My Trip to Madrid, Spain

In the late Summer, my family and I decided to fly out to Madrid (Spain). Barely off the plane, we were welcomed by the blazing afternoon sunshine. Unsure of what to expect in such a vibrant city made us all the more excited to see all the charms and hidden gems Spain had to offer.  After a quick stop at the Hotel, we all went for a walk around the local area in search for some food and much needed water.

Strolling about for a good half an hour to forty-five minutes, not knowing where we were going and having walked around in circles a couple of times, we did not care. It would have made sense to use Google Maps, but we were too busy being intrigued by the complete structural differences of Madrid and London as well as enjoying the scent of olives every few metres. As Madrid is the Capital and right at the heart of Spain, we had assumed it would be relatively similar to London but that was not the case. After some searching, we found the high-street and thankfully some places to eat and made our way back.

Scorching temperatures, suntan of three shades darker, olives everywhere and stunning sites full of history and culture

Day 2: Our first stop was to hire a car. Let me tell you guys that this was a lifesaver and the best decision to make. Before leaving London, we’d noted down some places to visit and as soon as we got the car we wanted to start ticking them off. Our first stop was Parque del Buen Retiro. A magnificent public park filled with sculptures and a lake. Within the park itself there was so many attractions to see including the Casita del Pescador, which looked like a small bright coral coloured temple or hut, a rose garden and the Palacio de Cristal (meaning crystal palace).

Day 3, and our next stop was Mezquita Basharat (Basharat Mosque) in Pedro Abad. The foundation stone was laid by the third Khalifa (rh), inaugaretd by the fourth Khalifa (rh) and visited by our current Khalifa (aba). This blessed mosque that has been visited by three Khalifa’s of Ahmadiyyat was a top priority for us to visit too. What a shame it would be to go to Spain and not visit an iconic part of our Jamaat. Despite being above the motorway, there was a peaceful and quiet aura surrounding the mosque. At the gate again, you are welcomed by this amazing scent of olives. The mosque was absolutely stunning and different from anything I could have imagined. The brick interior and designs were outstanding. We were given a tour around the places, but what caught my eye the most was the different fruit bushes and trees planted around the mosque. There was a very homey vibe. The members of the jamaat also very kindly prepared food for us.

After saying our prayers, we travelled a little further to Córdoba to visit the historical Mezquita de Córdoba. From the outside it looked like a spectacular fortress. Upon entering into the foyer there are lines upon lines of orange trees. The inside of the mosque was made up multiple columns made of marble and granite. Looking from top to bottom you could see the deep intricate engravings and craftsmanship which left you in awe. The hours that must have been spent in building this mosque is unimaginable. History shows that this mosque had been taken over and changed into a cathedral and there was clear evidence in all the statues of Jesus (as) and Christian symbols all over the mosque.

After saying our prayers, we travelled a little further to Córdoba to visit the historical Mezquita de Córdoba. From the outside it looked like a spectacular fortress. Upon entering into the foyer there are lines upon lines of orange trees. The inside of the mosque was made up multiple columns made of marble and granite. Looking from top to bottom you could see the deep intricate engravings and craftsmanship which left you in awe. The hours that must have been spent in building this mosque is unimaginable. History shows that this mosque had been taken over and changed into a cathedral and there was clear evidence in all the statues of Jesus (as) and Christian symbols all over the mosque.

The part that stood out the most to me was, the Mihbrab had not been removed by the Christians. It was locked off so you couldn’t get too close, but it was a sight like nothing else. The Mihrab was from bottom to top made up of marble and gold with an astounding geometric pattern of Quranic verses. It was a sight like no other and showed how God all mighty protected this area for it to not have been destroyed or changed in anyway. No pictures can do justice of the beauty of the mosque. It was structured in a way that the Mihrab was in the perfect position so that when the time for Adhan or Friday sermon came, the voice would echo to the corners of the building.

Outside the mosque was the Guadalquivir river with the most gorgeously blue water. crossing the bridge, we could see the beauty of the mosque from a distance and how it stood out above everything else. After this, being the girl that I am we decided to go shopping for a few hours. Just around the corner was a shopping centre, what better place than to spend my father’s money.

Day 4: after our adventures in the south, we drove back up to Madrid to enjoy another day visiting local tourist attractions including the Real Madrid Stadium, a bit more shopping and driving past historical buildings in the city such as the Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace.

Day 5: on our final day we visited the Zoo and Aquarium where the child within me came out. Taking a map, I made it my mission to visit as many animals as possible before we had to leave for the airport. Watching the dolphin. Seal and bird shows were the highlights for me and none of us wanted to leave. Alas, it was time to say farewell to Spain and return the car as we made our way to the airport. With so many more places to see I am looking forward and praying for a chance to visit again.