Tuesday 17 September 2013

Traveling, family, food, glorious food...

The last few weeks have been all systems go, mostly for personal reasons. I have officially become a godmother for the first time, as my sister daughter got baptised back in Spain, a beautiful family event.

We landed in Madrid late on a Thursday night. We spent the night on one of those sterilised hotels near the airport. The next morning we got up and pick up a rental car to drive down to the province of Albacete where my brother in law is from.

We spend some time at the Lagunas de Ruidera. It is a beautiful place of natural lakes in the middle of very dry area. It feels like a true oasis of fresh water.

And we ate, and ate, and ate.

(As per Lindsay's request: on the left, jamon serrano and bread with fresh tomato puree, choquinos (tiny cuttlefish) and a salad obviously!)

The next morning it was the Baptism. I loved the simple and profound ceremony.

 We all dressed up. My cousin Angela on the left (I only have two female cousins and one male one, so I am extremely close to Angela even though I am eight years her senior and we always lived very far away). Omar - my husband -, myself, my mum - we are obviously related! - and my gorgeous dad.

And on the left, that is my sister, my only sister and the mother of my goddaughter.
Always it feels too short when I am with any of those two.

And on the way back we got to spend 24hrs in Madrid.

I love Madrid. It is not a showy city, but it is such a wonderful city that I always feel that is really underrated specially considered alongside the more touristic Barcelona.

This is one of the old entrances to one of the best museums in the world, El Museo del Prado. It truly is, not just because it is in Spain. There you can find Velazquez, Goyas, flemish art, and one of my favourite paintings in the whole world, The Annunciation from Fra Angelico.

And, while in Madrid is not like in London where the best museums are free, El Prado is free every day for the last two hours of the day. But of course, that brings queues. Luckily, they are extremely organised and even though we joined what seemed an impossible queue, we were inside within ten minutes of opening.

After spending those two hours we went to the Temple of Debob for the sunset. The view of the Royal Palace and the Cathedral is pretty stunning.

But the highlight is obviously the Temple of Debod itself.

It is an authentic egyptian temple gifted in the seventies by the Egyptian government.
If you have been to Egypt you will see it is not the best egyptian temple, but compared to some other Egyptian on display in other European Capitals (Paris' Obelisk anyone?) this is extraordinary! As I said, Madrid is such an underrated city...

Definitely worth a visit at sunset time.

And on our last morning in this trip, we visited the Royal Historical Botanical Gardens, not very impressive per se, but certainly an incredible oasis in the middle of the city. Although to be honest, one of the things I noticed most on this trip was how amazingly green Madrid is. The most beautiful trees that I have ever seen growing in the middle of a city.

And finally, what can I say? I love my Spanish food.

(As per Lindsay's request: on the left, arroz negro a seafood dish with sepia ink! and on the right, fideua, very similar to paella but with thin noodles.) We had dinner at Bocaito and lunch at Capitan Alatriste. Both were AMAZING!


Fab said...

Wow lovely pictures and the food....yum ! Thanks for sharing Paula ! xoxo

Kath Stewart said...

What a lovely trip to see your family and a great honour to be a godmother and oh my taste buds are tingling....love Spanish food....hugs xxx

Lindsay Mason said...

What very evocative pictures of your Madrid visit - would have liked a description of what all the different foods were though! What a good looking family you all are!
I know how much becoming a Godmother will have meant to you so thank you for sharing the special moment.
Lindsay xx

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