| 85 LeanaTajkov is at rst glance just an ordinary girl, but when you ask her about her profession the answer is withoutend, orbeginning.Agraduatecommunicationsexpert, journalist,blogger and former basketball player, she isprimarily shaped by her love of travel, which shewritesabout inherblogTripsandchucks. com. Shewas our host in the Spanish capital of Madrid, which she says won her over when she rst visited it in 2015, andwhere she has been resident since last year. “I already lived in Spainwhile I was active in basketball, but I rst visited Madrid four yearsagoandhavesince returnedseveral times.Agoodclimate,peoplewithgreat energyandhigh-quality foodwereamong the reasonswhy I decided topackmybags andaccept a jobhere last spring.Youknow, this city and its surroundings have all sorts to o er, whether you tour it on foot, with public transport or by bike. However, due to the diversity of the o er, I recommend a combination of all three, because it’s not possible to tour and see everything in just a few days if you only walk.” AccordingtoLeana, a sightseeingtour of thecityshouldstart fromitsfamousgreen oasis of El Retiro Park, where various contents for rest and enjoyment intertwine. “Within it is located the Glass Palace [conservatory], andyoucanoftenjoinclasses of yoga or painting, or simply enjoy a picnic and the sounds of guitars. And as you exit the park you will nd yourself in one of Madrid’s most famous neighbourhoods, Salamanca, which is known as the city’smostbeautifulandmostexpensivedistrict. If, however, youaremoreof anart lover, thenyoumust certainlyvisit theartyEmbajadoresneighbourhood,which ispacked with authentic bars, artworks and gra ti. She says that the city has excellent energy, nightlife and delicious food, but also a big, warm soul... “Manydon’tknowthat there isamountain range close toMadrid, and thatmountaineering and hiking represent a great type of break in nature. Located an hour or two from the city by train, this is a truly ideal place to nd tranquillityand recharge your batteries. For those who like a lively rhythm and want to feel the pace of the city, there is the ‘European Broadway’, the GranVia, whichnever sleeps! Forme, however, the most beautiful streets run parallel to theGranVia.There are situatedworkshopswithhandmadeandpaintedclothes, unique cafés like the Café de la Luz, and plenty of high-quality restaurants o ering good food at decent prices. As a plus, they are much less crowded.” At thementioningof traditional Spanishcuisine,manypeoplethinkofpaella, but Leana reveals to us what should be eaten in Madrid... - Spanish tortillas!They aremade from potatoes, eggs and fried pieces of squid. Gourmets simply must taste the famous local speciality of Callos Madrilenos, Madrid-style tripe, prepared in a tomato, onion, thyme and bay leaf sauce. For meat lovers, the local ham is a must! It occupies a special place in the hearts of Spaniards and isn’t classi ed amongmeats. Because ham is simply – ham. iStock / kasto80