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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Madrid, Spain

Oct 20, 2018 - Madrid - end of an unbelievable experience

After a disasterous flight to Madrid, we awoke to our last day together in Madrid, now certainly one of my favourite cities in Europe. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in this fun city now, my third visit and really enjoy the history, the Spaniards, the food, it’s clean, attractive and oh so much to see and do here. I decided we should join another free walking tour for Lorna’s sake who has not been to Madrid before, and although the guide was a young and particularly weird Irishman, was not disappointed, his history knowledge was good,...

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Oct 3, 2018 - Madrid - nosotros tener la diversion juntos

Ahh yes, Madrid, we have certainly had fun together over the past few days and I think I know Madrid pretty well by now. This morning I wondered over to a large smart shopping mall in the local suburb in which I am staying, fun to check out the supermarket and observe the local population doing their shopping. I purchased a couple of new t shirts to replace existing ones not looking so great, I permanently smell like a bottle of shampoo as I rinse my clothes out in free hotel shampoo every night, poor Lorna, how is she going to put up with...

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Oct 3, 2018 - Geeking Out At A Bookstore (Again)

While not as beautiful as the gorgeous shop in Buenos Aires, the Desnivel bookstore in Madrid was awesome in its own right. Like time travelling back to another era, or perhaps into Harry Potter’s world. Even so, it was the merchandise that really made it special. Imagine a bookstore 100% dedicated to a single subject. Specifically, in this case one of my favourite subjects, mountains. From children’s books to art books, from tales of high adventures to technical manuals and route guides, topo maps and inspirational posters this place is a...

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Oct 2, 2018 - Madrid - a tapas night out

I had a lovely day merely wandering around Madrid today and being lost most of the time, thus finding even more interesting places and sights than intended. The temperature is slowly dropping to perfect, cool mornings and then bright and sunny days with temperatures of about 23 degrees all day even late into the evening, just perfect weather. Because it is still daylight saving and Spain is incorrectly set on the European time zone instead of the African time zone, it is light until about 9 pm which is great for me being able to stay out so...

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Oct 2, 2018 - Nine Hours At The Prado Museum

. ..and not a single photo as they are not permitted. Even without the distraction of a camera, we barely made it through the exhibits, regarded as one of the world's finest collections of European art. The Prado turns 200 in 2019 and now owns about 8200 paintings. Only about 1300 are on display, as I recall, but still nine hours and by no means did we stop at each one. Having taken a few painting lessons over the past couple of years, I was even more in awe of the artistry than when I visited the Prado 2009. Francisco Goya, Hieronymus...

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Oct 1, 2018 - National Library & the Thyssen Art Collection

Expecting to use the three-gallery pass we’d purchased, it was off to the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza today. We were surprised to discover it was a free admission day. Turned off by the long lines and crowded lobby. we decided to head up the street to another venue instead. I’d read about the National Library of Spain offering free tours of its archives (first edition of Cervantes’ Don Quixote...) and since we’ve never toured such a place found it to be of interest. Unfortunately we arrived too late to join a group and were thus...

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Sep 30, 2018 - A Very Busy Sunday

Well, this particular Sunday certainly turned out to be a day of worship; first to the alter of commerce, next to the grand cathedral, then to an Egyptian temple, and later to the shrine of the Son. We started our day at the weekly El Rastro flea market, a maze of streets that wind through and down a hillside neighbourhood. Historically an antiques & second-hand marketplace it now a lot more t-shirts, low-quality leather goods clothing and, rather disappointing to me, few local handicrafts. The San Telmo market in Buenos Aires is far more...

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Sep 30, 2018 - Sunday in Madrid

Sunday in Madrid, so I did what the locals do and spent an extremely lively morning at the huge El Rastro Flea Market in La Latino area. Many Spanish musicians, artists, antiques and everything else you could think of to purchase. I bought a Spanish comic book of the local hero in a bid to improve my Spanish which is only slightly better than my French. I expected Central Madrid to be totally chaotic on a Sunday morning, so took myself further afield to one of the nicest outer suburbs in Madrid to visit an Auschwitz exhibition that looked...

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Sep 29, 2018 - Viva Madrid - you rock

After inhaling a new set of energisers after our paella last night, my energising pink bunnies have recovered and I woke up invigorated with mojo restored and ready to conquer Madrid, the capital of Spain. And conquer I did, with vigour and pleasure. I enjoyed France hugely, however can’t help but love the Spanish people. I love their dark skin, their rough and readiness, friendliness (always ready for a laugh and a chat regardless of language barriers), their loudness and general bonhomie. The French were much more dignified, well dressed,...

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Sep 29, 2018 - Madrid - on my lonesome again

After a final early morning walk to take pictures of the fascinating Aqueduct walls in early light and as the moon was still shining above the walls, I got some great pics. Loved Segovia. After a short train trip to Madrid, we hit the track running, within half an hour of arriving we were out with our Cabillero on an orientation walk in Madrid Central, 28 degrees and a million people around. My second time here, I should’ve known what to expect, however I enjoyed all those beautiful little towns like a Sarlat, Tours and Segovia, Madrid was...

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Sep 29, 2018 - The Largest Royal Palace in Europe

The Royal Palace of Madrid, completed in 1764 after the former palace was destroyed by a fire on Christmas Eve 1734 is the largest royal palace in Europe. Every single room is a unique treasure box. Well, every single room of the 23 opened for touring, anyway Unfortunately no photos are allowed, beyond the grand entry staircase, so what few interior photos you see are taken from a book on the gift shop. Intending to intimidate visitor, most Royal Armoury buildings display guns, cannons and other weapons. King Phillip II, however, chose to...

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Sep 28, 2018 - Trains, Plans, Picassos and Flamenco

With moving on in mind, our first stop today was beautiful Atocha Renfe (train) Station, an under 2km walk from the apartment. A very helpful agent printed me the schedules for various destinations and kindly ensured I knew which station each departed from. Having found ourselves at the wrong station in a city in China last year, this detail was very much appreciated. I didn’t even know there was a second renfe station in Madrid. From Atocha station we simply crossed the street to visit the Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia. A...

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