Today we have an interview with Pablo López Castilla, Spotter for our Madrid Cityblog.
Can you tell us a bit about who you are, and what you do?
I was born in Madrid in 1988, but when I was 2 years old my family went to live in Denia -a small village near Valencia in the Mediterranean coast of Spain- where I’ve been living since I started the University 3 years ago. It’s in this moment when I returned to Madrid and my new life started. Everything and everyone I have met since then were changed by the opportunities that this amazing city has offered me.
I combine a degree in ‘Publicity & Public Relations’ with studies of drama and I’ve done some shorts and performed in many plays of theatre -I have never done anything connected with that before arriving to Madrid, but this is one of the special chances that this city has given to me; and I love it!-.
In my free time I like to drive with friends to cities near Madrid to spend the day in the countryside. As a cookery lover I like to rustle up a meal every time I can and one of my specialities is “Rabbit in chocolate salsa”. Moreover between my passions I would emphasize travelling and reading; I’m addict !
What is a must do when you visiting Madrid? What is not?
When you are Madrid, it is very important to visit certain areas: The famous Plaza Mayor, Sol, Lavapies, Gran Via, and Parque Retiro.
In my personal opinion, the Bernabeu stadium is not a “must” since it really is just like most stadiums and there is not much near there that you could visit afterwards, (at least not withing walking distance) It is also very expensive to do a tour and buy any souvenir.
Which misconceptions are there about Madrid?
In Madrid, the food and wine have a certain fame, of being very exquisite and typical. Usually it is very affordable and very good. A wrong common prejudice of Madrid would be calling it a very big city. Even though it holds many people and spreads far, you will find that the city is not as big as you think, and you can always go where you need to go by walking or a short ride on the metro.
Which time of the year you like most in your city and why?
The time of the year I like the most is the Winter, which might surprise somebody. The reason why I prefer it is because the city shows a calm aspect, which you won’t find in summer, for example. The weather is not very cold, so you can spend your days outside if you have a good coat.
When Christmas arrives, the city becomes so beautiful with all kind of lights decorating the streets… There are also a lot of activities for children. Some of the most interesting places to visit, for example, La Plaza Mayor (see this article), turns into a big market where you can buy thousand of accessories for your Christmas trees or to decorate your house.
The famous park El Retiro, has a different colour which you won’t recognise if you have seen photos of it, because they always show it in spring or summer. And if you came to Madrid in winter and by chance, you can see the city cover all with snow, which don’t happen very often, you won’t forget that image!!
If you can only stay for two more days in your city, which Spots would you definitely visit?
I would spend the first day walking throughout the city, starting from where I would be staying, and walk downtown, including Sol, go up Gran Via, Plaza de España, Royal Palace, etc, I would then make a photo with the mythical “Oso y Madroño” and taste the typical “tapas” in one of the million bars that you can find in the center.
The second day I would spend entirely in the Retiro, walking through it all, making a picnic and laying out and taking the sun, After a day in the park, you are fully relaxed, feel refreshed and are ready to continue the rest of the trip, where ever it will take you next.
Is there something else you want to share?
Definitely, I’d like to share to my readers that there are no enough words to express my love for my city Madrid so the best way for you to understand it is just coming here and discover it out by yourselves, I’m sure you’ll adore Madrid as much as I do!
Read all of Pablo’s articles here.
Check out the other interviews with our Spotters.