Greetings from Madrid for March’s Monthly Musings.
February went in a bit quicker than January did at least. Keeping busy throughout the month definitely helps the time pass and so does the unseasonably warm weather we enjoyed from the second week onwards. Heading out without a coat during the day is a great feeling, as was needing to apply suncream before heading to lunchtime kick offs at Getafe and Leganés last weekend. Long may it continue!
Where I’ve Been.
After the travel-heavy adventures of the previous three months, February was my first full month in the Communidad de Madrid since October. However, Sarah and I did get to indulge our wanderlust in a way, by visiting Parque Europa in Torrejón de Ardoz back at the start of February.
If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s a park with scale models of lots of European landmarks and tourist attractions. It’s also the only place in the world where you can stand on Tower Bridge and admire both The Little Mermaid sculpture and the Brandenburg Gate in the distance. A fun afternoon out of the city.
We also went exploring the further reaches of the Madrid Metro system, travelling all the way up to Las Tablas on the Metro Ligero last Sunday for no better reason than that we had the time and felt like doing so
I attended seven matches during February, including three in one weekend when I was playing host to Alan, an old friend from university. Only one new ground ticked off though – the Ciudad Deportiva de Rayo Vallecano, where I saw a Madrid Derby with a difference between Rayo and Leganés’ B teams.
Game of the Month
It could really only be one this month. For colour, drama, atmosphere and awful use of VAR the Madrid Derby stands above all the others I’ve attended this month.
I could say more, but I’ve already dedicated an entire post to it, so do check it out!
I also really enjoyed watching Real Madrid’s next league match, a shock 2-1 reverse to a hopelessly out of form Girona team, a match which also saw me tick “See Sergio Ramos get sent off ” from my Watching Spanish Football bucket list. Plenty of fun was had in a South Madrid double-header last weekend, which saw Getafe climb into the Champions League places and Leganés keep up their remarkable unbeaten run at Butarque with a late equaliser against Valencia.
Most Popular Post
Unsurprisingly, El Derbi Madrileño was the most-viewed post on the blog during February, despite only being published towards the end of the month.
I did lots of Madrid Derby-centred content in the build-up to the match, which was great fun to write, particularly my memories post – lots of time spent watching old highlights videos for research – these posts dominated the month in terms of clicks.
March promises to be a lot more varied!
Kit of the Month
Although it goes against my natural instinct as a Coleraine/Man Utd/Depor fan, the light blue Atlético Madrid away kit for this season is very nice and I was able to see it close up for the first time at Vallecas a couple of weeks ago. As you can see from the picture, when I say close-up, I mean it. That’s what a seat in the fifth row at Rayo’s stadium gives you.
Another one which caught the eye is Rayo Majadahonda’s home kit. Made by cult Danish brand Hummel and featuring a red thunderbolt on the right hand side, it stands out in a world where more and more clubs have teamwear kits or an identical template coloured in differently.
One disappointing thing is that on my fourth trip to a Rayo Majadahonda game, I’m still yet to see any of their merchandise for sale at the ground. Their home stadium, Cerro de Espino, is also Atlético’s training ground and has an Atleti shop on the premises, but sadly there’s no room for even a small stall selling Rayo merchandise. I guess I’ll have to venture to the club office in the centre of Majadahonda if I want to pick up the obligatory scarf or this extremely smart shirt.
Food Glorious Food!
A comeback for this section which I last had in my November post, all about some great food that I’ve had in Madrid over the past month.
First up, we need to talk about Goiko.
Somehow I left this out of the first food post, but it’s easily one of my favourite places to eat in the city (and Spain, since it has expanded around the country). If you like burgers, you simply have to go here. You can choose from a huge variety of burgers and get it cooked to your own specifications. No more over-cooked, dry burgers.
There’s even a menu del día which allows you to have your burger, side, drink and dessert or coffee for around €11, although the choice of burgers is limited to the one which is offer that day (which can be checked on their website).
It was also Valentine’s Day during the month. So to celebrate, Sarah and I visited Purnima Indian on Calle de Goya, near the WiZink Centre and Metro O’Donnell.
Good curry is hard to find in Spain, but this is definitely one of the best we’ve found. A great mixture of a spicy Chicken Madras and a milder Lamb Aloo worked really well together. And a special shout for the Peshwari Naan, one of the best of its kind I’ve had! It’s maybe towards the more expensive end of the scale, but if you book on The Fork/El Tenedor, you will get a discount, so it’s well worth signing up for that. I know that we’re definitely going to go back sometime
Another great place, we visited in February was Matute Arepa Bar, close to Metro Noviciado. We’re big fans of Latin American cuisine and the only real surprise was that it took us so long to come back here for a second time. It’s not too expensive, although it can get a little crowded at peak times as it’s quite small. Still well worth the visit though!
Song of the Month
I’ve seen Rayo Majadahonda four times this season and it wasn’t until the fourth one that I noticed their wonderful himno.
Got to love that “A la bimbam bimbam bimbam, a la bimbam bimbam ¡GOL!” part.
Maybe a Top 10 Spanish club himnos post could be in the offing…
Oh, and I turned 33…
Just a couple of days ago in fact. It was a relatively low-key birthday, I was working during the day but I did find the time in the evening to go out for dinner to celebrate. I had been offered the chance to buy a ticket for the Copa del Rey clásico at the Bernabéu, but there was not enough notice to ask for it off work. That particular dream will wait for another day.
Due to Easter being extremely late this year, March is shaping up to be another long month, especially without the little mini-breaks that I’ve been used to during my time in Spain (either the Día de Andalucía puente or Carnaval).
I do want to get out of the Communidad de Madrid at least once during the month, be it for a day trip or an overnight stay, although I definitely have my eye on some Easter travel plans, so not spending too much is definitely a priority. With that in mind I’m possibly going to scale down the number of matches I go to, definitely no more double-headers and possibly a few more lower league games.
I’ve also got lots of content lined up for the blog, including some pieces which have been sitting in my drafts folder for a while, just waiting to be completed when I have the time.
Until next time,
All the best,