|Farewell to Barcelona. Left on the AVE (bullet train) headed to Madrid at 10:00. Maximum speed I have seen so far is 289 km/hr (about 180 mph!). Lots of vineyards, orchards and pine trees we think...red soil occasionally. Looks pretty arid.
Short neighborhood walking tour to the Royal Palace and then a tour of the first floor! Opulent to the max. 2800 rooms total! The current king and queen have chosen to not leave there...too big. They live in a smaller palace in the country. The country really loves this monarchy. She told us why but I can't remember! Toured the armor collection...unbelievable artisan work...pieces looked like fine jewelry! Even had full body armor for children...practice for adulthood. Horse and dog armor, too! Wandered back to our hotel which is literally in the center of Spain! Pretty much right on the square so earplugs for sure tonight. This culture begins its evening at 10:00 pm!!
Another short walk to dinner...really great wine (included), scrumptious mushrooms, slivered hams, bread, salad wedges, beef steak and fries, and chocolate truffles and sherry for dessert!!
Didn't get back to the room until 10:30...so this is short! 8:15 breakfast call in the morning and 9:00 metro ride to the Prado!