Madrid has been lying in the shade for many years as a kind of uglier, less seductive sister to Barcelona. By all means, Barcelona is a great city – a real Gothic goddess, AND she’s by the playa which is a big bonus in summer.
Madrid on the other hand is like an experienced woman. She knows how to please you, and doesn’t bother too much about what others think. There’s no experimenting when it comes to beauty, she already knows how to make the most of her looks. Neither does she fall victim to fashionable trends. She’s a child of the crazy post-Franco years when La Movida brought adrenalin, and plenty of it, to the stale capital. Today Madrid is still a city catering for its inhabitants, not for tourists.
Even two of the city’s best night clubs (Joy Eslave and Pacha) have been keeping the beat going since Franco died in 1975 when the Madrileños created the proverb “Madrid nunca duerme” = “Madrid never sleeps”. In spite of her lack of beauty sleep, Madrid is still my favourite Spanish big city.
This weekend the old neighborhoods with their individual character will keep me busy. I shall be mingling with immigrants in the Lavapies district. In Malasaña I will probably loose a night’s sleep true Madrid style, and in Chueca I will be seeking refuge amongst the gay men. Pictures will follow upon my return next week.