Madrid capital of Spain 14 to 17 October 2014

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October 17th 2014
Published: October 17th 2014
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Madrid capital of Spain 14 to 17 October 2014

We arrived in Madrid at about 1.30pm and dropped our bags off at our hotel. We then drove to the address of where we were to drop the car off. After driving around one of the squares several times to look for the Europcar office to drop off the car, I got Tom to drop me off so that I could walk around and try to find the office. In the end, I found we had to park the car in a multi story car park and then there was a very small office that I also found where we could drop off the keys. All was good.

We then had a coffee at Starbucks before jumping on a metro to get into the city centre - very easy.

We decided to visit the Palacio Real (the Royal Palace where King Felipe VI holds all ceremonies etc.

Felipe VI born 30 January 1968, is the King of Spain and his wife, Queen Letizia. He succeeded to the throne on 19 June 2014 following the abdication of his father, King Jaun Carlos 1.

This Palace is beautiful. Although it is nowhere as big as the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria or Versailles in France, it is very beautiful.

While Tom waited in line to get to the entrance of the Palace, I went into the facing Cathedral which was very unusual fresco on the ceiling and it was light and friendly looking. In the time I took to take the photos of the cathedral, Tom was at the door of the Palace so the line moved quickly.

After looking through the Palace, we walked to Plaza Opera and found a restaurant to have wine and tapas and watch people go by. There was an old couple playing a piano accordion and singing. While we were sitting there, we heard an Australian accent and ended up having a great conversation with a young Wangaratta couple who were in Europe for the 1st time.

After that, we walked around a little more, seeing the sights of Madrid central. It is certainly a beautiful city and with a diverse range of architecture from the 10th century onwards.

We were getting really cold so decided to find our way back to the hotel. We had to catch the metro and then a train. Once we worked that out, it was very easy. However, once we got off the train and with GPS in hand, we set out to walk back to the hotel. The receptionist told us that we were only 10 minutes walk from the station. The GPS was telling us that we had 2.8kms to walk. The challenge was that there were fences and a railway line blocking our way so that is why the GPS was telling us 2.8kms.

We walked for 15 minutes and decided we were not going to follow the GPS. We went back to the railway station and one of the ladies working in the station must have seen us and asked if we needed any help. We told her were we wanted to go and she showed us the short cut along the platform and under a tunnel. Yes it was only 10 minutes. It was nice to get into our warm hotel room and have a coffee.

The next day, we caught the train and metro back into the city centre. We visited the 200 BC Temple of Debod which the Egyptian Government donated to the Spanish Government. It was dissembled from Aswan in Egypt before the High Dam was built over the Nile River for flood mitigation reasons. It was moved to Madrid as thanks to Spain for helping them which saved this important archaeological structure from being flooded and lost forever.

We then decided to catch the City Sightseeing Bus (hop-on-hop-off) as it was cold walking around. We saw so much more of the city during the trip.

We then decided to do more walking, stopping off to have coffee, nibbles and lunch at different times and places. We then found the Markets - Macardo san Miguel. They were fantastic. We found an incredible variety of food and drinks. There was a fish section also. We decided that this was the place to have dinner. We sat on a stool at one of the high tables (when they became available as it was a popular place, and had a wine. Tom then got a couple of small plates of food and then I chose a couple. We had empanadas, prawn tapas, as well as prawns rapped in stranded potato, curry, olives and sun-dried tomatoes, and a crab dish etc. It was lovely. After we could eat no more, we headed back to the hotel.

On the way out of the markets I spotted some frozen yoghurt and had that with hot chocolate sauce - yum!

The next day and a half, we took it easy around the area where our hotel was, finding a busy businessman's restaurant for dinner and generally getting ready to fly out. We caught a taxi to the airport very early (3.00pm) because we decided that we may as well wait at the airport. We weren't flying out until 10.00pm so we had plenty of time to do any last minute things.

Thank you all for sending us messages through my blog and Facebook page, and you may now be pleased that my blogs will stop filling your Inbox.!!!! The messages have been so important to us. There have been many blogs that I have written and have not proof read so apologies for any inaccuracies etc but hope you could make out the meaning of some of my disjointed sentences and mis-spelling.

We can't believe that the 5 months is over. After driving 29,200 kilometers, visiting 14 countries and taking 23,000 photos that are all safely labelled and in folders, 2014 has been an amazing travel experience, peppered with some sad and challenging events that have happened at home while we have been away.

Again this year, we have seen so much, done so much, and we go home very satisfied that our list has all been ticked off....and more. We are very lucky to have made the opportunity happen for us and as my motto is - live today as if there is no tomorrow...... we go home very satisfied.

On the way home we stop in Dubai for 20 hours but the airlines has given us a hotel room as we will be flying out of Dubai at 2.45 am !!!!! We have also booked in for lunch at the Burj Al Arab, which we missed out on going to last time we were in Dubai, so that will be our last bit of celebration.

Then it is the last long leg to Australia. As my little granddaughter Gemma said, "Nannie, I wish you could just 'flash' and you would be home in a second". We have missed her xx. Again everyone, thank you for reading my blogs.

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