|Madrid, Spain is immediately, indelibly stamped into the visitor's heart after walking down its sometimes chaotic, winding streets, and tasting Spanish wines and delicious tapas from the countless little bars and restaurants. Above you are endless balconies with flower pots reaching up to a cloudless, Velázquez sky. A few more steps and you hear guitar music from around the corner. Unusual voices fill your ears. You are in Madrid!! - Spain's capital of music & romance, art & culture, energy & excitement, food & family. You'll never want to leave. But if you do, you'll quickly be planning your NEXT visit.|
Notes from MadridMan:
|At MadridMan.com you'll find useful, insightful information if you're planning a trip to Madrid or other cities in Spain. If you've been to Madrid before, you can appreciate my attraction - which is why I decided to move to Madrid permanently. The people are special, the food is delicious, and the history and culture is second to none in the world. Become a pre-trip traveler through my website, watch live Spanish television and listen to the live radio stations from Madrid, admire the many Madrid & Spain photos, and be sure to visit the MadridMan's ALL SPAIN Message Board, packed with more than 10-years of questions and answers. When you least expect it, you'll become a REAL madrileño!!|
Lodging in Madrid:
|There are countless Madrid lodging options for every type of traveler to Spain's capital. From 5-Star Luxury Hotels to Youth Hostels, from family holiday apartments to hostales, and everything in between, MadridMan.com shows it all. The message board has first-personal reviews about many of them and discounts can be found directly through the various links. Where should you stay? I always recommend the first-time visitor to stay somewhere in the Old downtown center of Madrid. This way, the most important and most historical things can be seen within a few short minutes on-foot.|
|I am a "Madrid Maniac". And because I love Madrid, Spain so much, I created and dedicated a website to it in 1996, registered the domain name in 1997, and continue answering MANY emails on the topic every week. If that wasn't enough, I moved to MADRID, SPAIN in 2005 because of my passion for this wonderful city. You could call me crazy and you would be partially correct, because I AM CRAZY FOR MADRID! I don't claim to be an expert on Madrid, but when you love it as much, I'm rapidly becoming one.|
Video: San Isidro El Chotis :: WebCam: Calle de Alcalá (munimadrid.es)
Recent Blog Entries:
Tortilla de Patatas Recipe by MadridMan
The following is a tortilla de patatas recipe by MadridMan™?? himself. I'm not saying it's the BEST recipe, but my Spanish eaters seem to like it, bringing me ever-closer to winning the Best Non-Spaniard Spanish Cook award in this house. (that'll be easy since I'm the only non-Spaniard here)
Question: What is a "tortilla de patatas"? Answer: It's a "Spanish potato omelette", also known as "tortilla española" in Spanish. It's made with eggs, potatoes, and salt to start. Additional ingredients depend on the preference of the cook. Spain loves its "tortilla de patatas" as much as its Paella and I've seen a dozen different kinds. Here's mine in only (?!?!) 34-steps:
2013 Madrid Gay Pride Parade Route Change
Today at 6pm starts Madrid's 2013 Gay Pride Parade! The annual, blockbuster "Orgullo Gay" event is a Gay-Pride Celebration, attended by Gays & Straights alike, and one of the biggest in all of Europe and definitely the biggests in Spain.
In a nutshell, the Gay Pride Parade is a big street party with lots of ab-ripped, sweaty guys on double-decker buses passing every 30-minutes, "regular looking" people marching down the street with banners, and about a million spectators trying to catch a glimpse of the parade, trying not to spill their beer, and trying not to need to use a toilet - because there are few-to-none.
UPDATE: Spanish Residency with Home Purchase
NEW DEVELOPMENTS! A lot of interest has been generated since I wrote "Permanent Residency in Spain with Home Purchase" back in November 2012. Because of it, I've received numerous emails and questions/comments on that previous blog entry, everyone wanting updates. Well now you have (some of) them.
Before, the price for Spanish residency with home purchase was 160,000 Euros, but that has been raised to 500,000 Euros. The new law is 'expected' to come to fruition this month in July 2013. But since November 2012, another law has been officially and quickly enacted, called "Modelo 720" (see below), which requires all Spanish residents, either foreign or domestic citizens, claim assets outside of Spain totaling more than 150,000 Euros. I have to wonder which law was considered first, but I think I know the answer. This is a law being enacted throughout Europe as well.
Review: Hostal El Pilar near Puerta del Sol Madrid
A few weekends ago, early June 2013, I spent Friday and Saturday night in downtown Madrid while a friend was visiting. I'd reserved Hostal El Pilar on Calle de Carretas, 13, just about 80 meters from the Puerta del Sol's south side, on the same street as the famous Real Casa de Correos. It was my first overnight stay in a Madrid lodging establishment since moving here in 2005.
Why did I choose Hostal El Pilar? Answers: Location, price, and reviews. Location: The location couldn't be better, right next to the Puerta del Sol and literally a stone's throw from the Real Casa de Correos and its clock tower. Price: I'd booked the 39? room via MadridHostels.com (yeah, that's one of mine, too) and thought that was a pretty good deal for a single room in downtown Madrid. Reviews: The Internet is great for such things and I used it to its fullest, searching reviews of Hostal El Pilar in Madrid, including TripAdvisor, Frommers.com, Fodors.com, and others.
2013 San Isidro Festival in Madrid's Pradera
Today, the 15th of May, is Madrid's Patron Saint's Day, "El Día de San Isidro Labrador". It's a day for the city of Madrid to come together and celebrate its history and traditions, costumes and music, and of course, its people. Sure, the festival started on the 10th and ends on the 19th of May, but today is THE BIG DAY.
Many years it's hot and sunny, but this 2013 San Isidro Festival in Madrid's Pradera de San Isidro Park was cool, cloudy and rainy - until about 11:30am. After the last drop dropped I edged outside and looked up, saw some blue sky between the dark clouds and decided to take a chance. I'd also checked the (mostly unreliable) weather forecast which said it should stop raining by noon.
2013 Madrid San Isidro Festival Preview
Yesterday, the 10th of May, was the official start of the 10-day 2013 Madrid San Isidro Festival and it lasts until the 19th of May. The 15th of May is THE BIG DAY, San Isidro Labrador Day, Madrid's Patron Saint, and is a city-wide holiday.
I know many people hear "San Isidro" and first think of the world's largest bullfight festival, "Fería de San Isidro", with daily bullfights from 9 May to 1 June. But Madrid's San Isidro festival is much more diverse than that.
Spectacular Madrid Puerta del Sol Rooftop Views
Last week I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying some INCREDIBLE views from a Madrid rooftop - IN THE PUERTA DEL SOL!
Sometimes I think to myself, "I really am blessed to have such good friends and good contacts." My new-ish Madrid buddy Nacho Gil, of "Callejeando Madrid", is an impressive photographer hobbyist and seems to have more (rooftop) contacts than the Prime Minister of Spain. This time he brought me along.
Fun For Kids in Madrid: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Renting a rowboat isn't the first priority on tourists' To-Do-List in Madrid, Spain, but it sure is a pleasure if you have time, if you have good weather, or if you have kids!
Over the Easter holiday I rented rowboats in both of Madrid's "lakes", Retiro Park and Casa de Campo Park, and both are similar experiences apart from the setting. A couple relatives came to visit me in Madrid over the Palm Sunday weekend, one of which was a 10-year old boy. So what does one do with a 10-year old in a big city? Answer: Anything which has moving parts. So that's what we did!