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Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 20th 2020

MADRID 10/21/19 We began the day with an amazing self serve breakfast at Catalyna Atacha, what a delicious spread of culinary treats from Spain! I loved the fuet salami, the fresh bread with ovo and tomato salsa as well as the many varieties of hams and cheeses. The delicious Bocadillos, mini sandwiches with peppers and lettuce, were a surprising treat for breakfast and the creamy fresh yogurt with goji berries, nuts, bee pollen and chia topping options was a nice plus. Lots of fruit, fruit juices and delicious coffees were there to compliment it all. If only I could repeat, repeat. Instead I have added many of these options here at home to our daily routine. After breakfast we embarked on our first tour of the day walking toward the Plaza Mayor and through the major ... read more
Restaurante Sobrino de Botin on Calle Cuchilleros, a favorite of Hemingway’s mentioned in A Sun Also Rises
Madrid’s famous coat of arms, a statue of a bear and a strawberry tree in the pavement
Church in Madrid

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid November 16th 2019

A decision has been made, we are flying to Madrid, SPAIN. Walking to the bus, the skies start to spit rain, but arriving in Marsaille, and boarding the plane, the tarmac is like a shallow river. Am so relieved when the aircraft lifts off. Once in Madrid, it is necessary to visit the Atocha train station to find out where we can get to from here, a process that takes two and a half hours. While waiting, we think about the fact that in 2004, this was one of the stations bombed by Al Qaeda, killing 193 people, and injuring 2,000, in opposition to Spain participating in the Iraq War. Cannot imagine the destruction and suffering. Our apartment is in an 1800’s building, and since the elevator does not function, it is 70 slanted stairs up ... read more
Say hello to my little friend!
Atocha Railway Station
An inside terrerium at the Atocha station

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 20th 2019

MADRID 10/20/19 After an early morning landing in Madrid we taxied from the airport to the Hotel Catalonia Atocha located within walking distance of the famous Plaza Mayor. Our hotel is located in the historic Literary Quarter where Spain’s great literary giants once lived and roamed the streets. The remains of Miguel Cervantes and Lope de Vega are said to rest in this area. We were met in the hotel lobby by lovely Vera, our Gate 1 guide for the next eleven days. Vera provided us with maps, an overview of the area including shopping tips such as the large open air flea market and places where we might find a nice lunch. Under cool and questionable skies we were off to explore Plaza Mayor and beyond. With a reputed 300 days of sunshine a year, ... read more
Archway to Plaza Mayor
 The iconic statue of King Phillip III
La Casa del Bacalao inside the Mercado San Miguel

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 5th 2019

How quickly Madrid has managed to seduce us. We have slipped quietly but surely into later and later evening meals, later and later breakfasts and beer with any meal or snack other than breakfast! We even sit and watch in the European manner that sees us linger in cafes for an hour or so just having a single drink. The only Spanish tradition we haven’t succumbed to yet is their predisposition to smoking! We are continually surprised by the number of smokers, particularly young women, and the arrogant and blatant disregard they have for non smokers. One meter from the entrance/exit of almost any building is a scattering of butts and that is despite the fact that there are street sweepers (people not machines) and cleaners almost continuously going about their duties. In most cafes and ... read more
Tapas just looks good all the time.
Hams in the market.
Just love the street name signs.

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 4th 2019

Things are looking up. So I thought I’d include looking up photos exclusively. That’s not a bad as it sounds as here in Madrid the architecture rewards looking up. The shots are from the hop on hop off bus which we spent a deal of time on. We almost completed both routes but hoped off a little early and the Plaza de Mayor because it’s interesting and more accurately because it’s near the Mercado de San Miguel. It’s very touristy and a bit pricey but it has numerous tapas style offerings and all Spanish as opposed to where we go at night which is quite local, well priced but has small dishes from numerous destinations most decidedly non Spanish. I then did a walking tour which I always find interesting. The facts and figures and stories ... read more
Looking up in Madrid.
Looking up in Madrid.
Looking up in Madrid. Real Madrid Stadium.

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 3rd 2019

We are ensconced aboard the Transmediterranea Malaga but still in Port almost an hour and a half after it should have sailed! Not good for us but nothing we can do. Much Spanish spoken here, none of it sounding that friendly at the moment but again not much I can do about that either. I’m not sure who is directing traffic here or who is responsible for navigation or who for passenger boarding as everyone in any kind of uniform seems to be engaged in the animation discussion that’s going on around us. Lee has just remarked on the fact scenario, sounds busy but nothing is happening! We are comfortable in the saloon here but I’ll go for a meander soon hoping for some views and fresh air as the Malaga has that distinctive ferry diesel ... read more
We were early, the ferry is late.
Bye Morocco.
Bye Morocco.

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 18th 2019

Bonjour à tous, hier je disais que les nuits se suivent et ne ressemblent pas, ce fut encore le cas. La rue dans laquelle est le studio ne doit faire plus de 5m de large, mais j'ai eu l'impression de dormir, au bord de l'autoroute, les piétons bien chauds qui parlent fort, et tous les bruits de canalisation de l'immeuble. Si j'avais su je n'aurais pas réservé 2 nuits. Dommage car l'emplacement est parfait, et avec le confort à l'intérieur. A 7h30, je faisais tourner un machine, un café au bistrot du coin, à 9h, j'étais en route. Mon parcours étant prêt depuis hier au soir. Madrid, capitale d'Espagne est située en plein Coeur du royaume, à 670m d'altitude, comptant une population de 3,2 millions d'habitants, et 6,5 pour l'agglomération, en intra-muros c'est la troisième ville ... read more
Palais royal
bien le peintre !!!
Palacio Real

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 17th 2019

Bonjour à tous. Que les nuits ne se ressemblent pas. Charmant le petit hotel, tranquil, que ce soit hier après-midi, ou ce matin, les 2 receptionistes, aussi sympathiques, serviables que mignonnes. A recommander le Torico, en plus à 50m de la place centrale de Teruel. Pour la voiture j'avais eu la chance de trouver une place non payante, jusqu'à 9h ce matin, à quelques mètres de l'hôtel. Bien avant 9h je traversais la grande plaine agricole le long de la rivière Jiloca, au pied de Teruel. Ensuite tout à l'ouest, pour traverser la Sierra d'Albarracin, sur plus de 150km. De part et d'autre la chaîne de montagne, Albarracin et celle des Monts Universels, avec la rivière Guadalaviar. Se trouve également sur ma route l'espace protégé des Pinèdes. Zone recommandée pour la pratique de l'escalade de bloc. ... read more
village espagnol
"jamon" de Teruel
Madrid Gran Via

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid March 21st 2019

In Spain, we passed through a very quick and painless Customs process and were cleared to enter Spain! A couple change over on the train later and we were downtown! We made it to the Airbnb address 10 minutes early. Despite our attempt, it appeared we would have to wait for the prescribed 9am check-in time. 9 AM came and went with multiple trips in and out of the building thanks to tenants trying to figure out how to meet up with our host. At 9:30 we hunted down a Starbucks for WiFi, which unfortunately want free so we grabbed a couple of teas to get the password. I wrote a note to the host. Fifteen minutes later we have up and told him we were canceling and going elsewhere. A Google search later we were ... read more
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Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid March 20th 2019

Before our trip could begin, unfortunately I had too much to do at work so it meant both Alex and I rising early for a ride to work for me and errands for him. Of course I had very little time to get what I wanted to done, including printing off prepaid tickets for some of the trip activities and getting our seats changed for the second and longest flight so we could sit together. Alex was supposed to be at the office at 10:30/10:45 to pick me up. Due to Wells Fargo not carrying any foreign currency, he arrived early at 10:20 instead. Kick off a flustered Bobbi who was in the middle of printing off the tickets on a very slow system and hadn't gotten to change seats yet. In a rush, I shut ... read more
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