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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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    • 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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    • Day 54

      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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    • Day 53

      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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    • Day 52

      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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    • 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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    • Day 2


      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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    • Day 24

      Madrid day 4

      October 17 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Started our day with a guided tour of the Prado museum. Wonderful guide who showed us all the most important pieces and described the history, significance and symbolism. After the tour she took us to a famous and very old (opened in 1827) vermouth and tapas bar. We were treated to a glass of Casa Alberto vermouth - to open up the palette - after which our guide took us to Botin restaurant (founded in 1725), famous for its roast suckling pig. We were served that and a cheese cake with a custard type centre. So good. We left our amazing guide Rosita after the meal.

      Mary and I walked to the Presidential Palace but did not go in as the ticket line was super long. We did however get a good photo looking down over the city and watched an accordion player for a bit. My favorites were his variations of Imagine and Time to Say Goodbye.

      Tonight we walked to a gin club - La Pasa Gin Bar - near our hotel. Such a lovely young man who owns the place. He talked us through many of his Spanish gins. We had to try a couple each 😏 particularly liked the writing on my gin glass - I'm not old, I am vintage.
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    • Day 23

      Madrid day 3

      October 16 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Madrid continues to impress. Beautiful buildings and gardens, gin clubs and restaurants galore. Today we had lunch in a great place that I would describe as granville island on steroids, shopped (Mary bought a pair of shoes, fancy trainers), saw an impressive 12 foot sculpture (part of a city program to show the art of locals for up to a year), visited the national library (Mary's happy place), had dinner with a former NDI colleague I've not seen since 2002 and visited a gin club where we tried a new to us spanish gin.Read more

    • Day 20


      October 13 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

      Mary and I boarded a train to Madrid this morning. Mary has been here many times before - it being one of her favorite cities but this is my first time. It is a beautiful city! The beautiful buildings are everywhere. We stopped at a nice cocktail bar for a Spanish gin before continuing our travels through the public gardens in which families and friends were gathering for Friday evening visits. Then we found a long pedestrian street with many outdoor restaurants. We had a wonderful salad and some paella. Finally in an alley, on our return walk to our hotel we spied an amazing six story mural.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Madrid, Мaдрид, ማድሪድ, Madrit, مدريد, ܡܕܪܝܕ, Мадрид, Горад Мадрыд, মাদ্রিদ, མ་ད་རིད།, Mā-dáik-lī, مەدرید, Madridi, Μαδρίτη, Madrido, Madril, Mairil, مادرید, Maidrid, Mâ-tet-lî, Makelika, מדריד, मद्रिद, Մադրիդ, MAD, マドリード, მადრიდი, ಮಡ್ರಿಡ್, 마드리드, Madrîd, Matritum, Madridas, Madride, മാഡ്രിഡ്, माद्रिद, မဒရစ်မြို့, Мадрид ош, म्याड्रिड, माद्री, ମାଡ୍ରିଦ, ਮਾਦਰੀਦ, Madryt, 28001, Мадрід, मद्रिद्, Madrids, மத்ரித், Madríd, มาดริด, Lungsod ng Madrid, مادرىد, میدرد, מאדריד, 馬德里

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