I turned 30 recently, and as someone who doesn’t relish attention, I decided to mark the occasion with a holiday with my wife and a couple of friends. We chose Madrid because the flights were reasonable, it isn’t too far away, and I love Spanish food.
In terms of city breaks, I would say that I was a little underwhelmed by Madrid. Having been on quite a few short European breaks over the past few years, I was expecting more in terms of landmarks or attractions - a big impressive bridge, a decadent parliament building, an expansive view over the city from a large hill etc. There wasn’t really much of that, and the closest we came to vast views was on our Bernabeu stadium tour. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip with regards to sightseeing, and even a thick head from too much cerveza the previous night didn’t stop me enjoying walking round the Real Madrid stadium and watching a bunch of people on a corporate event playing 7-a-side on the pitch.
The food and drink didn’t disappoint, though. A good tip I heard recently when you’re visiting a new city is to find the trendy coffee shop district - that way you’re guaranteed to find hipster bars, new restaurants and, of course, nice coffee. We ended up visiting a place called Ho San a few times, because the coffee and sweet milk tea (not in one mug) were so nice. We could tell we were on to a winner because when we got there, the queue was out of the door.
I spent most of our trip shooting 35mm film rather than digital, as I’d just been given my first rolls of Portra 400, but I did take some shots on my Fujifilm XE2. Here are the best of them, all shot with the XF 23mm f2 lens.