The rain in Spain falls mainly on Madrid

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June 2nd 2008
Published: June 23rd 2008
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Plaza MayorPlaza MayorPlaza Mayor

I love this painted building. I only just noticed that it's paintings of naked and semi-naked women.

...and it rained and rained and rained and rained and rained....

When we arrived in Madrid in January we were pleasantly surprised about the weather. It was mild and sunny and we were able to sit outside on terraces having a drink. But everyone warned us that come May, it would be hot. Really hot. Overwhelmingly hot. Luckily, we like hot so we were secretly pleased and looking forward to the balmy hot days of May and June.

In April it rained. A lot. "It's good", everyone explained, "we need the rain". And yes, there had been some water shortages. There was talk of having to ship water into Barcelona at one point, and a submerged village reappeared in a dry reservoir. So the rain was good, and the reservoirs began to be refilled.

In May it was still raining. "It's O.K", everyone said, "the sun will come out next week and then it will be really HOT".

It's now June and guess what? It's still raining. And the temperature is only in the early 20s. "It's atypical" say the Spanish people we know. The reservoirs are now full. There is no
The puerta de AlcalaThe puerta de AlcalaThe puerta de Alcala

18th century gateway into the city
need for more rain. When is the nice hot weather we were promised going to arrive?? This isn't Spanish weather, it's probably better weather in Leeds.

Kris and Kate's next adventure

It's getting more desperate because we are down to our last month in Madrid. We are returning to the U.K for the summer. We have got jobs working for English First, a language school in Bournemouth. Lots of people from Europe and the rest of the world will be descending on Bournemouth, Oxford, London, Edinburgh and other British historic and/or seaside towns to learn English for their summer holidays. So we are going to be teaching some of them. We will be teaching during the day for 6-8 hours a day, five days a week, and have a room provided in a teacher's residence, near the school and more importantly, near to the beach! It's going to be interesting because we have never taught in a country where we speak the language fluently, and Kris has never lived in the South of England. So it will be a new experience for him. Clearly noone there is going to understand a word he says!. I'm going to get him to order coke at the bar regularly just to see the confused faces. I was at uni in Southampton, so I have friends down there who I haven't seen for years. It will be really good to catch up with them.

Family visits

My family came to visit last weekend. My Mum and Dad came to see Madrid, and my Auntie Liz and Uncle Chris came along with them. It was great to see everyone and show them the city. Obviously, it goes without saying that the weather could have been better. We were all kind of expecting their visit to Spain at the end of May to be sunny and hot....

Of course we were wrong. It rained.

Ah well. We are British so we stuck out our stiff upper lips and enjoyed it anyway. Rain doesn't stop my family having BBQs, so it wasn't going to stop us having a good time in Madrid. Or stop us sitting outside for dinner, despite it being really cold!

They arrived on the Thursday and I managed to meet them for a coffee before work. Kris took them out for tapas
The family enjoying paella The family enjoying paella The family enjoying paella

notice the coats and jumpers
in the evening while I was working, but I caught up with them after work. Fridays are an easy day for both of us, we only teach a couple of hours so we had more time to spend time with them. We went to the cathedral and they went into the Royal Palace while we were at work. We haven't actually been yet, my Dad's opinion is that it's very "gold". Dunno if that's good or bad. In the evening we ate paella in Sol, the main tourist area, which was yum. On Saturday we took the bus to Toledo, as it is probably our favourite place we have visited around Madrid. We took in the sights there and wandered around the narrow streets, admiring the sword shops and the armouries. Some of the sword makers in Toledo made the weapons for films like Lord of the Rings and Highlander, and if you want you can buy a full size replica of Strider 's sword. I don't know what you would do with it, but I'm sure lots of people have them. You know, those people who can also speak Elvish....

On Saturday night we ate in a Thai restaurant that Liz and Chris had found. It's the first time we have eaten Thai outside of Asia. It was good, really tasty. They even had Singha beer, but no Chang. The waitress had never heard of Chang beer. Turned out that she might have looked Thai, but she was in fact Filipino. Ah well. Almost authentic.

Later that night we had to say our goodbyes, as they all flew home the following morning. A short but sweet visit. It was great to see them. One thing about this life is that we are always far from our family and friends and we miss them. So it's great when people come to visit. In Thailand we had five sets of people over, which was amazing, especially considering how far away we were. Now here, we have had three sets of people over, in only 5 months, and we are about to be visited by a fourth set.....

Who knew we were this popular??.....

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


Mum and Liz in Retiro ParkMum and Liz in Retiro Park
Mum and Liz in Retiro Park

They may be wearing sleeveless tops in the photo,but see the clouds behind them. Yes, it rained shortly after.
The roof of the cathedralThe roof of the cathedral
The roof of the cathedral

Madrid cathedral is really modern, and it makes it a really interesting blend of old religious artifacts and modern paintings and stained glass.
Palacio de ComunicacionesPalacio de Comunicaciones
Palacio de Comunicaciones

rather elaborate post office
I love the street signs in the centre of MadridI love the street signs in the centre of Madrid
I love the street signs in the centre of Madrid

they have pictures to illustrate the name of the street on them.
Just the side of a buildingJust the side of a building
Just the side of a building

but randomly painted with fruit and veg
A hotel in Toledo with a brilliant nameA hotel in Toledo with a brilliant name
A hotel in Toledo with a brilliant name

"A Bad hotel" I wonder if it has good reviews?
Artists in Plaza MayorArtists in Plaza Mayor
Artists in Plaza Mayor

sell their paintings every day
I love these paintings of bulls,I love these paintings of bulls,
I love these paintings of bulls,

they are so Spanish. I'd buy one if I had a wall to put it on!
View from Plaza Mayor down to the old cathedralView from Plaza Mayor down to the old cathedral
View from Plaza Mayor down to the old cathedral

the two domed building in the background apparantly

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