0200hrs, Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid
tried to find a decent tapas bar for a late night meal somehow proved difficult. we headed for the old la latina quarter and much to our dismay, the recommended casa de granada was already closed by the time we got there.

strangely enough, the city was a little ‘quiet’. madrileños have a reputation for staying up late partying ’til the morning after! probably many of them have gone out to the coast or the mountains – retreating from the july heat. after some not-too-fantastic tapas in la latina, we headed to pasadizo de san gines for some chocolate con churros. easily described as mini chakoi dipped in chocolate sauce. if you are in madrid, this is the churros establishment to go to! leleh siut would simply be a gross understatement.

0720hrs, Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid

slept like a baby despite the noise in the plaza below. it’s when i am on trips like this that i tend to naturally wake up early. never waste daylight, that’s what i always say.

1820hrs, Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid
the day was spent chilling. started off with desayuno (brekkie) comprising tostada con tomatte and the obligatory zumo de naranja (fresh orange juice). since we had to leave for barcelona later in the afternoon, i felt that missing out on el greco and picasso’s guernica at the museo del prado won’t be too big a sin. hey, i’m off to see the remnants of muslim civilisation in andalusia later next week. that’ll beat looking at paintings any day.

reached gran via (madrid’s answer to london’s oxford street, of sorts) having walked by the smaller streets in centro where you can see members of the world’s oldest profession plying their trade that early in the day. we shopped, but only of the window variety. ninie gave up on the queue in zara (which i have to say is very cheap, especially in the rebajas (sale) season – zara’s cheap here, anyway, that i think it’s the mun loong of spain!).

for lunch we opted for some raciones (larger versions of tapas). there was this lovely place that served great mariscos (delirium and radzi was brought here during their spanish trip). we had bacalao (salted cod), pulpo a la gallega (galician-style octopus) and more calamares. and topped up with more churros at chocolateria de san gines. hehe.

i guess this trip to madrid was more of a time to chill with mates. i can always come back if i have the sudden urge to check out goya.

time to go to barajas now. barcelona awaits.

2310hrs, Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona
even at night, you could tell that barcelona is different from your typical impression of a spanish city. at times, i thought we were being driven along KL’s jalan sultan ismail! the hotel does seem to be a bit far from the centre. so, sod the plans for a late meal. early morning tomorrow.