© 2011 Steven Wong

Adventures Past: Madrid

In lieu of any recent travels (though I am going for a 4-week jaunt to India and Singapore starting Sunday), I’ve decided to post some pics from adventures past, in a series I’m gonna call, uh, Adventures Past. Lame.

I’m starting with Madrid, easily one of my favourite cities in the world, and not just because I’m a Real Madrid fan. No, it’s simply a wonderful city, with grand avenues, fantastic museums and that lovely Spanish culture. I can live almost anywhere in the world, but Madrid easily makes my top 5 list of places I hope to call home at some point in my life.

Part of it is the food, which I adore. The best wedding food I ever had was at a Spanish wedding, and trust me, it was shockingly good. There’s tapas and paella and chorizo and sangria and patatas bravas… I’ve always said that jamon iberico de bellota (cured ham from acorn-fed pigs) is probably the best thing that could ever happen to a pig.

Plaza Mayor in Madrid.

The beautiful Post Office building in Madrid.

Part of it is just how well Madrid is as a city… sprawling parks, extensive subways, public plazas, gorgeous architecture… I mean, just look at the main picture up top, which is from the new terminal at Barajas airport. Beautiful. I’ve been to a lot of nice, posh, modern terminals, like at Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong, or Beijing’s new Terminal 3, or Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in London… but I think I like Madrid the best. Ok, I’m gushing over airport architecture. Uber-lame.

Part of it’s the lifestyle. The Spanish are the only ones who seem to thrive on the same late-night schedule that I like to follow. Dinner at 10, drinks at 12, club at 2, home at 6… always good times! And didn’t they invent the siesta, that midday nap-time? Genius.

I don’t know… there’s just a certain je ne sais quoi about Madrid – or should that be no lo se que? Like its little buddy Barcelona, the quality of life is awesome, and there’s just something about the place that keeps drawing me back there.

If there’s one thing missing, it’s the water. The beach, the ocean, the sea, a lake, even a river… I do admit that I miss that here in Beijing, there isn’t even a decent river around here, and I don’t think Madrid is much better. But Madrid has so much of everything else, I can overlook that. Me gusta mucho Madrid.

BTW, all the pics here I’ve cleaned up and resized to be wallpapers on my laptop, so if you like one (or more) and want the big versions, lemme know.

A typical bar in Madrid.

Madrid's Barajas airport

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