Madrid, Spain: House of Good Feeling!

We were travelling around Madrid, Spain in March,2013. We stayed at our Spanish friend's flat which is located in a leafy and quiet part of Madrid. It also had a cooler climate than the other area of Madrid where we were earlier due to it's higher elevation.
Our lovely friends Antonio and Javier opened their cozy flat to us and their hospitality which was genuine, made us feel like we were coming home. The atmosphere of our Spanish friends' place had a feeling of "laissez faire", with no fussy requirements or formalities.
One would see other articles of clothing thrown on the sofa, or plates and cups in the sink which suggested to me at least that one didn't have to walk around on tip toes politely, and this was a flat which one doesn't get offended easily when one unintentionally  does something obscure. Because there were many guys in the house, there was also the feeling of "something frisky going on" in the air when staying there.
If one wanted something from the kitchen, or wanted to cook something they were most welcome to. Some grocery shops nearby in their neighbourhood afforded such opportunities, even at the last moment, to share a dinner, which we did each time we stayed with them.
We had fun evenings of sitting on the couch with a bottle of wine, and meeting other guests who arrived and joined in with everyone else in the flat. We shared stories of our travel experiences around the world, and also politics as our friends are very politically astute and the conversations about politics, current events, historical information were quite intense and indeed very interesting.

It was a weekend, and Antonio wanted to go to a dance club. That evening was very cold and going out late at night, and walking back in the cold at 0400 in the morning, after dancing up a sweat all night was not very enticing. Earlier that same day was a city wide demonstration against government cuts in medical care and the sale of a public hospital. Tens of thousands of Madrid's citizens chanted, walked, and the gathering felt like a big joyful party! One could see every kind of group represented, with Rainbow flags also flying freely as well as other funny slogans, suggesting that the government system was corrupt and uncaring towards it's citizens.

For us, attending the demonstration with Antonio and Javier was a perfect and intimate way to tour Madrid, a way which will stay in our memory! They as well as the many other Spaniards walked with us past the famous landmarks of Madrid, now for us have a special meaning rather than just us walking past them with no feeling or connection.

Antonio cooked a simple but elegant Spanish meal which he humbly called "typical peasant food", and a nice bottle of local Spanish wine made our evening dinner cozy, as well as  culturally educational as we experienced Spanish food made especially for us guys in our guy group.

We went to another district of Madrid to stay for a night, but when we wanted to stay again with Antonio and Javier, we were welcomed with open arms, coming back to their flat which had the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere again. The next morning, as we were leaving Madrid we had a sad, almost aching heart when we were carrying our bags and closing the door behind us as we didn't want to part from that special feeling and welcoming environment we experienced staying with them.

Javier, opened the door, still wearing only tight undershorts, told us that we were welcome to stay anytime we are ever in Madrid. What a wonderful feeling to have a guy family away from home!


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