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Long Travel Days

People Watching at San Isidro’s Feast Day

Spain

San Isidro Feast Day, Madrid

Accidentally stumbling upon events can often be the best part of traveling. On May 15, Jeremy and I started our day as planned with a visit to El Rastro–but as we wandered toward Plaza Mayor on our way to Mercado San Miguel, we quickly noticed that there was something going on: many people (of all ages, but especially children under 10 and adults over 60) were dressed up, either in traditional Spanish outfits or in utterly random costumes (a knight and Mickey Mouse, for example).

There was a giant stage set up in Plaza Mayor with concerts playing, and as we later learned, other celebrations set up all over town. We had unknowingly wandered into San Isidro’s Feast Day, a celebration of the patron saint of Madrid.

We didn’t spend a lot of time participating in the festivities (in part because it took us almost all day to realize exactly what was going on), but the energy was contagious. This was a memory we never expected to make, but we ended up both having a lot of fun with people watching throughout the day, and learned about a festival that neither of us had heard of before.

We were meeting a group for a Spanish Inquisition tour in Plaza Mayor that night, so we made a point of showing up about an hour early to watch the crowd. We sat toward the back of the square, and the upbeat concert and parade of characters that came and went made the time pass by incredibly fast and also made me immediately want to share photos.

 

After trimming down dozens of duplicates and missed shots, here are some of my favorites:

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Kate has been traveling the world full-time for more than 3 years. She tries to keep a balance between going on new adventures and exploring favorite destinations (like Italy!) in depth, and is always on the lookout for the next beautiful overlook and delicious meal.

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