This seems like the longest winter ever lived. So right now I am dreaming of city breaks and sunshine (again), and wondering how I can get some heat in my bones and some sun on my skin for the least amount of money possible.
Last summer Kaya and I escaped to Madrid for a budget weekend of mother and daughter time - something I would definitely consider doing again.
That was never actually supposed to be an international escapade however... The previous year, whilst living in Spain, we had bought her One Direction tickets as her Christmas present, never thinking that - oops, we wouldn't actually be there when the concert date rolled around.
As it happened we were actually back in Ireland by then, and there was no way in hell any of us was brave enough to tell her that she wouldn't be able to go. So two flights to Spain it was.
Luckily for me Ryanair flies directly from Dublin to Madrid and the Metro runs directly from the airport to the centre of the city - so that was a good start at least. (Be warned that taxis run on a flat fare within the city and so can be expensive.)
We were meeting Kaya's grandparents in the city and they had booked us in at the (always reliable) Ibis. There's nothing fancy or romantic about an Ibis, but for value for money, cleanliness and location they are very hard to beat.
Over the weekend we walked and train hopped on a shoestring from the bull ring...
to the market stalls.
And from Cervantes famous statue...
to the King's Palace.
Kaya was well impressed with her royal connections. 'You mean we're standing in the Kings' garden right now?'
We avoided places like the Plaza Major for food and instead decided to seek out more authentic and better value tapas in the side streets.
Cold beer and sunshine - one of life's great pleasures!
|Spot the one who actually lives there...|
And then we finished up the trip with One Direction and 50,000 screaming girls. Just what you need to make you want to return to reality!
So - any other city breaks you'd recommend to get me through to summer?!