Saturday, 25 September 2010

Gran ViaThe statistics show that Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. Wander the streets of Madrid in the evening and it would seem impossible. Catering to all those people in all those cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants should guarantee full employment, in fact can there be anybody at all to work when so many people are partying?

GeoPlaneta in Madrid were celebrating 10 years of publishing Lonely Planet guidebooks in Spanish so I went along to help tell the story. I stayed in Hotel de las Letras, a hotel with definite literary connections (a poem stencilled on the wall of your room for one thing). It’s on Gran Via right in the centre of Madrid.


My favourite Madrid discovery? Mercado de San Miguel:
San Miguel Market

This fine old market building near the Plaza Mayor in the centre of the city has undergone an extensive renovation. It still functions like a market during the daytime, but in the evening it turns into a crowded food centre. You can buy a glass of wine or a beer at a bar, sample tapas from another stand, switch to sushi or pasta if you want a change of country, and finish up with dessert or ice cream and then a coffee.

San Miguel