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    • Day 5

      Madrid Part 2

      September 1 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

      Walked 12 miles today.

      Started the day with the buffet breakfast at our hotel. I tried the pan con tomate. It was tasty but it's really hard to beat the freshly baked croissant. We spent the rest of the morning waking it off in the Parque del Retiro.

      We shopped and ate throughout the afternoon. I found several fabric stores but was only able to shop at two of them before they all closed for siesta. The Mercado de San Miguel was crowded and fun for tapas.

      We capped the night with an intimate flamenco show. They only allowed us to record the opening song. I really enjoyed the show. The female dancer made beautiful shapes with her dress and body. The male dancer looked like Rick Springfield (enough said there).

      Tomorrow we head for Pamplona.
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      Traveler  So exciting!! Are you starting in Pamplona or St Jean’s?

      Traveler  St. Jean.

       Súper [Lourdes Pérez]

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    • Day 2

      T-Minus 3 Days

      August 30 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

      Spent the day tooling around Madrid, saw the Royal Palace (audio guided tour), the oldest restaurant in the world (and ate there), a bunch of fabric and show stores, and then we had a plate of churros and a cup of dipping chocolate, mmmm.Read more

      Traveler  Love Botín!

      Traveler  Someone has to keep an eye on you two....lovin' your pics!!!! Can't wait for more!!!

      Traveler  Checked Guinness. That place is old!!! Hope it was fantastic!!!

      Traveler  Is that Sangria????????? Sorry just catching up!!!!

    • Day 3

      Madrid Part 1

      August 30 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 77 °F

      We put 8 miles on our feet exploring some of Madrid's delights. Started out with a simple but filling breakfast, walked up Calle Atocha through Plaza Mayor to the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena. We toured the cathedral and marveled at its beauty. One room covered in gorgeous mosaics didn't allow photography so you'll have to check it out for yourselves.

      Next we toured the Royal Palace and said hi to King Felipe and Queen Letizia (ok, it was a painting). Lots of beautiful art and tapestries. After that, a well earned lunch in the cave at El Botín, operating since 1752.

      For dessert, churros and chocolate at Chocolatería San Gines. Yum!

      We did a little more walking and window shopping, then picked up some Jamón Iberico de Bellota to nibble on later.
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       Makes me hungry! Looks so nice. Have fun sight seeing. [Anna]

      Traveler  Inspired by the endurance you both have displayed, I walked 5 miles through my neighborhood. Nothing like this! Although I might have heard a pig oinking. Or suckling? Fantastic pictures Rebel Gina!!!

      Traveler  SO wonderful to see you both having such a relaxing and delicious time!!!

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    • Day 54


      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?😆

    • Day 53

      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


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

    • Another Day in Madrid

      August 27 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      I stayed in bed all night, the first step to conquering my jet lag. I went to bed at about 11pm and stayed in bed until 7am. Staying in bed is different than sleeping though. I woke up quite a bit through the night but forced myself to stay in bed and try to get back to sleep. Baby steps.

      I had two things on my agenda to do today; the world famous Sunday El Rastro Open Air Market and a walking tour of Madrid.

      The market is literally 10 metres from my hostel so just had to fall out of bed for that one. It opened at 9am so I was a bit early so popped into a local bakery and had a ham and cheese quiche sort of thing and some pig’s ears . The Spanish call them Palmeras / Palmiers, but as soon as I saw them, I knew I had to have a Schweinsoerchen for Jörg.

      I then ventured into the market at 9am where quite a few were still setting up. I wandered and thought, oh yeah, this is big, but only a little bigger than the Duncan Farmers Market, but then I wandered a little further and saw that there were branches off on each block. I read on Wiki there are hundreds of vendors. It had all the typical flea market stuff like clothes, bags, art, jewellery etc. There were quite a few vendors that had tables of clothes that were just in a heap for 1-5 Euros. I would have loved to dig through the piles but I was too scared I would find something (and add weight to my already heavy backpack).

      As I was wandering the market, I started to not feel so good, like I wanted to throw up. I headed back to the hostel and slept for 45 mins before getting up for the walking tour starting at 11am. I felt better, was it the pig’s ear?

      The walking tour was good, not great, but good. There was more standing than walking for the 3 hours. We went to some of the same places I already wandered to yesterday but I did hear about some of the history. One place I didn’t get to yesterday was the palace and cathedral and they were quite nice. There was a lookout in between looking over part of the city. I just realized today how much more I like nature over architecture. I do like both of them, but I felt a type of excitement bubble inside me as soon as I saw a hint of green at the distant lookout. The view it self wasn’t any more spectacular than I have seen in other parts of the world, but the joy inside was clear. I assume that is why I am so drawn to hiking and living in BC.

      After the tour I decided I would just go back to the hostel, do some laundry and spend some me time, reading, stretching, rubbing my feet with cream etc. At 4:30pm I finished my laundry and starting to pack away the clothes when ... zzzzzzzzzzzz. I woke up at 7:30pm with clothes all around me.

      I really wanted to go back to sleep but I needed to finish packing up my backpack tonight as I will be getting up early in the morning to leave. Well, really not early, 8am, but to people in Madrid, that is early. They have their afternoon siesta so they stay up into the early morning. I just want to minimize the disturbance in the morning.

      Ok, well, it is 10:00pm now and I am going to try and get back to sleep, I have a 3 hour train ride tomorrow to Pamplona. Two days until take off!

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       The market and walk sound fantastic but I am like you I can only take crowds and traffic for so long. [Maureen]

      Traveler  Love your stories Julie. I actually would like to be there. So many experienced

       I’m so excited for you…you’re a very conscientious traveller 🧳 love [Lela Gammon]

       didn’t get to finish…love your posts…thanx & stay safe…💃🏻…have fun…💐 [Lela]

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    • Arriving in Madrid

      August 25 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

      I arrived at OK hostel in Madrid at 3pm after being awake for 26 hours and two delayed flights. I think I have now become one of “those people” who cannot sleep on planes. I was exhausted and hungry, so I went in search for quick food, and I found it, McDonald’s. I know I will have lots of opportunities for authentic Spanish food so I don’t feel any guilt (ok obviously I have a smidge of guilt or I wouldn’t have mentioned it!)
      I then went back to the hostel for a nap.

      I woke up around 8:30pm so decided to join the community dinner. Met a very nice couple from Quebec and they persuaded me to go on an organized bar crawl with the hostel. There were about 25 of us and it started at 11:15pm. We went to three different bars and got free tequila shots at each. They were dance clubs, and it was a stark reminder that I am no longer in my 20s. I embraced the atmosphere at first, moving around the club, needing to brush against everyone just to move closer to the bar to get our free shot. It wasn’t until 2:00am that we got into our third club (which is open until 6am of which my guide informed me enthusiastically). Just after 3:00am, it was time for me to call it quits and leave my new friends to close out the bar. I had a good time, but the crowds and the noise was just way too much by that time. I was back and in bed around 4am. You would think I would sleep through the day, but I was wide awake at 6am, so have decided to try and stay up for the day as 6-7am will be my normal waking hours on the Camino.

      When I was on the plane, I thought about Jörg quite a bit. The most consistent thought is that he should be here with me. I know most would say he is here in spirit with me, but it is absolutely not the same. We had a tradition of holding hands whenever we took off and landed, so I made a fist and held his hand.

      During dinner, I was telling my new friends (Max and Laura) all about Jörg. He is obviously integrated into most of my memories and conversations. I love talking about him and sharing his stories. Max is a kite surfer and did some surfing in Tofino. At one point Max asked me where is my husband. I decided to tell them he had passed. This will be a daily decision I need to make and not entirely sure I know how I am going to handle it. On one hand, I don’t need to tell everyone, especially if they are just a passing acquaintance. Later in the evening I was talking to a couple from Austria and I mentioned Jörg was from Germany. They asked where do we live, and I just said we live in Canada. There was no need to go into more, especially in the middle of a club. I know there will become a time I will start saying “my late husband” when telling the stories but I am not ready for that yet. Not sure I will ever be ready, but not my worry for today.

      After typing this out, I am now ready for a nap … so much for staying up. TTYL (Talk to you later)
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      Traveler  We love reading your journey and look forward to read more

       Thank you,Julie... It's almost like I am there also [Rosemary Catherwood]

       Thank you for including us on your journey ❤️ [Caroline Taylor]

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    • A Day in Madrid

      August 26 in Spain ⋅ 🌬 30 °C

      Survived another day in Madrid. I had breakfast at 8am and afterwards I was ready to crash again. Slept until 11:00am. Some of you may know this but there is another route to Santiago de Compestela that starts in Madrid. I posted online in my Facebook Camiga group asking if I should get a stamp from Madrid even though I was starting in SJPDP. The answer was a resounding yes and one person even replied that they live and Madrid and looked up the hours of the church that gives the stamp and it was open from 10-1 so off I went. I got my stamp.

      I will admit that going in the Santiago Church here in Madrid had an impact on me. God and I are not on good terms right now and I told him that. In spite of my feelings, when I sat in the church alone I still felt an overpowering feeling of love.

      I then did a walk about. Hit all the tourist spots like Plaza Mayor, Puerta del sol (the middle of Madrid and Spain), Parque de el Retiro and Decathlon. Ok, Decathlon isn’t a tourist destination, but I was on the hunt for a few items. One was some hiking sticks. I decided at the last minute to not take my hiking poles with me as I was taking my backpack as carry on and there were mixed reviews as to whether the airport security would allow it. I didn’t want the hassle. I decided I would buy them here. I know they sell them in SJPDP, but thought I would try to get sooner. The Decathlon store was very small and they only had a couple types and I didn’t like them.

      I was also on the hunt for some socks for my sandals. GASP! I am becoming one of “those people”, socks with sandals ... It is painful just typing these words. I am so dead set against this, but when you need it, fashion goes out the window. I wore my sandals out during my 4 hours of clubbing last night and then after about 5km today I could feel blisters starting to form. I tried to put bandages on the spots to prevent them but my sandals are so tight fitting that they would rip off just when I put my sandal on. I then thought that perhaps if I put bandages on the spot and then put socks over them, that may help keep them in place. So I bought some short running socks that were subtle and matched my sandals. Problem solved, but I will need to try and evade the fashion police.

      After the walk, I came back for another nap, then down for dinner again at the hostel. I have now had my first traditional Spanish dish, Paella so the guilt of yesterday’s McDonalds is now absolved. TTYL
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      Traveler  Thanks for the pictures and the video.

      Traveler  It is good whatyou do.

      Traveler  But take care.🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

      7 more comments
    • Day 52


      August 30 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Tag 1:
      Unser Zug Richtung Madrid ist um 8 Uhr gefahren. Zuerst lief auch alles super, doch dann hatte der 2. Zug Verspätung, wodurch unser Plan B ins Wasser gefallen ist. Endlich angekommen in Badajoz wurde uns gesagt dass die komplette 2. Klasse nach Madrid schon ausgebucht ist. Entweder wir schlafen eine Nacht in Badajoz obwohl das Hostel in Madrid schon gebucht ist und fahren am nächsten Tag weiter oder wir kaufen ein 1. Klasse Ticket für sage und schreibe 87€. Nach kurzer Überlegung haben wir uns für das teure Ticket entschieden, um unsere Zeit in Madrid nicht "zu verschwenden". Als wir in den Zug gestiegen sind wurden wir jedoch sehr enttäuscht von der 1. Klasse. Naja, jedenfalls haben wir es dann endlich nach Madrid geschafft. Unser Hostel ist sehr schön und hat gratis Kaffee und Churros Morgens.

      Tag 2:
      Heute sind wir für ein bisschen Sightseeing in die Stadt und haben ein paar Sehenswürdigkeiten angeschaut, unter anderem die Kathedrale von Madrid, die echt sehr schön war und den Palast. Nach dem Mittagessen sind wir noch in einen coolen Vintage Shop gegangen. Abends wollten wir noch schnell Wäsche waschen, was sich wegen zu wenig Waschmaschinen allerdings als eine sehr lange Aktion bis 0 Uhr rausgestellt hat.

      Tag 3:
      Zum Beginn des Tages haben wir bei einer Stadtführung mitgemacht, woch wir ein paar nette Leute kennengelernt und einiges über Madrid gelernt haben. Nach dem Mittagessen sind wir etwas durch die Stadt geschlendert, haben Reservierungen für unsere Züge gekauft und zu Abend gekocht. Das Highlight des Tages war aber auf jeden Fall eher die Nacht. Wir haben mit den Leuten aus unserem Hostelzimmer beim Pub crawl mitgemacht. Wir waren insgesamt in 3 Bars, wo wir jeweils einen free shot bekommen haben und sind nach der letzten noch Churros essen gegangen. Unser Guide bei der Stadtführung hat uns nämlich gesagt, dass man in Spanien nach dem feiern gehen eigentlich immer Churros essen geht und es deswegen auch der bekannteste Laden der Stadt 24 Stunden offen hat. Tatsächlich waren die Churros dort auch sehr lecker.

      Tag 4:
      Nachdem wir letzte Nacht erst um 5 Uhr im Bett waren, haben wir heute erstmal ordentlich ausgeschlafen. Leider wird das Wetter jetzt schlechter und es regnet. Logische Schlussfolgerung: Wir gehen shoppen. Danach haben wir uns noch einen extrem leckeren Falafelteller mit Hummus geteilt. Abends saßen wir dann mit den Leuten aus unserem Zimmer zusammen.

      Tag 5:
      Unser Tag hat mal wieder mit einem Tgtg Frühstück gestartet. Gestärkt sind wir dann zum Stadion. Nachdem es aber so stark geregnet hat, habaen wir uns dann in ein Café gesetzt.

      Tag 6:
      Heute war Abreisetag und wir mussten um 5 Uhr aufstehen. Nachdem heute in Madrid wieder Weltuntergang war, war der Weg zum Bahnhof mit Regenschützen für die Rucksäcke und Regenjacken für uns durch die Straßen, die sich in reißende Flüsse verwandelt hatten, ein wahres Abenteuer. Es ist ein Wunder, dass wir nicht weggeschwommen sind...
      Unser Fazit zu Madrid: Es ist eine Stadt, in der man sich sehr wohl fühlt. Wir haben hier das erste mal viele Leute kennengelernt und auch Sachen mit ihnen unternommen. Insgesamt eine 9,66/10.
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      Traveler  improvisierte Planung ist manchmal nötig. Viel Spaß in Madrid

      Traveler  Danke :)

      Traveler  Sieht nach viel Spaß aus 🤩

      3 more comments
    • Day 51

      “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.


      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


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


      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. ❤️


      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.


      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.

      4 more comments

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Madrid, Madryt

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