Spain
La Latina

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    • Day54

      Madrid

      June 13, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

      Breakfast came with my hotel room so I had a lazy morning. I then walked up to the Cortes area to have a look around.

      After lunch I went to the Thyssen-Bornemisza gallery as suggested by Sandra. It was much bigger than I expected and had a huge range of artists. The highlight was an immersive musical video installation by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson which was amazing.

      It was 40 degrees today and very draining. It was a relief to get back to my air conditioned room.

      I heard from my camino friend Lesley from Durham today. She was also suffering an injury and we spent many days with each other filling in time eating, drinking, commiserating and chatting and then later bumping into each other. After a few more days of rest, she began walking again with Ann and Den and today walked into Finistere! An amazing achievement!

      Sleep’n Atocha
      12 kms
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      Traveler

      Had to share a bathroom at the hotel?😆

      6/14/22Reply
       
    • Day53

      Santiago to Madrid

      June 12, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

      I caught an early taxi to the airport for my 9.20am flight to Madrid. We walked alongside the airport on the last leg of the Camino but it seemed much further in the taxi.

      I then caught the airport bus to Atocha Station and my hotel is just a short walk away. It’s another great room with big windows and a balcony overlooking the plaza.

      It’s very hot. I had a walk around the neighbourhood and another gigantic pizza for lunch (and the rest for dinner).

      After a brief siesta I went for a walk through some of Retiro Park and then through the Botanical Gardens. I joined the queue for the free entry into the Prado (every day for the last two hours of opening) but they reached the quota when I was almost at the front of the line. I will try again tomorrow. I have found that entry to most places is greatly reduced for the over 65s so it is fairly economical to go to most museums and galleries.

      Although it is Sunday a lot of shops were open and Madrid is very busy. It is an entirely different pace to my time in Spain so far and I am looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.

      Sleep’n Atocha
      10 kms
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      Traveler

      Love your posts Diane 😍 enjoy your time in Madrid . Xx

      6/12/22Reply
      Narelle Campbell

      Oh that is hot! If you like a beautiful small art gallery visit the stunning Museo Sorolla. Enjoy your last days.

      6/12/22Reply
       
    • Day51

      “Boring” Travel day

      May 11, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

      It’s a “boring” travel day today - tho I still even relish these days. Seeing the different airports, navigating the mass transits, taking the buses, walking up out of the subways into the old squares and seeing them for the first time, even watching the flight attendants do their jobs in all different languages. I can’t understand them - but I know what they’re saying!! I am fascinated by the most mundane and even the routine on this journey.

      We left Bordeaux and flew to Madrid, Spain! Not the end of France for us — We’ll be back to the southern coast the first of July.

      We got in to Madrid in the late afternoon so we made it to our hostel, got our bearings, had a quick bite at a restaurant that is considered the “fast food” of Madrid — had beer, cokes, a small burger, small chicken sandwich AND a flat bread — all for under $10! Crazy. Haven’t seen “cheaper” food (without seriously hunting for it) since Costa Rica. We also went to Los Artesanos 1902, a chocolateria, and had Madrid’s signature churros dipped in hot chocolate - more like a thick chocolate soup! It was delicious! Can’t wait to see what Madrid has to show us in the morning

      This trip feels SO crazy - going to places I only have seen on TV or in the movies. I never imagined I would make it to all of these places. It’s actually really fun seeing the world this way - comparing/contrasting the different cultures as we go from one to the next. I still can’t even absorb what I’m doing tho — as I book the next legs of our journey to places like Switzerland and Budapest! 🤯
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      Traveler

      Uncle Don and I enjoyed our time in Madrid especially the town square’s sitting and watch the people walking about in the evening, grandparents, parents pushing or holding hands of their children. Wonderful memories.

      5/11/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      It seems like a GREAT place to people watch! Too tired tonight, but can’t wait to just sit around and absorb the surroundings tomorrow

      5/11/22Reply
      Traveler

      I love your new perspective on the world! Travel is wonderful for the soul.

      5/11/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      It’s definitely been a life changing experience. And I’m only 7 weeks into it today. It REALLY is good for the soul. ❤️

      5/11/22Reply
      Traveler

      I love that you love the mundane. That was my biggest complaint about Deb when we were in Rome. She was constantly on her phone. I didn't get it. We were in Rome!!! I wanted to soak every last thing in.

      5/12/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      EXACTLY! I’m here to experience everything I can. Seeing it all. Also, jordan doesn’t pay for a sim in each country, so has no access to her phone unless we’re near wifi. I have a very limited data plan, but reserve it for gps needs and such. It’s nice to not be “connected” so not even tempted to sit on our phones — until back in our hostel each night.

      5/12/22Reply
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    • Day52

      Madrid’s beautiful parks & gardens

      May 12, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 73 °F

      We spent the day wandering thru some of the most beautiful botanical gardens and parks today in Madrid. First went to the Jardin Botanical and then to El Retiro Park - both just gorgeous. Both had sections devoted to huge rose gardens and I can’t even describe the smells as we walked through. Very relaxing day, which was really needed after our push thru Paris and Bordeaux.

      Figuring out food in these different countries has almost become comical. We go to pretty authentic places, so most menus aren’t in English. Usually, we can kind of figure out what we’re ordering with google translate and such. But in Madrid especially, it’s been tough. Today’s lunch we had ZERO idea what we were actually going to be given, or even what was in it - ended up being really good, but makes for interesting times.
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      Traveler

      The picture of happiness

      5/13/22Reply
       
    • Day53

      Madrid … day 2

      May 13, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

      So today was a tough day. I snapped. Broke down crying trying to order my breakfast. After so many days in foreign cities/countries, it all got too much for me today. EVERYTHING I do here is so much harder than in “normal” life … ie, ordering food, figuring out where food is, WHAT food is, locating anywhere we want to go, navigating public transport (vs just getting in my car), finding a bathroom, using the shower (handles are all different and backwards). You name it, it takes twice as much effort to accomplish it. Don’t get me wrong - this is a trip of a lifetime, it’s absolutely magical … but some days it’s really hard, too.

      Madrid hasn’t been my favorite city - at least not yet. It’s not quite as “magical” to me as France - but that was a hard act to follow. Jordan came down with the stomach flu today so put a damper on activities - pretty sure it’s not food poisoning since we share almost everything we order, and I’m still feeling great.

      Before Jordan came down sick we did end up getting to the Cathedral de Almudina (the biggest church in Madrid) which was gorgeous as always, and we made it to the Royal Palace. They only allowed pics in one area so couldn’t capture how beautiful it was inside — but damn, trust me, it was amazing.
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      Traveler

      Hang in there!

      5/13/22Reply
      Traveler

      You're bound to have days like this. 50 days is a long time to be on the road and in foreign countries. Don't beat yourself up. Magic is around the corner!!

      5/13/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      I assume.

      5/14/22Reply
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    • Day2

      Madrid

      March 22, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

      رسیدم به مادرید و با مترو رفتم تا هاستلی که تو مرکز شهر رزرو کرده بودم. بعد ازینکه وسایلم رو گذاشتم تو هاستل زدم بیرون تا گشتی تو شهر بزنم و سوپرمارکت برم.
      روز بعد تو مادرید باید چند تا مغازه میرفتم. نمیتونستم عصای کوهنوردی رو تو هواپیما با خودم بیارم بنابراین اون رو از مادرید خریدم. گشتی تو شهر زدم. شهر خیلی قدیمی به نظر نمیاد. ولی شلوغ و زنده بود. مغازه‌ها و رستوران‌ها و کافه‌ها بازن و مردم در جنب و جوش. مثل همه پایتخت‌های دیگه.
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    • Day54

      Last day in Madrid

      May 14, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

      Miles: 7.32 Steps: 17081
      Flights stairs: 15

      Not too sad to be saying goodbye to Madrid - it wasn’t my favorite city. They DO public parks VERY well, I will say. Beautiful green spaces everywhere. But other than that, it wasn’t really for me. Luckily, Jordan woke up to find her stomach bug was all gone. Whatever it was only lasted about 12 hrs.

      We went to Mercado San Miguel for an early lunch of Tapas. Really yummy. Then off to an art museum to specifically see an exhibition of American landscape paintings - the museum wanted to bring American artists work here to show Europeans their talent. It was pretty cool.

      I’m not quite sure what’s up with Europe having Egyptian artifacts, but we visited the Temple of Debod - an actual Egyptian temple it was being destroyed in floods in 1968, and Egypt asked anyone in the world to help save this temple, and Spain came to the rescue. They dismantled, shipped and rebuilt it here. Crazy.

      The plaza mayor is the central gathering place in old town Madrid - we headed there for dinner and a final farewell.
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      Traveler

      We saw meat like that hanging everywhere in Italy too.

      5/14/22Reply
      Traveler

      It must be done!!! Just like the toe shot on the beach.

      5/14/22Reply
      Traveler

      That's a beautiful shot. So pretty all lit up.

      5/14/22Reply
       
    • Day228

      Madrid

      February 24, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      While Ronan and Regal settle into their new surroundings of the boatyard, Ruby, Colm and I take the train to Madrid.
      We arrive into the city centre station after dark and do our best to soak up the big city atmosphere while we walk the 20 minutes to our accommodation carrying our bags.
      Our apartment is in the centre of the old town and we start off the next morning, luggage free, on walking route suggested in ‘The Rough guide to Spain’. It brings us to different churches and plazas and we find the convent it mentions that sells biscuits. The biscuits are dry and a bit of a rip off at 10 euros but the experience is worth it. The nuns in the Convento de los Carboneras are an enclosed order and so we do the whole transaction through a rotating wooden shelf and never catch a glimpse of them. This mystery instills in us a momentary religious fervor and we spend the next 20 minutes in Religious shop. The shopkeeper is surprised at our interest in the Priests vestments, church statutes and mass paraphernalia and very kindly shows us the contents of several tiny portable mass kits.
      We continue ramble through Madrid and arrive at the enormous Palacio Real. Once inside we decide to go straight to the Armoury which is incredible - the Armour they have on display is more elaborate than anything we have seen or read about in fact or fiction. It is hard to imagine people moving in the suits not to mind doing battle in them.
      We continue into the main palace and are blown away by one amazing room after another - So many chandeliers, ceramics, gold, silk covered walls, tapestries, carpets, woodwork and plasterwork. Some of the rooms took years to complete. Photography is prohibited which turns out to be a blessing as I would have taken hundreds of pictures.
      We have a lovely Chinese meal and go to a Chinese jewellery making shop before returning to the apartment- we have more touristy things to do later this evening so we watch a few episodes of Brooklyn 99 and have a few chalky convent biscuits to renew our sightseeing strength.
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    • Day28

      La Latina

      March 7, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      Das Wochenende war natürlich anders als geplant, da ich ja "leider" nicht nach Düsseldorf fliegen konnte. Aber Dank meiner großartigen Spanischlehrerin war meine Planung wieder eher zu voll - außerdem brauchte mein Körper offensichtlich nach den ersten 4 Wochen mal eine ordentliche Kappe Schlaf.

      La Latina ist das In-Viertel Madrids mit zahlreichen tollen Kneipen, Restaurants und Bars. Hier kann man mühelos den ganzen Tagverbringen und sich von Mahlzeit zu Mahlzeit arbeiten. Die Stimmung ist super und Musik und gute Laune machen es einfach sich hier treiben zu lassen.

      Das Wetter hat dieses Wochenende auch endlich wieder mit gespielt.

      El Rastro ist ein wöchentlich stattfindender Markt. Corona kann auch hier den Spaniern nichts anhaben. Es war voll, ausgelassen und zu groß für einen Tag...
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    • Day4

      Leaving Madrid

      September 20, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      We have had a lovely time in Madrid but we must now leave now for Barcelona. A quick beer and cake whilst we wait for a platform is a must. We had Churros for breakfast which you must try if you come here.
      The trains can be very confusing and different ticket desks only sell tickets for certain trains. The local short distance trains arec Renfe Cercanias. The long distance trains are Renfe trains from the Botanical Gardens.
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