Blogs from District of Madrid, Spain, Europe


Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid March 10th 2015

Our final day in the vibrant city of Madrid found us catching the Metro to Plaza de Toros Las Ventas, the famous bullring in Madrid and argued to be the most famous in the world as well. This bullring is an incredible structure inaugurated in 1931, seating 25000 people. We toured this famous attraction, gaining insight about the world of bullfighting through our audioguide. Bullfighting is truly considered to be an art. The Matadors are artistic and flamboyant in their precise moves as they bait the bull which can weigh upwards of 450 kg. These bulls are specially bred and are treated like royalty receiving almost 2 hectares of land each upon which to graze. All sounds great until you hear that they are ready for the bullring when they are between the ages of 4 ... read more
Royal Box
Running Bulls Relief

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid March 9th 2015

Saturday morning dawned a clear, bright, blue sky as we made our first attempt at a day trip from Madrid. We walked out of our apartment to the crystal shaped structure that is the entrance way to the Cercanius, the Madrid local train system which is different than the Metro! We stood in front of the ticket machine weighing our options to get to the Chamartin Train station. We soon had our tickets and found our local train. There were only 2 stops to the train station and once we arrived we went in and officially activated our Europe Rail Pass! We were early for our train as we wanted to give ourselves plently of time (again, you know how our luck goes!). Curtis had a coffee and we wandered in the shops. Chamartin is a ... read more
Cathedral Segovia
Plaza Mayor
My Pillar of Strength

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid March 6th 2015

Okay, honestly how old are we???? We have had quite a time dealing with jet lag. We have been literally dragging ourselves around and this morning was no different. We finally got moving around 11:30 with the intention of going to the Atocha Train Station in order to make our reservations for day trips to Avila and Segovia as well as our journey from Madrid from Cuenca. We walked down the busy Calle de Atocha on our way to the station. At one point we noticed a line of people across the street that numbered well into the hundreds! We have no idea what they were waiting for but hopefully it was worth their evidently long period of standing! We came upon a group of people coming out of a small vestibule. Curious, we went inside. ... read more
Waiting Patiently
Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace Waterfall

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid March 5th 2015

After arriving at our quaint apartment last night, we settled in and then went out to explore our neighbourhood. It turns out that we are in the perfect location! We are in Sol which neighbours onto the Plaza Mayor. This is very reminiscent of the Piazzo Navona in Rome with it's cobblestone square punctuated on the periphery by numerous outdoor restaurants. We found a small place to have something to eat on one of the side streets and then headed back for some much needed rest. We finally managed to pull ourselves out of bed at 10:00 am and then puttered around until noon. Our bodies are definitely suffering from lack of sleep. Heading out, we wallked through the Plaza Mayor which is even busier during the day. It is a massive square housing a number ... read more
Mercado de San Miguel
Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almundena
Palacio Real

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid March 4th 2015

After quite a snowy drive down to the airport with Curtis' parents, we bid our farewells and headed into the airport to begin our great adventure. We breezed through check-in and security, arriving at our gate early and scoping out a spot to hunker down. The lounge soon began filling up with people of many different ethnic origins. I sat and researched more about our arrival to the Madrid airport, making sure I had our Metro information correct. At 5:40pm boarding began onto the massive Lufthansa 747. We found our seats, fervently wishing we were in first class in order to enjoy the extra leg room and reclining seats! Maybe someday we will treat ourselves. The plane was not quite full so the seat beside me was empty, giving us a bit more space. Due to ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid December 24th 2014

One hour flight from Barcelona to Madrid Great subway system. Easy to get around. Christmas eve; most restaurants closed. We finally found a lively tapas bar serving hearty Spanish food – oxtail We even went back another day. We attended a Russian ballet on Christmas day. We thought we asked for low price seats (bajo) Instead we got nearly-front row low seats ($$) A pedal-bike parade after. Old town Madrid is crowded and dirty People seem less friendly here. Two days would be plenty to see Retiro Park; royal palace with armory museum - guns, armor for men, boys, and horses; and amazing museums: Prado and Reina Sofia. La Guernica by Picasso - one of the most powerful paintings ever! Enough religious paintings in Spain to educate all the illiterate Middle-age people - and even some ... read more
Toledo Cathedral
Christmas in Madrid

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid November 8th 2014

There were transport choices for the return leg to Madrid. The price of the Avanza bus secured it's nomination and the fact that the Estacion del Sur Bus Station was closer to our hostal destination near the Grand Via than the "Sean Martin" Rail hub in the north of the city. The bus pulled away from Avila along the empty motorway and made the descent down from the altitude to the capital. The European contribution of funds seems to have created a vast network of very superior motorways, which the majority have either no interest in or no money to use. Traffic built on the outskirts of Madrid, before we disappeared into the tunnel system that is the western by-pass. I was pleased I wasn't driving. We emerged near a huge El Cortes Ingles, before submerging ... read more
Royal Palace
Vodafone Sol
Salamanca District

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid November 4th 2014

After years of planning and talking about taking that trip with my girlfriend to Madrid, we finally saved up enough money to spend a good two whole weeks in the city. This wasn’t supposed to be an ordinary 2-week trip. We planned out everything that we wanted to see and do in those 2 weeks and we couldn’t wait to get started. After we arrived on the short flight from London, we checked into our hotel and for the first few days we had an amazing time. However, a small accident happened on the fifth day that took some of the fun out of the holiday. Here’s what happened. Me and my girlfriend Cary were crossing the road to reach a restaurant that we had our eye on from when we first arrived in Madrid, when ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 22nd 2014

Today has been a relaxing day exploring Madrid. I was amazed at it's size and population of 3.5 million. The city is a thriving modern metropolis filled with 1000's of taxis, unbelievable number of tourist buses. It is recognized as the Cultural Capitol of Europe, which i was unaware of. There are two city tours in open top buses; Roger and I paid 13 erous for 2 days of being able to get on & off wherever we want. After traveling around listening to the historical aspect of much of the city; we stopped at the World renowned Prada Art Museum. You cannot believe the extensive nature of the lainting filling the 100+ room, plus a new contemporary extension. The collection was gather by one of the kings in the early 1800's from the Royal collection. ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 21st 2014

Excitement began to surge through our bodies as we prepared to leave Santiago de Compostela, after completing our 500 mile, 800km Camino or The Way of St. James. We are now on our way. A taxi ride to the railway station for a 9.05am train ride, only to discover the train had a mechanical failure. After 45 minutes hold-up we were on our way to Madrid, a 6 hour ride through magnificent country, rugged mountains, plains, farming, communities both large & small. The most thrilling part was going through tunnel after tunnel, some miles long. The trains are fast trains, traveling at high speed. One tunnel we were in went right under the mountain range for some 15 minutes; we were traveling at speeds up to 240kmh, which gives you an idea of the distance. It ... read more

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