Caroli and Mike in Spain 2016 travel blog

View from apartment living room

View from apartment living room

Almudena Cathedral

Almudena Cathedral

Flowers

Flowers

Coffee Pot


We are adapting to living on a different timetable. We wake up about 9 a.m. and go to sleep about 1 a.m. This, from two people who usually go to sleep by 10 p.m. and get up at 6 a.m.! Lunch is a hearty meal typically eaten about 3 p.m. Dinner is between 9 and 10 p.m. and consists of tapas (various and delicious appetizers). The sun rises about 6:45 a.m. and sets about 9:45 p.m.

Yesterday, my luggage arrived at 1 p.m. We were just about to leave our apartment for the day. We had expected a phone call, and could easily have missed the delivery. The street level front door is locked and visitors must be buzzed in, so the luggage could not have been left. The suitcase is ripped and the lock is gone, but all of the contents were there. Yay! Very happy to have my clothes and toiletries, after 4 days.

I brought some greeting cards with me from home to mail from Spain, so the first thing we did yesterday was find a post office and buy stamps. "Me gustaria diez sellos de correos, por favor", said I. And the man behind the desk gave me 10 postage stamps (and a smile)! We are enjoying practicing our Spanish. Most people speak English, though, so we sometimes have to ask them to speak en Espanol. Everyone we've met has been very friendly and helpful. In the tourist areas, it's sometimes easy to forget that we're not in any busy American city, with Starbucks, MacDonalds, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, etc. dotting the streets. One thing we're happy to report: no one has asked us about Donald Trump. We have not yet looked at a Madrid newspaper.

After our post office visit, we took the Metro to the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena (or Almudena Catherdral) and the Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace). The cathedral is new, compared to others in Europe: it opened in 1993 after taking 100 years to build. Beautiful, light, cool.

We toured the palace: 23 of the 2,800 rooms! It's about 1.5 million square feet.....way, way bigger than Downton Abbey (120,000 square feet)!

The weather has been sunny and warm, in the high 70s during the day and mid 50s at night. Gorgeous. Beautiful flowers everywhere.

One of the fun things about staying in an apartment versus a hotel is that we have to figure out where things are, how things work, and idiosyncrasies thereof. The first morning, we wanted to make coffee and tea. I had it easy: just push the button on the electric kettle and soon there was hot water for my tea. Mike, however, had to figure out how to make coffee in a coffee pot that neither of us had seen before.

It doesn't have an electric cord and it doesn't have a glass percolater top. It isn't a coffee press. Honestly, we were like two monkeys trying to figure out how it works. Google saved us! Later, we saw that these stovetop coffee makers are sold in all the shops here, and yet this was a very foreign to us!



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