Linda Löfling

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visit madrid

Food & Travel My Madrid

MY MADRID : MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL

I have had my shared part of visitors since I moved to Madrid and I brought them all to this place: Mercado de San Miguel in the center of Madrid.

This is not a simple market. In fact, it is a beautiful building where you can enjoy both gastronomy and architecture at once! It’s characteristical architectural design is very beautiful with it’s iron, pane and natural light. Apart from being an axtravagant market, there is a possibility to visit exhibitions and concerts inside and you can also buy souvenirs, flowers and cosmetics inside the market if you want to by something more than food.

Here you have the opportunity to buy typical Spanish products and you can also try a variety of traditional Spanish dishes in the many stands around: gazpacho, tapas, sausages, fish, seafood and the mandatory: jamón and paella. There are also other alternatives in this market if you fancy something else, sushi, fruit stands with smoothies and much more. Thirsty visitors can find several stands with beverages to accompany your food, champagne, sangria, beer, wine…everything you can ask for.

I can warmly recommend you to pass by here if you are in Madrid. Each time I brought someone here, they have been very happy with the experience – and surely left with full stomachs. The market is located very central and nearby many tourist attractions, so make sure you stop by here for brunch/lunch/a glass of sangria before continuing your touristing!

 

Today’s little travel tips! Now there is a grey and rainy Paris waiting for me outside, have a happy weekend people! <3

 

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My City Tips

MY MADRID: HIKE AT NAVACERRADA

Only about 45 minutes drive from Madrid city center, you find Sierra de Madrid with it’s different mountains with ski stations, and miles and miles of beautiful nature and hiking trails. We took off from a little village called Navacerrada and made a walk there around Puerta de la Maliciosa. This was a rather simple hike with pre-made roads, but if you would like to have a more adventurous experience, then you can take off at one of the many crossing trails in the woods and make your walk a little more demanding if desired.

There are many, many trails and possibilities here,since  this was our first time hiking in these surroundings, we chosed to take it easy but next time I’d gladly prepare better and take some picnic with me so that we could prolongate the outdoor experince a litte bit. When we finally succeed to trade the city for the nature, it is at least my desire to make that moment last as long as possible. Oh, how I miss the woods! The smell of fresh air, the silence, the trees! Indeed, I am a farmer, I admit it! 🙂

Navacerrada itself is a really picturesque and charming village, with all the classic Spanish necessities such as; bars, restaurants, chinos, churrerias, and some more bars. In other words, all you need “after hike”. There is also a reservoir connected to the village, called “Embalse de Navacerrada” where you can walk around and admire the view of the mountains and the lake. I saw many people walking around there and sitting nearby the water with their backpacks full of food and yummy stuff, yet another activity that I added on my “to do” list this spring!

One of those “I will always remember” kind of days, with an physically tired body, a Mini who has been laughing all day long, and then the perfect ending of the trip, with a fiesta of the very best of Spanish food, tortillas, pimientos, empanadas, pollo con patatas and more and more, YUM!

Now we were lucky enough to have a car when going here, but there are as well busses taking you here from Madrid and from what I understood also trains going to Villalba which is a larger city (quite) nearby.

I could highly recommend going here for a weekend getaway, there are some really pretty looking hotels around and lots of nature experiences for those who enjoy that.

Happy weekend y’all! 🙂

 

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Expat Life My City Tips

MADRID, ONE YEAR LATER

My first time in Madrid was in June 2017, for a weekend with my sister, I remember the city as burning hot, but the ambiance and the people very relaxed. Everything felt very smooth. A good first impression! In winter 2017 I came back again and from there I started some kind of commuting life between Oslo and Madrid and I flew between the countries almost every week for a almost 6 months. Now ‘ve been here permanently for some months and I think it is time for a little evaluation.

Things i really like in Madrid:

  • People are nice. I have met many wonderful and easygoing people here since my first arrival, and I keep on meeting darlings everywhere. Spaniards are friendly, although it is difficult to get into their inner circle and become close friends with them, most probably due to the language barrier. I do have the feeling that they are all pretty helpful and open minded, though. I will get back to this evaluation about how Spaniards really are as friends if I ever become good enough in Spanish to be able to talk with people here hehe.
  • The city is big, but also small. After living in Paris and then Oslo, Madrid feels like the perfect size. I like to walk when I have to go somewhere, and here I can go by foot to most places, it is also a short bus ride in to the city center, Campus, or wherever I need to go, yet it is a lively city with a capital feeling and that is something i really appreciate. Pulse, dynamics, something to do at every hour, Madrid has it.
  • Eating out can be REALLY cheap. Lunch outside for 12EUR? Yep, possible in Madrid. A coffee for 1,50EUR(OK, quality is so so but anyway)? Yep, also possible. I love good quality food, but I also love eating OUT as often as possible, then I can agree on a more simple lunch and a coffee that is pretty tasteless, from time to time, only to be able to chill on a nice terraza with a friend or do people watching for a while.
  • It is a pretty city. I knew absolutely nothing about Madrid before going here, and I got surprised over how beautiful it actually is, and how many pretty buildings, monuments, parks etc. there are to admire here. I could definitely recommend a weekend trip here for anyone interested in city life, good food and some touristing!

 

 

Things I like a little less about Madrid:

  • The price of rental apartments combined with the average salary. While some things are really cheap in Madrid, the price for your home may be a nightmare. Prices are actually as high as in Oslo, but the salary like three times lower. I honestly do not understand how Spaniards do to afford to live in the center? Did they all heritage some millions from their grandparents?
  • The quality of the food. Ok, I said that I can overcome the quality of the food sometimes, if I can have it outside and hence eat something new and maybe different, buuuuut…ok, first I want to point out that there are many, many really nice restaurants in Madrid with high quality food, but now I talk about like an average bar or café here, then I must say that I am often dissapointed. I often see friends here getting all freaked out about patatas bravas or a slice of jamon, but I have difficulties seeing the yummy in fried food or food with no taste, and here – almost everything comes fried and with the least possible effort made to make it taste something. I know Scandinavia is not famous for the food scene, but I think we have made a great progress and we care about quality a lot. Go to a café in Scandinavia and you often find really nicely prepared sandwiches or salads. I have to be out even more and discover the cafés in the center of Madrid, they are still a bit unknown to me. Will come back with a guide later, so that you can avoid eating fried food all day long if you come here for a visit.
  • The labour market. It isn’t a secret that Madrid has a high unemployment rate, and between foreigners like myself, the chances of getting a job is of course much lower than for a Spaniard. I have the impression that this situation affects us foreigners a little, or a lot depending on how our economical situation looks like of course. In many of my the groups of people that I met so far, people complain about how hard it is to even get to the interview and obviously it makes you feel sad if you left a comfortable situation back home only to come to get so many doors locked in your face. I hope that it is only a question of patience, and being persistant enough to not give up. I have faith in that foreigners are needed here and that hopefully many of the ones I know, will get a profession soon.<3

Other than that I have nothing negative to say about Madrid so far, it has been and it is smooth and easy to be here and to live here. I see people as less stressed than in Paris and more relaxed and smiling than in the Scandinavian countries – is it due to the almost non stop shining sun?

 

 

That was a little evaluation so far about my Madrid life, if you have any questions about Madrid, Spain, how to get here, what to do here etc. : Stay tuned! I will continue to update on these topics, and I am working as well on a little guide about the expat life. To be continued!

Buen Día all of you! Thanks for reading!

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