Tapas, not Topless


When I was 21, I studied in Spain for one year.

(By the way, moving to a European country at age 21 is a total waste of being of legal drinking age; in Europe, by the age of 21, you have already had many years of legal drinking under your belt.)

Being in Spain was a dream, and I fell in head over heels with the land of tapas, Sevillana dancing in small cafes, and the impossible-to-name but tangible magic ingredient that permeates the air there.

(By the way, it’s “tapas” not “topless”…whenever I told anyone back home that I went to a “tapas bar” they invariably thought I had gone to a “topless bar.”)

That it took me 24 (!) years to step foot back on Spanish soil is unfathomable.

But last weekend, I was back!

Thanks to a Dutch friend who had a great idea for a girls’ long weekend in Madrid.

Last Friday four of us ex-Rosinkians met in Madrid. As luck would have it, despite our flights originating from four different countries, our flights landed within minutes of each other, and we were able to share a taxi to our hotel in Madrid’s centro.

(The driver was entertained by having four ladies of different nationalities in his car – USA; Sweden; Croatia; & Holland – and we were entertained by his running commentary on places we should visit.)

(Fortunately, we didn’t have him on the way back to the airport because he would have been disappointed by all of the cultural sights we missed – at least the insides of them…unless he would consider Zara a cultural sight.)

Despite not hitting all the sights, we did manage to make it to the interior of the Prado Museum; have a combined bike-tapas tour (nothing better than combining sightseeing with food); help the Spanish economy with some shopping (mama mia the prices were great!) and eat (and drink) our way across central Madrid.

Here is evidence of our misadventures:

Suckling pork at Biotin, the world’s oldest restaurant. Rich but delicious.


Barely got close enough to take this due to throngs of people waiting for the scrumptious items freshly baked for breakfast (the Neopolitana de Crema was divine).

One of the many lovely spots in the Parque del Retiro.

The tapas treat at the end of our bike tour.


Biotin, the oldest restaurant in the world (and home of the above-mentioned suckling pig).

The palace…one of the most impressive palaces I have seen. IMG_4697

Fish at the famous Mercado de San Miguel…it would take 100 stomachs to eat one’s way through this place, but we tried!IMG_4664

Olives and cheese and olives, oh my!IMG_4670

Took us a moment to figure this out but even then was still impressive (especially since the guy on top didn’t have any shoes or socks on, and it wasn’t exactly warm in Madrid!). (The hand with the stick is fake.)IMG_4671

Puerta del Sol. All the Christmas decorations were up all over the city but, unfortunately for us, they won’t be lit up until December 1st. IMG_4680

Central point of Madrid.

Some delicious tapas at Mercado de San Miguel. As always, pictures don’t do them justice (but our mouths did!). IMG_4661

Throngs tapas hunting at the Mercado de San Miguel. IMG_4660

More tapas…IMG_4657

Another nice little trick. They had all sorts in the Plaza Mayor. Including one where a man has some device in his mouth which makes the most annoying high-pitched sound…so unsettling that it might be a better training device than a shock collar.  IMG_4653

Needless to say, I am not waiting another 24 years before seeing Spain again.

(Which is prudent since “seeing” Spain may be tricky in 24 years, given how my eyesight is going downhill at 45!)

3 thoughts on “Tapas, not Topless

  1. Sweetie, I believe we were there in 1989….24 years ago. Even though I had a couple (4 that I recall) “incidents”….I too would love to return. Thanks for sharing your photos. I love you!

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