Only under freak weather conditions may we ever see Madrid under a blanket of snow again, but it’s unlikely, however, as in just the last 44 years, Madrid’s average temperature has soared by 2.3°C. To understand how high this is, in the same time, the global average has risen by 0.4°C, which is already causing irreversible damage.
Curiosity often gets the better of me, but I like to think I’m prepared for what lurks behind the curtain. In 2015, however, I was forbidden to look. The man inside the tiny ticket window told me: “Sorry love, this isn’t for you.”
Inside the old lift shaft of a former brothel, we’re holding a 22-photo exhibition throughout the month of December. Each photograph displayed on these walls is connected to one of our articles, helping you explore Madrid’s less-beaten path.
Vallecas is a working-class neighbourhood with an unstoppable fire in its belly. It emerged out of a slum, only to be beaten back to the bones again by the most brutal pummelling the Spanish Civil War could give. Since then, this hard-left barrio has become a close-knit community and home to thousands of immigrants from all around the world, making it one of the most mesmerising corners of Madrid.
Everyone loves a good old ‘did you know…?’ story, so here are six incredible historical discoveries that are still in evidence today. Store each of these old photographs in a primely positioned corner of your mind and walk the streets of Madrid seeing double. It might take you a while you get anywhere, but it’s unacceptable to be in a rush here anyway.
Suddenly the pace picks up. Stacks of hot churros and porras rush out of the kitchen while the waiters frantically steam chocolate and place together dozens of cups and saucers. In this churrería, the staff know their customers’ routines well: suddenly hordes of classy old ladies walk in, order vast amounts of chocolate and churros and kick off their Friday evening with a bit of scandalous family gossip.
In the depths of the financial crisis, biologists Guillermo and Laura took over the neglected family olive grove and embarked on a risky project: to make farming a sustainable way of life once again.
We’ve already declared our love for Bar Lozano but, after spending some time there recently, we noticed that its popularity seems to be waning once again. It might seem like we’re fighting a losing battle at times, but I for one refuse to give up.
Madrid is a complex city that likes to reveal itself slowly, keeping you in constant awe of its depths, expanse and infinite detail. The forgotten secrets, concealed corners and vibrant subcultures in just this city alone could keep you exploring for a lifetime, but here’s a good starting point.
Have you ever been walking along the street in Madrid and thought to yourself: ‘Quick caña and tortilla?’ Me too. If you happen to have that thought whilst on Calle de Fuencarral, you’re seconds away from making it a reality. But if you’re half way across the city, jump on a metro – it’s worth the ride.