Mejorada, San Fernando, Coslada
During my first workaway (and during the weeks after) I spent a lot of time in the towns of Mejorada Del Campo and San Fernando De Henares. These places lie on the ‘outskirts’ of Madrid, and I would best equate them to suburbs. Although not normal tourist destinations, my time spent there has been a highlight of my trip.While I was studying Spanish I took many trips via the metro or train to visit, and as a result I am now very well acquainted with Atocha train station, and the consequences of missing the last train back into central Madrid.
And so… Places I enjoyed visiting:
Mejorada Cathedral/ Catedral de Justo Gallego:
This is an interesting cathedral. My understanding is that one man, Justo Gallego, decided that Mejorada was in need of a cathedral and therefore he was going to build it. He started the work some
forty fifty years ago, however the finish date still isn’t in sight, although the creator is approaching his 90s. He has worked almost entirely alone, although he now has help from volunteers, including architectural students.
Yes, it isn’t finished; Yes, it’s debatable whether it is safe; Yes, the council wants to take it town. However I’d definitely prefer to visit an unfinished cathedral (or broken down one) over a perfect completed one. Its also a kind of a cool story.
Todo Tapas San Fernando
According to Facebook this awesome tapas place has moved to Coslada,although when I visited it it was in San Fernando.
Ahhh, Spanish hospitality. I could buy one drink and be brought ‘tapas’ and ‘pinchos’ all night. Although I’d normally buy more than one drink because… What? Beer is good, and they were nice enough to bring me free food all night anyway! (Perhaps thats the logic behind tapas?)
You can also buy a more substantial tapa for 1 euro, or a maxi-tapa for 2 euros, and be set for the night. Unless you were a total foca (seal/pig/fatty!) The food is simple but good (burgers, eggs, potatos, croquettes).
It was funny that almost everytime I visited this place it rained – in Spring and Summer….! It almost became a rule: Jade & Tapas = rain.
Hot chocolate place/bar
If you like coffee and chocolate and cream, and all of these things mixed together, you’d like the coffee/chocolate bar I went to. Unfortunately I can’t remember it’s name though. I had one the most awesome coffees of my life here, consisting of purely coffee and condensed milk.
On a visit to Mejorada, while I was still attending Spanish classes, I attended a Medieval market. The market wasn’t too different from other Spanish markets, but it was medieval themed, and there was dancing, costumes, music and things for sale. R + A’s parents were nice enough to buy me shirt as a gift of thanks, although I feel like they definitely did more for me than I did for them.
The cool thing about Spain is that always seems to be something on, be it a local market, medieval market, or a fair – all things I was able to attend in the area.
Although not a tourist attraction, my friends loved the local Irish bar. I think this was because there was a pool table, a foosball table, and cheap beer with tapas. Interestingly, the tapas weren’t cooked food and were things like lollies, nuts, popcorn and crisps.
I wouldn’t consider it was a ‘real’ Irish bar, and instead consider it a wonderful Spanish/Irish fusion. The Spanish part due to tapas, Spanish beer and the late closing time. I was never there too late – (~1/1.30am), however a bar in the suburbs in Australia probably would have shut by 10pm. I love this about Spain.
The area is perhaps not the place for a tourist – but it is full of great people, and great opportunities to experience the Spanish culture