Get a glimpse of how the royals lived at the Palacio Real de Madrid

Get a glimpse of how the royals lived at the Palacio Real de Madrid

Beautiful vaulted corridors line the plaza of the Palacio Real de Madrid

Beautiful vaulted corridors line the plaza of the Palacio Real de Madrid

Wander from one ornate room to another at Palacio Real de Madrid

Wander from one ornate room to another at Palacio Real de Madrid

Beautiful large-scale doors everywhere in Madrid

Beautiful large-scale doors everywhere in Madrid

More tapas and churros than you could ever consume at Mercado de San Miguel

More tapas and churros than you could ever consume at Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel - such a great example of restoring a historic space!

Mercado de San Miguel - such a great example of restoring a historic space!

Pretty sure 80% of my diet there was ham-based

Pretty sure 80% of my diet there was ham-based

The smallest place we visited but by far my favorite - Palacio de Cristal deep in the heart of Retiro Park

The smallest place we visited but by far my favorite - Palacio de Cristal deep in the heart of Retiro Park

Palacio de Cristal was originally built in 1887 to exhibit tropical flora and fauna from the Philippines. 

Palacio de Cristal was originally built in 1887 to exhibit tropical flora and fauna from the Philippines. 

What started out as a trip do some paperwork turned out to be a great surprise. I went to Madrid with little to no expectations; and what I found was a bustling city against a backdrop of historic architecture, the most hospitable people with genuine passion for their country and delicious food in every corner. While I was only there for what feels like a heartbeat, (we were literally counting down minutes at the Museo del Prado - which I also recommend) it proved to be an amazing place with small pockets of escape. Here's to kicking off what is hopefully a series of Spain posts. I hope you enjoy them!