Hala Madrid

Hala Madrid

One of the most-visited countries in the world, Spain offers tourists a number of historic cities, towns and major destinations, including Madrid and Barcelona. With unmatched attractions, this Iberian nation is devoted to living the good life, and it’s more diverse than one can imagine. Fashion designer Ashwin visited Madrid along with a film unit to shoot for a project. He stayed in the heart of the country for a few days enjoying its number of attractions, ample nature, rich culture and steeped history.
 
“More than a city, it’s a way of life,” Ashwin says. “Going to Spain was both work and pleasure. Though we were shooting for a movie, the pace was so wonderful that it was more like a beautiful holiday. The city was magical – warm, welcoming and open to everyone. In fact, most of the time I was just observing the people around me: how they dress, their culture and the places. It was so fun just watching them.”
 
Madrid is also a haven for food connoisseurs with its dozens of top-class restaurants, as well as many sophisticated places and cosmopolitan attractions. The city is famous around the world for its Museo del
 
Ashwin in Mandrid 
Prado, a renowned museum featuring the royal art collection. Madrid is also home to some of the biggest plays and concerts, as well as an interesting shopping destination where international brands mix with local shops. You can find almost everything: clothing, shoes, food, wines and souvenirs.
 
“People generally get used to the place, do some sightseeing, and go shopping. But the moment I landed here, the first thing I did was hit the stores.
 
I started with GranVia, very famous place and huge street with major brands,” Ashwin says. Some tourists compare it with Times Square in New York City because it has dozens of theatres and cinemas. You can find shops such as Zara, H&M, El Corte Inglés, Cortefiel and some renowned jewellers.
 
 
Ashwin in Friend 
Ashwin would shoot during the day and travel afterwards in the evenings, sometimes stealing the time between travelling to go sightseeing. “The weather was amazing. There was daylight right from 5.30 am until late, perhaps 10.30 pm. I had lot of time on my hands to do what I wanted, and there was so much to do and many places to go. One day, I hopped on a tour bus that took me to places of architectural significance.”
 
He also suggests that while in Madrid, one should stay at the Westin Palace. It’s in the centre of the city and has easy accessibility from all the areas. Furthermore, the nightlife in Spain is very attractive to both tourists and locals alike. It’s reputed to have some of the best in the world; a favourites among those who enjoy large and popular discothèques.
 
 
Ashwin in Mandrid 
“The people here party like crazy, and the nightlife never stops. Be it Monday or Sunday, you can find people partying until the early hours. I fell in love with a local Spanish drink, enjoying plenty of it with both lunch and dinner,” says Ashwin, who feels that Madrid is a city that lives it life on the streets. “A lot of open places by the roadside to eat at mean that sitting at a café, one can catch up over coffee or tapas.
 
Interestingly, the seats are facing all towards the roads. People love to watch other people on the streets.”
From Madrid, Ashwin went to the Andalusian city of Seville, an enchantingly beautiful place which is a bit of modern yet still holds its Old World charm. While on the one hand there are beautiful swanky cars about Seville, you can also see horse-drawn carts. “This place gave me one of my best memories. I made a lot of friends there, and we used to shoot during mornings. The nights were my holidays. We were at one of the universities and fell for its architectural beauty.”
 
Ashwin in Malaga 
From Seville they went to the beachside town of Malaga. “It’s a laidback place, sort of like a resort town. People go there to enjoy nature and just relax. The town shuts down by 7 pm.” From there, Ashwin took off to Switzerland. He had lived here for eight years, and stayed in Zurich for three days going sightseeing.                                                                                                                       ..... Rahul