Tom & Roberta take on Spain and Portugal 2015 travel blog










Tom stripped me of many Spanish credentials this morning and rightfully so..... I'd been complaining that the water faucets were backwards because "c" was definitely NOT cold. It was hot water and they must have been too lazy to put the correct Letter on the nozzle. I also commented that the "H" on our faucet not written clearly I couldn't tell what the letter was trying to be.......... then as I was showering this morning it hit me, DUH "c" cliente.......... duh duh duh, and It wasn't an "h" I was looking at it was an "f" Friejo "cold" get it.......... hand slapped what a maroon...........

As our current Hotel is run by the same company as our Barcelona Hotel...Today as Tom and I walked to the elevator to go down to the breakfast room I found myself mentally chanting "Please have an Nespresso machine, Please have an Nespresso machine". It just makes sense. We walked through the door, I did a quick scan of the room and KA POW.......... one Nespresso machine in the corner of the room ready to for me to place the magic packet into the slot. Okay I'm good now. Tom and I ate in relative quietness when I was ready to get my second cup I noticed the dreaded "red light" glowing. I got up and checked out the machine hoping I would be able to avoid a riot akin to the one in Barcelona and saw that once again the water container was empty. I hunted down the hostess, politely pointed to the Nespresso machine and said "necessito agua " she got right on it and just like that crises averted. We can now move on with our day. Second cup of delicious coffee down, we are ready to face Madrid and it's wonderful history.

Maps in hand we headed towards the old part of town. I have to comment that the Spanish architecture is more appealing me that in a way than French........ that's right I said it. While the buildings in France are truly beautiful, the residence buildings are uniform and similar no mater where in Paris they are. Here each single building seems to have taken on the characteristic of the owner by subtle differences. Maybe a slightly taller balcony or different crowns on the edifice. They just each seem to have a different story to tell. We wandered through the old town and wondered at the churches and exquisite color tiles on bars and taverns. Very ornate pictures done through glazed tiles. We eventually ended up at the Royal Palace. Frankly we really hadn't done any Spanish history homework and when we approached the Palace we didn't know what it was. The building just seemed to get bigger and bigger as we rounded the corner. As we walked along I kept saying "I think this is bigger than the outside of Versailles." We decided not to tour the palace but to instead walk through the Cathedral next to the Palace. We climbed to the dome where 4 or 5 step risers were placed at every corner. Here we. Saw sweeping views of Madrid, was breathtaking. I hope the pictures come out on that one.

We began to meander back towards our hotel while looking for a place to stop for lunch. We chose a restaurant on a sheltered corner (it was pretty hot and we did not want to be in the direct sun) I ordered a salad which I anticipated would be similar to my favorite "salade Parisian" what came to the table was really more like a piece of art. The tomatoes were gathered at one into a small cylinder shape and behind it was a perfect round shell of radicchio in an upright position sheltering the tomatoes. There was a spray of arugula cascading off the tomatoes and from there as if it were a waterfall wafer thin ham and parmesan cheese slices spread out over the plate. I almost hated to eat it. Another 2 hour lunch ended, Tom and I reluctantly got up and headed back towards the hotel. Tom went to the hotel and I spent the next few hours shopping in my new favorite store "Desigual"

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