Braga, the city I live in, is a five-hour-drive away from Madrid. So when I want to visit the Spanish capital, it’s just easier to drive than to fly there. At least, it is for me. It allows me to be more spontaneous and travel at short notice. Last time, we decided on a Thursday that we’d be spending the weekend in Madrid so you get my point!
When we’re driving there, we always make a pit stop in a little town called Puebla de Sanabria. Stopping in this town indicates that we’ve covered half the journey. We take this chance to rest a bit, drink a coffee and eat some tapas at this lovely restaurant (thinking about their ovos rotos right now and I am getting hungry lol). This is like a ritual. We stop there every single time.
We arrived around 10 pm on a Friday evening so we parked our car, went straight to our Airbnb apartment to leave our luggage, and walked to La Fabrica 21. Once again, we ate tapas. I love tapas so if I am in Spain, you will most likely find me eating what? TAPAS!
Yes, that’s exactly it: I ate ovos rotos twice that day! LOL We were pretty tired from the journey and I wanted to wake up quite early to make the most of my Saturday since we’d be leaving on Sunday after breakfast. So we headed home after dinner.
On Saturday morning, the first thing I did was visiting Desperate Literature. When me and my mum got there, we noticed it was unexpectedly closed. A sign was hanging on the door saying they’d be back soon. I obviously took the chance to take some photos outside. We waited for more than half an hour. A foreign couple also arrived in the meantime and we talked a bit. I even saw a van hitting a car while I was waiting (nothing serious, though).
I am not a very patient person especially when I am facing a race against time. I had lost thirty minutes of my day when there was so much I wanted to do and see. So I suggested we’d take a walk around and explore a bit. Then we would come back to Desperate Literature and they’d probably be open by that time. While we were walking, I accidentally spotted Librería San Ginés, that I would have absolutely missed if Desperate Literature was open. This looks like the place was empty but I stood there, at least five minutes, to get this shot.
I was taking a few photos of this place and rummaging through books, when my mum called me and said: I can’t find my phone! I tried to call her and nothing. The phone was gone. Either she was robbed or she had lost it in the Uber! I called her phone again and the driver picked up. He said he would meet us in five where he had left us (Desperate Literature) to return it and he did! By the time we arrived to the meeting point, the bookshop was open.
I absolutely love Desperate Literature! They have an amazing feminist selection and I have bought a book there, of course! This bookshop also owned first editions of Henry Miller’s books (the second photo) so I was pretty hysterical. lol Then, we left and went back to Librería San Ginés because with all that rush, I didn’t have the time to fully appreciate and enjoy this place.
I tried to visit Librería Mujeres but I wasn’t lucky. It was unexpectedly closed so we headed to the next and last bookshop I had on my list: Libros para un mundo mejor. I visited Madrid in 2017 and when I returned to Portugal, I found a picture of this bookshop online. I felt very frustrated because it looked beautiful and I had just missed it. So, when I went to Madrid in March, I knew I NEEDED to see this place!
When I crossed to the other side of the street to take this exact photo, a gay couple was standing in front of that small window, holding hands, kissing and admiring the bookshop from outside. I treasure that instant in my mind. When they went on with their journey, I took this picture. There are moments that touch us. They didn’t even realize I was standing behind them, being inspired by them, being moved by their existence.
After grabbing a quick bite, we went shopping because, as you’ve probably noticed, fashion is another passion of mine.
Some of my favorite streets/neighborhoods to shop in Madrid are:
For artsy/vintage shopping: Fuencarral, Malasaña and Chueca;
For designer brands, fast fashion, sustainable brands: Calle Serrano, Calle de Velázquez & Calle de Lagasca.
In the evening, we had dinner at one of the most spectacular places in Madrid called Platea and then we grabbed a few drinks in Chueca. I love the night out in Madrid. It’s simply vibrant! I can’t remember the name of the place we went but I took this photograph because I loved this painting. It was grotesque, just the way I love it.
Thanks for reading!