We landed in Madrid before sunrise, and in order to beat the jet lag, we hit the pavement as soon as there was daylight.
Everyone has a tip for the best way to beat jet lag. In our book, the faster you can get moving the better, and if you can find a place that triggers multiple senses, all the better.
Like…a fragrant rose garden.
Take a short cat nap in the grass, and let the sunshine and cool breeze ease you into your new surroundings.
A little refreshed, and more aware of what country you’re in, pry yourself up to see more of this historic city.
Like the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Which is conveniently located across from the Almudena Cathedral.
Getting into the Palace requires standing in a long, slow moving line. (Or, you could be more prepared than we were and book a tour ahead of time.) But even if you don’t make it inside, you can always check out the show outside.
Enough horsing around outside? Head over to the Cathedral, which is usually open to the public without a wait.
Plans to build the Cathedral were discussed as early as the 16th century, but due to the cost of building the Spanish empire, the Cathedral was not started until 1883, and was not completed until over 100 years later. By European standards, the Almudena Cathedral is brand new.
After all that newness, you’ll need to head somewhere old. And we have just the place – Sobrino de Botin, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the world.
The restaurant is famous for its cool brick interior, and its succulent roast meats that are fired in a nearly 300 year old oven.
Order a bottle of Rioja, and find out what it’s like to be served a whole suckling pig or roast lamb.
Just do better than we did, and take a picture of your meal before it is gone!