Last time I was in Madrid was about a month ago. I can't say it was the best weekend as beers, Six Nations and Irish pubs turned our family weekend in to a scene from the Hangover. Literally.
So you see it was my duty to come back and enjoy Madrid properly (I shamelessly hadn't been since I was 17!).
I got the AVE from Malaga and it was the easiest journey I have ever done. Nice big comfy chairs and leg rests (not like the cramped East Coast trains), free earphones and a movie to entertain you in Spanish or English on your 2 and a half hours up to Madrid.
In the meantime I got to work on making brunch. It was my turn to be the dutiful sister and look after my little brother for the weekend. He is a poor student after all...
He's on a bit of a health and fitness kick which was the perfect time to try out my new healthy flourless banana pancakes recipe, which I've been hearing so much about. They have no carbs, no dairy and are healthy when smothered in fresh fruit and topped with a drop of honey.
We chatted about our lives, love and uni work over brunch and I couldn't help but wonder when we had both become little adults!
Then it was gym time.
I hopped on the back of his moped and with my eyes tightly shut we whizzed through the streets of Madrid. When I realized 40km/h was the maximum speed I started to chuckle to myself.
At the gym, Jonathan and Callum were like my little personal trainers: changing the weights for me, adjusting the machines to my height and shouting words of encouragement at me. It was leg day and they definitely killed my poor little legs. Thanks guys!
I stupidly forgot my trainers at home so it was bare feet for me in the yucky sweaty gym floor.
I overslept a little so with my hair still wet I clambered out the door pulling on my jacket and ran to grab the Metro. I sent lots of apologetic texts to Lauren, who luckily was still waiting for me at las Puertas del Sol.
With the austerity measures demonstrations going on in Madrid it was a prime spot for protests and probably the worst place to meet up. I was met by lots of flashing blue lights, police vans, and a helicopter, but that didn't stop us Durham girls!
El Lateral is an effortlessly cool spot just off one of the plazas in Sol. The evening wasn't too cold to sit outside and we cosied up to the heaters for extra warmth.
We started off with some vino de Rueda and ordered some tapas when we got a little peckish.
Unfortunately, Miss Lauren has class to teach in the morning so a squiffy Charlotte made her way back to her brothers flat who fed her some crackers and subsequently passed out on his bed...