The life of a fashion, music and food fanatic on her Year Abroad in Madrid.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

3 Things To Do During Siesta Time

I HATE SIESTAS! I'm not really a day time nap kinda girl, as once I'm asleep, there is no way you are waking me up for at least 6 hours. Another thing you should know about me is that I LOVE SHOPPING! Many people know that I have a bit of a shopping addiction, and when I found out I was going to be living in Madrid for a year, I was ridiculously excited at the prospect of clothes shopping. 

Therefore when I first got to Spain, I was pretty miffed that in the middle of the day from 2:30 to 5:30pm, most shops are closed, as the Spaniards are sleeping... I shouldn't complain that much, as most of the high street stores stay open during this time, but the smaller boutiquey stores are all closed. So instead of feeding my shopping addiction, I decided it was probably healthier for my bank balance to go exploring instead. In this post I will recommend 3 things which you can do during Siesta time... enjoy!

1) Almudena Cathedral. Many people think that living abroad is basically a year long holiday. Yes I am having an unbelievable time here, but there are times where I feel a little overwhelmed, stressed and homesick.

So one day, instead of moping about in my flat, I walked round the city to the sweet sounds of Ben Howard and stumbled across the Cathedral. My mind was running at a million miles an hour, full of worry and stress, but as soon as I walked into the Cathedral I felt an overwhelming sense of tranquility and serenity. I wouldn't say that I'm religious, but I am a spiritual and philosophical kinda girl. Just sitting in such peaceful surroundings allowed me to clear my head, and get my act together. 

2) Retiro. It was 30 degrees in Madrid when I arrived in September, and we spent many lazy afternoons basking in the Spanish sunshine. In my opinion, there is no better place to spend the Siesta than in Retiro Park, especially if the weather is good. You can hire out a rowing boat on the lake or have a lie down in the park and relax in the beautiful surroundings. 

3) Plaza Dos de Mayo. Plaza Dos de Mayo is one of the most iconic and famous squares in Madrid. In the 80's, this square was the main hangout in Malasaña for musicians, writers, and arty farty alternative types. This cool spot is still a central point in Malasaña for social gatherings. I have recently discovered that the square is a favourite spot for dog owners during the Siesta. Sometimes I spend my afternoons people watching, as the dogs frolic, and their owners have a good gossip. 

In the day you can grab a drink at one of the bars or cafes that surround the square, and at night, you can join the botellón, the name for a huge get together with lots of young people, and alcohol. (until the feds turn up…) 

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