Madrid is without a doubt our favorite place in the world. On a recent trip back to the states, we had the pleasure to attend a World Pride Madrid pre-party with amazing hosts (yes drag queens!), fabulous guests and a particularly Spanish flare not often found in New York City. The event was intended to introduce Madrid and World Pride to the US audience, who for reasons we can't quite figure out, don't fully know about Madrid and it's reputation as a gay friendly destination.
Madrid, the capital city in the middle of Spain, is a fantastic travel destination any time of year. Most visitors head to Spain to experience Barcelona, but Madrid is just a quick 3 hour train ride away with the high speed AVE train. The center is historic, the museums are renowned, the parks are gorgeous and its nightlife is astounding. Madrid really only lacks a body of water for the hotter months, but it makes up for this with plenty of swimming pools, some just outside the center and others on rooftops terraces in the middle of everything. The open-minded, easy-going city once again held its annual Pride event, this time on the 10th anniversary of the legalization of marriage equality in Spain back in 2005 and will be the location for the upcoming World Pride to be held in 2017.
Madrid hosts one of the most fun and exciting pride events in Europe and throughout the world. Madrid Pride is 6 days of great events, concerts, activities and parties. It’s the largest gay pride celebration in Europe bringing in 1.5 million attendees.
When we first arrived in Reykjavik, it felt oddly familiar yet wholly distinct. Though Iceland is a European country, something about its capital city just doesn’t feel European. Perhaps it’s the way the sun hangs oddly in the sky not quite right with the time of day. Or the iconic use of colorful corrugated iron in the buildings and houses. Or how it feels more like a small winter ski town in the mountains than a capital metropolis where almost two-thirds of the country’s 325,000 inhabitants live. Whatever it may be, Reykjavik has a remarkable charm born from its European ties just as well from its island isolation, but still a charm all its own.