriers and risk life and limb to get to the other side, where more risky crossing and parkour-style acrobatics were needed to finally get me to the arrivals area outside T1. What’s more, I couldn’t even contact them to see where they were and to tell them that I was outside, as their roaming data hadn’t kicked in!

Through some sheer luck I was eventually reunited with my mum and dad as they wandered outside and found me waiting where everyone else was congregated. We then hopped in a taxi back to my place, where they unpacked as I threw together a platter of nibbles before we turned in for the night – it was already quite late.

The next day began with breakfast down at a bar a stone’s throw away from my building, before some drinks down at the Matadero (an ex-abattoir-turned-cultural-center by the river). We then headed up to the Lavapiés neighbourhood, stopping for a pizza lunch at one of my favourite pizzerias.

Our afternoon then continued at full steam ahead – no rest for the wicked! After lunch, we had coffee and dessert at Citynizer, and then took the metro down to the lake in order to catch some last rays and have a round of sangría. We then headed back to the La Latina district, where we had a selection of tapas and another drink in a lovely little square away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Mum always enjoys a glass of sangría down by the lakeside.

We begun the next day with breakfast at the same local bar – it had quickly become a favourite spot of my parents, who couldn’t believe how cheap it was! From there, we grabbed a bus up to Retiro Park, where my mum fancied a go on the city bikes. There we avoided a near catastrophe when one of the rental machines refused to release my parents’ credit card, and I’d to go asking in a nearby bar for a pair of pliers which I eventually used to yank the poor thing out.

Disaster averted, we eventually grabbed some bikes and began our bike ride around the lush gardens of this huge park, stopping at all the must-see spots along the way. Once tired out and ready to eat, we headed for lunch at a local tapas spot, where the different plates and desserts went down an absolute treat.

I swear everyone who comes to visit has this exact same picture taken.

After a much needed post-lunch rest, we headed out for our last meal of the day, which took us to a local Italian restaurant that I enjoy visiting. As I write this I am beginning to realise that it seems like all we did is wander, eat, drink, and chat – and that’s pretty much the truth. If you’re not doing that, you’re not living the Madrid lifestyle properly!

The next day saw us back un the city centre for a spot of shopping, after which we had something to eat before hopping back on the bikes. After passing by the Royal Palace, we came across some dancing in the street, and eventually had a drink in the Mercado de San Miguel, a street market that I’d never before managed to get a seat at. Great success!

That evening we wound up at the Templo de Debod, one of my favourite spots to catch the sunset. The sky put on a beautiful show as always, but we were soon hungry and ready to celebrate my parents’ last night in Madrid – the whole trip had come and gone so fast!

I took the three of us down to the Writer’s Quarter for the evening, as I’d a bar in mind that I hadn’t been to for quite some time. Whilst on our way to this spot, however, I caught sight of another bar that I’d heard great things about, and there they had a table free and perfect for the three of us!

There we had a selection of the most delicious pintxos – the small dishes of food famously found in the Basque Country – and I fell in head-over-heals in love with a salmon and cream cheese pastry. Whilst tucking in to our meal, my sister Ellie gave us a call, and I spent a while chatting to her in preparation for her visit to Madrid just one week later!

With this last bill paid and my parents’ bags packed, we had one last drink at home before they turned in for the night. The next morning saw the three of us then bundle ourselves into a taxi which would drop me off at work before taking them onwards and up to the airport for their flight back to old Blighty.

As you can see, the three days that I had my parents’ company in Madrid positively flew by! I had a lovely time, as we managed to cram a lot in without rushing around too much, and it was great to catch up with the two of them in person after nearly a year without being able to visit.

Well, I already gave away the topic of my next blog post towards the end there, as it’ll be delving into the many aventures that me and my sister got up to during her week here in the Spanish capital – I’m running a bit behind on these blog posts thanks to so many visits, but hopefully it’ll be worth the wait! Until then…