¡Viva España! El Primer Día: El Apartamento

…before I set out on my journey around the Lavapiés and Embajadores area, I took some photos of my apartment. I wanted to document where I was living for the week – especially because I was so impressed. Your surroundings can have a huge effect on how your vacation goes, or how you feel about a particular area, and really, AirBnB is totally awesome, and I would not hesitate to use it again. And my host, Antonio, was top notch. I’d recommend his apartment to anyone who wanted to go to a quiet, yet centrally located, area of Madrid.

While climbing the stairs to the “fifth” floor, I felt like I was at the Guggenheim in New York – the building was a spiral.

The sixth floor (though it’s listed as the fifth on AirBnB, due to European floor numbering systems – the ground floor is “Floor 0”) was accessible through a private staircase, to a patio area, which was screened in.

As soon as Antonio left me with the keys, I felt like a giddy new college kid, in her dorm room for the first time. I broke out the trusty phone and went crazy snapping pictures – good thing I had cleared out the internal storage, because I took about 50 photos of just the apartment, in the first six minutes. I was downright gleeful – this place was so much more amazing (and cheap!) than I had anticipated from the photos.

While I didn’t use it much because the temperature for the first four days was in the mid 50’s (12-14C), it also had a cute little outdoor sitting area, where I would have loved to have eaten my breakfasts of fresh fruit and mango juice.

The apartment itself had a great room/kitchen, a small bathroom, a small bedroom, and a loft. It was far bigger than I had anticipated – if I could find a place like this stateside, I’d scoop it up right away.

The bed and bathroom were small, but perfect for one/two people. Sometimes, I think back and think it would have been nice to have someone with me. And then I remember why I went to Spain in the first place, and how wonderful everything was while I was on my own (and how crappy it turned out when someone did actually join me – to be described in a later post), and I realize I wouldn’t have changed it. And it’s also comforting that IKEA is truly universal 🙂

The kitchen area was also small – really, it was a one-burner stove, a tiny fridge, and a bar. I barely used it, with the exception of the fridge, but the breakfast bar was comfy enough to sit at and organize the things I’d collected, such as business cards or leaflets, throughout my walks in the city.

The loft (permanent ladder on the far right) was tiny, and you had to crawl – it was thick wood laid across the exposed beams of the ceiling, with a single mattress up there. Even I couldn’t stand up – I had to snake my way to the other side of the loft to look out the window. If I’d been relegated to sleeping up there, I might be a little put out. The views, however….

Notice the sky – it was COLD (relatively) and spitting rain – so I was freezing. But I think my general level of excitement was keeping me warm. This apartment, the views, and the walk there were really my first taste of the beauty of the neighborhood – I was not disappointed. Instead, I was giddy with anticipation of what was to come when I stepped outside my front door….



  1. I’m impressed you actually investigated the loft… I will only set foot on ladders under duress. Like, if there’s a burning building I need to get out of.

    Look forward to the next installment. Who did you hook up with?! The mind boggles.

    [BTW, día is masculine, not feminine…one of these pesky exceptions… so that headline part should read “El Primer Día”.]

    1. The ladder *looked* sketchy, but once I was convinced it was firmly affixed to both the wall, floor, and loft, I figured I could go slowly. I’m glad I did, but I will be honest – those first photos were the ONLY time I set foot up there!

      I ended up meeting up with a friend from the states who had tailored his “European vacation” around the fact that I was there…it was….yeah. Again, it’s worthy of its own post because it was just so out there and unwanted….

      Thanks for the Spanish – you know, I actually knew that, but had some sort of brain fart – I think it means I’ve been out of Spain for far too long, and need a return visit 🙂

  2. Where you stay is SUCH an important factor of your overall travel experience. I love that you picked a good place and that you had awesome interaction with the locals right off the bat.

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