Madrid November 2017

November 2017
November 2017
  • Day11

    Charlotte airport

    November 12, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 43 °F

    Arrived to mid 40’s temps and rainy. Took about 30 minutes to pass through customs check - that’s always fun. Do you have any food that you are bringing in? Uh, yes, we have a 10 lb Iberian ham that is getting rather stinky. Would that be an issue?

    Out to the ground transportation area which is sort of a mob scene of confusion (they have a lot of construction going on at the airport - no one knows for sure what they are doing). Climb on the bus - total madness - people sitting on top of people. Woman with tiny baby carrying enormous amts of luggage that have to be offloaded at each stop so others can get out and then reloaded. How she was managing all this on her own, is beyond me. A tough cookie.

    We finally get out - get to the car - it starts! $72 later, we are out of the airport and driving through the dark and rain and construction of I-77 going home. Hard to see the lanes in the dark - not exactly what you want to come home to. At least it was a Sunday, but nonetheless, traffic was heavy. Got most of the way home and then went over a bump of some sort which must have slightly dislodged side door and the inside lights came on, with the alarm going off constantly - so we finally managed to pull over and get that tamed.

    Back home to see the cats have survived and are quite talkative. Good news - was worried about Willow - who is getting older and thinner. But she’s tough and hung in there!
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  • Day11

    Munich airport

    November 12, 2017 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 39 °F

    Cold and rainy as we touch down at 0935. Through passport control - finally! Lesson - choose your line carefully.

    2 hrs before departure - too tired to be hungry. Strange looking cheese omelette on way into Munich from Madrid Think quality of food on Lufthansa is slipping

    Departing on time after sitting around for a few hours. Looking at a 10 hr flight - due to arrive about 5pm CLT time.

    Watching “Wonder Woman” movie - ridiculous of course, but sucked up some time. Food again is mediocre - Lufthansa - I know you want me to fly First class for an upgrade on the food, but that isn’t happening!
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  • Day11

    Departure Day

    November 12, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 39 °F

    Got up at 4 this morning. AirBnB Host had ordered us s taxi for 0500. Got about 4 hrs sleep. Driver was 5 minutes early. Had us at the airport by 0515 Flat 30 Euros for taxi rides to the airport. Breezed thru TSA , except for Janet of course. Janet is always hauled out of line and put through the 3rd degree. With my terrorist in tow, we arrive at the gate by 0530. Boarding at 0655. Depart at 0730. Could have slept another hour!!Read more

  • Day9

    Church of the Black Madonna

    November 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 54 °F

    Janet always has to visit a church that has a Black Madonna, patron saint of Poland, so off we trekked some 20 minutes from the Thyssen to check this out.

  • Day9

    Thyssen Museum

    November 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    Another museum! Feet are starting to woof. Portraits and landscapes - not bad, although this was a period of rather dark (literally) paintings, so not the most exciting stuff I’ve seen - got better near the end of the exhibit.

  • Day9

    La Bola - lunch

    November 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    Eating - Cocido Madrilenńo. Wonderful! cash only. Going to be close! - Whew - we had 66 Euros and the meal came to 53. The waiter even helped me put on my jacket as I left - probably hoping we’d get the heck out! Just kidding - very nice waiter and hostess. A meal that is basically stew and really tasty, polished off with a huge jug of wine.Read more

  • Day8

    Toledo

    November 9, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 41 °F

    A day in Toledo! Woke up early because we had to meet Alfonso some 20 minutes away. He had sent us the address, so it was a matter of using Google maps (which I’ve been using for all my transit stuff) to get to his apt. Knew from his profile that he was about 28 years old. We had paid up front - 10 Euros for the both of us each way. Short metro ride and then about a 6 block walk and we were there! He popped out of his apt on the dot and there was Janet and I and one other guy and off we went! Nice new car - took us about an hour to get to Toledo. He dropped us in the middle of town and we were ready for a day of exploring. We arranged to meet him again at 1900 (7pm) to take us back when he got off work. As it turns out, he is working on an environmental project there in Toledo, building some sort of park. His wife practices family law back in Madrid. He learned his English studying in London. - also speaks French because he works for a French company. Said it was a lot easier to learn French than English, which makes sense since French/Spanish are Romance languages.

    Our first stop was to grab some breakfast and we stupidly sat down at an outdoor cafe in the main square, which is a move you should never make as you know you are going to get hosed. But we were hungry and I was feeling grumpy till I got food disappearing down my windpipe, so we sat down for a few Spanish omelette and about $30 later we were done. Food was ok, but the bill made me choke a bit.

    Stopped at the tourism office for a quick moment to get a map - the guy circled about 10 things in rapid fire order and said see ya later. He smiled and everyone else did like they had just bestowed the greatest favor on us. Had to chuckle a bit over that - never used the map - went back to Google Maps and headed off to the Cathedral, which I kid you not, is friggin’ awesome. Probably not the best words to describe a cathedral, but this church tops all churches that I have seen in Europe. We spent about 3 hours there.

    Left there and just started wandering. Knew there was a church that had great views of the city - thought we had it pinpointed. Went to it, paid the entrance fees, walked up in the tower and thought - “gee, this view is not really that great”. Back down we went , got outside the church, fired up Google maps and said - “Whoops!” - There’s the church we were supposed to be seeing! So more money and got to climb another tower that did indeed provide the views we were looking for!

    More wandering and then sat down in a restaurant and had Tapas and glasses of wine before wandering back to meet Alfonso. Hour back to Madrid, we hit the grocery store for more wine and coffeee, then metro it back to the apt. All in all - a great day, made very easy by BlaBla Car (https://www.blablacar.co.uk).

    Pictures to follow!
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