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Published: July 30th 2013
Mr Catherine - always a good way to check in!
Taxi arrived at 11 (Charlie's) always on time and even with a little queuing on the M25 we were at the airport by 11.45. Plenty of time as the flight wasn't until 2. Straight through check-in (even though Catherine was down as Mr Catherine Ludlow - no none seemed to care) then security and we went to eat in Giraffe - really good for airport food. Not cheap but at least we had a great view. Then we wandered down to get on the plane. For some bizarre reason they boarded from front to back -but hey doesn't really matter - one man seemed to have the kitchen sink in his hand luggage. im not sure how some people get away with this? Bit delayed taking off but arrived safely in Madrid. Massive terminal - designed by Norman Foster I believe - same guy as did the Pompidou Centre and Lloyds of London - very arty - we had to take a small train to pick-up the bags! Then outside - hmmm that's hot. It's gone 6 o'clock and still above 35 centigrade. Shuttle arrived quite quickly and took
us to the Hilton a the airport. We are staying here as its cheap, has a pool and they do shuttles into the city. Lovely rooms as they didn't have an spare rollaway beds they gave us an additional room free! Excellent - so 3 rooms for 5 of us for £120 - great.
So into the very nice rooms and then straight into the pool - well after getting changed... Pool was cool and a great way of getting the body a little bit colder. Sort of indoor/outdoor pool - with water spouts and fountains. not massive but big enough for us to cool down in.Thinking about eating - we looked to see if there was anywhere we cold walk to... Bit like Heathrow not much around and difficult to find - but we popped out with the Garmin GPS and had a look. Didn't find the place we were looking for so came back to the hotel and had some lovely Tapas in the bar. Then played cards upstairs. Always interesting playing with a European pack and a Dr. Who pack where you can't tell one suit from another - the red daleks we decided were diamonds... You
get the idea. Bernebau - the Tour!
Alarm went off this morning I wasn't popular. That won't be happening again this holiday. Took a while getting up and then we looked at booking on the hotel shuttle into Madrid but the bus we could get on was far to late 12.15 so we walked to the Metro. Hot hot hot but only .4 km so not too bad - then bought a Metro tourist ticket for abut 8 euros. Would have been even better if you could have bought 5 at once rather then 1 at a time - couldn't see anyway of changing from 1 to 5. Anyway into the Metro system and what a pleasant surprise compared to London - clean, modern and cool... Come on London sort it out! 3 lines, 2 changes and we were at the Stadium Bernabeu stop. Came out to the glorious sight of the stadium. Picked up our tickets and went to get a bite to eat across the road. Very nice Tapas and Lasagne and a quick beer were had. Then we picked up a few drinks and headed into the stadium. The tour is really well
No doors between carriageway!
done and very interesting - far more interesting than I expected. The home dressing room was closed which was a little disappointing but apart from that I saw more Silverware than most of the premier league clubs combined!
Spent a couple of hours wandering around and then back to the tube (Metro) and re traced our steps to the hotel. Looked for a place to eat and I think we've found the place I was looking for last night! Picked up some groceries and had some really nice cold drinks back at the hotel - making good use of the Ice machine!
Then back into the pool for another swim. Water felt warmer today though some of us stayed in longer than others....back to the room and a change and we walked out into the evening sun. We decided to walk in the evening sun - though Catherine took the short cut along the dual carriageway. Found the restaurant we were looking for and had a great meal - it was an Italian and I really fancied a Pizza. Best Pizza I'd had for a long time - that really crispy thin base that you only seem to get abroad.
Ticket Machine should have arrows!
Lovely salad with Motzarella and tomato and a grande beer. Then a leisurely walk back to the hotel and a few games of cards. On the way to Galicia - Hello Mr. Board
Not up too early the next day - and those of us up earlier than the others managed a quick swim before we packed up and left the hotel. Checked out a 12.00 and were back at Terminal 1 to pick up the car by 10 past. Took a while as there was a bit of a queue and they tried to give us a VW Golf which was a little on the small side! We eventually got a nice Spanish car - some form of SEAT. With a little bit of luggage re-arranging everyone got in the car and we were off - thoughCatherine had the parcel shelf around her knees!
Stopped off shortly afterwards to have breakfast/brunch/lunch - food at just a motorway service station - but the food was surprisingly good. It's a long way to where we are going about 600 km I think. We drove for a couple of hundred miles and then stopped for an ice cream.
Then continued on our way to where we are staying which is on an Organic dairy farm. We passed through a number of villages and once through Azurra it was about 4 km to the farm. The farmer and his wife were working on the entrance and as the car was very low everyone got out and we crossed into the farm. Lovely working farm. Very rustic... Lots of space, bedrooms etc. everyone knabbed a room ours had a 4 poster bed. As it was getting late and we hadn't got any provisions we headed back to Azurra and did a bit of shopping before eating at a typical Galician restaurant which provided a 3 course meal including house wine/water for 12 euros a head! Great food I love the croquettes. Then back to the farm and we unpacked the food - and the cheeky bottle of Rjoka - I didn't have the cheapest at 1 euro a bottle Iwent upmarket and had a bottle for 3.15... Your typical Brit living her with be a very fat alcoholic! Farm table is massive and ideal for playing cards on - so a few glasses of wine while playing then watching Will
Smiths worst film ever - but the only channel in English. Sunday Sunday - Up late
After the long long drive we decided not to do much today. So everyone was up late and we wandered around the farm - some very young cows. Omelettes for lunch and we decided to have a little look around our neighbourhood. Popped out in the car and crossed the Camino St James - then dropped down into Azura where we got a HDMI cable for connecting the PC to the TV. This gives us the ability to watch films we brought with us - Quantum of Solace being the first. Started reading one of the books in the house. It rained and rained today - really torrential at one point - the stream that runs across the garden was full to overflowing and we went out to unblock it! In a lull in the rain we went to track down our first geocache of the holiday. It wasn't far away and on the Way of St James but we didn't find it - and the Internet seems to have disappeared probably due to the storm...Had a few snacks and
then headed out into Azura for a meal.
Tricky finding places to eat on a Sunday night so we ended up having a considerable amount of Tapas in a bar. Including some form of crab croquettes. Back to the house for more cards. Monday Monday - Of to the Seaside - Squid Rings not Onion Rings
Getting into this holiday lark. We were up at a reasonable time and headed to A Coruna which is on the coast. It's about a 50 minute drive and we headed in the direction of Santiago de Compostella and then down to the coast. On the way the pressure sensor went on the tyres so we stopped and filled up one with more air... it was a bout 20 PSI and the others were all 42 ish so we pumped it up to this. Then onwards to A Coruna. It's a surprisingly big place with beaches, holiday apartments and the oldest working lighthouse in the world - well the site of the oldest - a lighthouse being recorded on this site since before Roman times. We drove around A Coruna and then stopped for a bite to eat. Found a
really nice restaurant with again a set menu for about 10 euros. lovely salad starter, fresh bread, wine, water, pasta, pudding and a coffee... food as it should be. Drove round the coast to the Hercules Tower and walked up. It was free on Monday so we went round and round and up and up. Great view from the top. There was a large sundial down on the ground with all the Celtic countries marked - including Kernow. We then drove back across country via Curtis and arrived in Azura so picked up some ice-cream and ice-cubes and a cheeky bottle of local wine - which was about 1 Euro 50. We bought potatoes and oil with the intention of making our own Tapas - but he fat fryer want working so we used a pan. Also bought some great potato/ham croquettes and what I thought were Onion rings - but turned out to be squid rings... they were Ok though. Food was great and the kids watched one of the English filns via the HDMI cable into the TV. Then a few more games of cards and those that stayed up watched I Robot! Tuesday - It's getting
After a few coolish days in Galicia we awoke to find blue sky and sun and have spent all day reading, relaxing and swimming round the pool. Tonight we'll head out for a meal. Popped out on one of the bikes for a quick cycle - which was hot!
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