real jardin botanico de madrid

After a long week of school work, group meetings, and long dinners with friends, Dan and I decided to have a relaxing Saturday.

We started off with Nana’s pancakes, which were of course not as good as they usually are at the Rowland’s house, but tasted very similar.  Thanks for the recipe, Yanya!  The butter and baking powder are quite different here, but that didn’t stop them from being delicious:)


After a very slow morning, we made our way over to the Royal Botanical Gardens.  They are located between the famous Museo del Prado and el Parque del Retiro in the old part of Madrid.  The 1,25 euro student price was totally worth it and I definitely plan on going back again.  A lot of the flowers were out of season, but it was still beautiful to see.  The vegetable gardens were in full bloom and besides the normal tomatoes, lettuces, and pumpkins, we also saw tabacco plants, artichokes, and a dill bush.  I had no idea how dill was grown, but this was a huge bush – probably five feet tall!!!


We also explored a cactus greenhouse, tropical palms greenhouse, and the bonsai tree terrace!!


After a snack of bread and cheese (shockingly!) and a siesta we went out for a nice relaxing dinner together.  We went to a little Italian restaurant in the plaza behind Dan’s apartment.  It was really nice to do so since we’ve been running around Madrid with new and old friends since we got here (not that we aren’t enjoying that!).  We sat outside despite the cool autumn weather, which finally started over the weekend, and shared a few different plates: provolone fondue with a fruit marmelade, eggplant rolled and filled with cheese and wonderful marinera sauce, and parmesan-stuffed gnocchi.  It was absolutely delicious, and we’re already planning on going back for seven euro pizzas during lunch soon!

I wrote recently about how inexpensive grocery shopping is in Spain, and we talked about this topic over dinner, as well.  We had a great meal and a bottle of wine for 20 euro each, but that’s how much we spend on nearly a week of groceries.  It made us realize the difference between the United States and Spain with regard to this.  Our meal probably would have cost about the same amount in Boston, if anything, a little more there.  However, to buy the food at the market or grocery store would be about half the price here as it is at home, which doesn’t make any sense!  Needless to say, we’ll be saving our money for groceries and eating out less frequently, as we certainly have been doing already.

Feliz lunes, amores:)

Covered in vines of grapes used in wines all over Spain

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