After our day at the museum, we squeezed in a bit of shopping to help top up Kevin’s wardrobe. Then we headed off to meet up with Zoya. We met up at her apartment where we enjoyed wine in the sunshine of her back patio. It had finally stopped raining!
On the way to dinner, Zoya took us to a couple of memorable spots. First, we went to La Conservera Delistore&Tapas, a store run by the brand Frinsa. Frinsa is one of the largest European manufacturers of canned tuna fish and seafood, and was founded in Galicia, Spain. And you can actually order their stuff online!
We were able to sample a bunch of things – clams, tuna, sardines, and razor clams. They were incredibly delicious and high quality. That type of food isn’t that popular in Canada, so we’d be hard pressed to find anything like it at home. It was the perfect souvenir from our trip.
After stocking up on seafood preserves, we headed across the street to the Mercado de San Miguel. Kevin and I didn’t love our earlier ‘mercado’ experience, so we hadn’t tried this one. However, it ended up being one my highlights from the week!
Okay, so what actually is the “Market of San Miguel”? Here are the Wikipedia details:
The Market of San Miguel (Spanish: Mercado de San Miguel) is a covered market located in Madrid, Spain. Originally built in 1916, it was purchased by private investors in 2003 who renovated the iron structure and reopened it in 2009.
San Miguel Market is the most popular market in Madrid among tourists since it is located in the center of Madrid, within walking distance from Plaza Mayor. The market is not a traditional grocery market but a gourmet tapas market, with over 30 different vendors selling a wide variety of freshly prepared tapas, hams, olives, baked goods and other foods. Beer, wine and champagne are also available.
The other market we’d been to was clearly more oriented at locals and other people interested in eating a full meal. The Mercado de San Miguel embraces the spirit of tapas, encouraging you to pick up a variety of little snacks at different stations, and then grab a standup table to snack and drink. Within minutes of arriving we were drinking glasses of vermouth and snacking on an assortment of olives, preserves, and and much more.
The market was packed, and is clearly a favourite destination for tourists, so it’s both hard to move around, and easy to get jostled by others. If that’s not your jam, I’d stay away from this place. However, if you’re looking for place to stop and experience great energy and excitement as you get ready for a long night out, then I highly recommend stopping by the Mercado de San Miguel!
After the market, on to dinner!
That night we dined with Zoya and Shripal, and two of their friends (who later came with us to Cordoba), including the friend who introduced them in the first place! We ate dinner at a place called Parrila Del Mago, famous for their barbecue, steaks in particular. The food was great and the company was even better. Since it was Kevin’s birthday, we embarrassed him with a loud rendition of ‘happy birthday’ when dessert arrived.
After dinner, onto dancing!
We started out our evening at some kind of live rock show type bar. The music was so bad it was amazing, but we quickly left for a more ‘discotheque’ type experience. We loaded up with gin & tonics and hit the dancefloor to the latest in hip Spanish music, including the now-inescapable Despacito and this banger about bicycles from Shakira. Obviously they also played Drake, he’s everywhere!
By 5am we realized we needed to get home and sleep before our train to Cordoba. Photos below of our Friday afternoon adventures!