I woke up early this morning and had hot chocolate and churros for breakfast.  Churros are fried-dough pastry-based snacks in the shape of sticks that Spaniards usually have with hot chocolate. I loved them! I had to eat a lot to get full, but it was well worth the calories.

I got a little sleepy right after I ate and fell into a food coma. When I woke up, I was reenergized and wanted to find something to get into. I asked around and a sweet lady asked me if I wanted to go El Rastro with her and her daughter Andrea. I asked what El Rastro was and she explained to me that it’s the largest flea market in Europe that takes place every Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm in the old part of Madrid. I absolutely LOVE flea markets! Every time I go to one I feel as if I’m hunting for treasures, and I sure like to find them! Who knows, I might really find some since this flea market had been around since medieval times.

The three of us took the metro and arrived at the Barrio de la Latina where the market takes place. It runs down a hill and venders set up tables and booths early in the morning. It was around 10am when we got there, and I could not believe how packed it was already!  We all picked a place and a time to meet up in case we got separated from each other (somehow we knew that was bound to happen!). Sure enough, after 15 minutes or so, I realized that the two were not with me. I just kept on walking around in the crowd looking for bargains.

Aereal View of El Rastro market

El Rastro was the perfect place to buy a gift for everyone back home. They sold jewelry, paintings, pottery, bags, shoes, books, antiques, clothes, flowers, fruits, collector’s items and an endless amount of new and used goods! There were all sorts of funky stuff…old records, tools, car parts, and even animals!  After about a couple of hours, I had so many bags full of stuff that I could hardly walk. I went to the meeting place and Andrea was there waiting. As soon I got there, Andrea’s mom arrive with just as many bags as I had. Andrea made fun of us because we had to carry all of our heavy bags up the hill and all she had was one small bag. After she had a good laugh, she finally took one bag from each of us.

On the metro back to the hotel, there were two very young boys sitting across from us giggling. I kind of figured they were laughing at our overstuffed bags, but they wouldn’t stop laughing. As we approached a stop one of them jumped up, walked over to us and yelled “¡Habéis comprado el mundo entero!” (You guys bought the whole world!), and both ran off the train as the doors opened. We laughed and then showed each other everything we bought. I was proud of all my great finds. I know my family and friends back home will love their gifts.

Traditional spanish fan in El Rastro