Before I started to plan a trip to Madrid in May, I had heard of this famous "market", built in 1983, that is located in the old quarter where you walk from vendor to vendor tasting different tapas. As I planned out my days in Spain filling them with museums, restaurants, and activities, my imagination took over thinking of the delicious food and drinks I would try there. My friend recently came back from Madrid telling me stories of her romantic kiss after spending an afternoon in Mercado San Miguel, which took my imagination to another level. I couldn't wait to try it for myself.
Walking into the market gives you an automatic rush. There are what seems like hundreds of people pushing, shoving and trying to get from one stand to another. There are oysters, wine, sangria, olives, ham, cheese, pizzas, and a plethora of different tapas. Once narrowing down on a specific counter, you have to push through and point at what you want. After the first bite, it all becomes worth it! That initial feeling of hunger subsides and then the atmosphere becomes fun and enjoyable. When I saw a caviar and vodka stand I knew I had to try it. Feeling jetlagged, I decided this would give me a first-rate boost. After seeing the Russian Standard shot poured with a spoonful of black caviar to go with it, I became hesitant. As passersby stopped to stare and cheer, there was no time time to waste. A rush that I hadn't felt in many years, since perhaps college days, really hit me. An overwhelming feeling that pulsed through my body. I felt this is where I belonged for that second in this busy market, in Madrid, far, far across the the world. The colorful food, the smell of fresh fish, the crowds pushing against you, this was the moment I was supposed to live through, the moment that was supposed to be.
My experience in Mercado San Miguel was a memorable one. It truly was a place to discover taste, sound, color and passion. It marked the point of where I started feeling the exhilarating culture of Spain and the excitement of more alike experiences to come.