Spain
Plaza de Alonso Martínez

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8 travelers at this place

  • Day1

    Travel day

    November 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Since we are in the carpe diem mode of travel this fall, we have added one more trip. Joe really wanted to go back to Madrid, where we lived with the kids for an academic year in 1994-95. He has been back a time or two, but not as much as I have, so it seemed reasonable. Somehow our itinerary goes from Champaign to Dallas to Madrid. I didn’t pay much attention when I was booking the tickets, but now that I have looked at a map, I can say that every one of the 813 miles between Champaign and Dallas is going away from Madrid. That means we have a VERY long flight ahead of us. No upgrade, no great seat, we will be pretty done in when we get there tomorrow.

    Of our three fall trips, this will be the easiest and most relaxed. No moving around, except that we may take a day trip to Toledo or Segovia. We will also spend next weekend out in Soto del Real, where our dearest Spanish friends live. So this should be a fun trip.

    Update — we are here! Easy taxi ride into the center. As usual, we got quite the political lesson from the taxi driver. The polls are open, for the fourth national election in four years. Things are very complicated and messy, but the consensus is that the only party that stands to gain from calling new elections is Vox, the extreme right.

    Our hotel is very nice, has a little fitness center, and Joe is going to nap while I go try out the elliptical.
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  • Day3

    Retiro!!!

    November 12, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    We are falling into a routine of museum in the morning, and then walking for a few hours after lunch. Today we started at the National Archaeological Museum, because Joe wanted to see the Dama de Elche again (an Iberian funerary urn from the 4th Century BC). I went with some apprehension because I remembered this museum as a musty old dark place. Well, turns out there has been a total renovation and it is now one of the most airy and well-laid out museums I have ever been to. Goes from Prehistory, through Iberian, Roman, Visigothic, medieval. Displays are not crowded, with just enough info in both Spanish and English. Just gorgeous.

    After a light lunch, we spent the next several hours in the Retiro, one of the most beautiful urban parks anywhere. Lots of memories of Sunday mornings there with the kiddos. Today we hit 8 miles, so Joe decided not to call it a rest today — he is officially taking a nap.

    We have had two great dinners and are hoping the hotel receptionist is on a roll!
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  • Day4

    Guernica

    November 13, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Museum for the day — Reina Sofía, where Picasso’s Güernica is hanging (it was in NY for many years till Franco’s dictatorship ended). Since no photos are allowed, I’m pasting in the outdoor mural of the painting in the town of Güernica close to their peacetime museum and where the actul bombing took place. No matter how you see it, it packs a real punch.

    We also went into the huge, newly cleaned Cibeles Palace. It used to be the central post office, though it boggles to mind to think a city would build a post office like that. About a decade ago, town hall was moved to this building, so it now has all city offices and city council chambers. But the public is allowed entry, and you can go up to a terrace high above the plaza for some absolutely terrific views.

    Walking home we once again wove through the Retiro, stopping near the lake to listen to the violinist playing sad autumnal songs. Such a beautiful park.
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  • Day6

    Last day in Madrid

    November 15, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    After a late coffee, we followed a new set of twisty streets in Old Madrid to get to the Thyssen. This museum has at least one painting by every well-known Western artist (EXCEPT Velázquez, surprisingly), but to my way of thinking there are only a couple of really swoon-inducing paintings. But we found a way to spend several hours there, and enjoyed it all very much.

    My favorite was the medieval “pilgrims mass” painting, which showed a pilgrim on the camino begging in church, or at least with his hand outstretched.

    After a good lunch in old Madrid, we took a cab (our very first, we’ve walked everywhere else) to the Debod Temple. When Egypt built the Aswan Dam and flooded parts of the Nile, many temples were in the way. One is now in the Met in NYC, and one is now in Madrid. Since Joe is hopefully going to take a Nile Cruise with a childhood friend this summer while I’m walking in Spain, I thought this was a good introduction!

    Walking home, I realized we were about 6 blocks from my 1970 apartment in Madrid, so I left Joe on a bench and took a quick detour. Galileo 82, 2C — the building is still standing, and looks pretty much the same. Couldn’t resist asking a guy passing by to take my picture, but I realize that a picture of me in a doorway is kind of lame. Hard to believe I lived there almost 50 years ago. Yikes.

    Tomorrow we head to Soto del Real, where our closest Spanish friends live. Weekend in the country!
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  • Day3

    Birthday in Madrid (Part 2)

    August 14, 2019 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    We arrived in Madrid around 10.30am
    Everything was very easy a short wait to go through security collected our bags and followed the sign for metro.
    Purchased tickets from the machine to our hostel.
    We made a good choice for hostel
    Our private room is big and clean with a big King size bed, lovely shower and a little balcony.
    We tryed out our little "Scraber" washing bag and did a load of washing, then hung it out to dry, then went for a walk to find some coffee.

    I called into a couple of mobile phone shops to find out about prepaid sims. I think ill go with Orange only 15€ for 7gb and 400 mins I think it includes all of Europe, so should also work in France and I think the 6 hours of calls include international i will call in and buy a couple tomorrow morning.

    We found a little Cafe and bought chicken baggets and coffee, the Coffee was great so we had another with my birthday cake (apple tarts) . The owner spoke good English and was very friendly.
    We were getting tired so back to the room.
    Went to sleep and woke up at 2am
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Plaza de Alonso Martínez, Plaza de Alonso Martinez

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