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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Apr 4, 2019 - Last Day in Madrid

Our last day in Madrid. After the last couple of days of freezing winds, we were prepared and left the apartment wearing 5 layers each since it was supposed to be one degree cooler than yesterday. We did one of Rick Steve's self guided walks and found some interesting things close to home--an historical bar dedicated to bull fighting and a nunnery bakery among others. The bakery is located in a nunnery down a side street. You push the buzzer and patiently wait until someone rings you in after you tell them you want dulces (cookies). Then it...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 3, 2019 - HOHO

April 3 - HopOn HopOff in Madrid Our original plans for the day were to do the HOHO bus in the morning, see the Changing of the Guards at the Palace at noon and then do the second route of the HOHO bus in the afternoon. As it was quite cool again, we took our time getting started. We started off with the Historico route which we were able to pick up right in front of our apartment building. It was slow moving as there is some major street construction going on about four blocks from us and it took about 15 minutes to go two blocks!...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 2, 2019 - Walking Madrid

Today we walked Madrid--over 23,000 steps which was 8.4 miles. We started at the Royal Palace. Our apartment is pretty centrally located and a lot of the sights are within walking distance. We got to the palace when it opened. There were more people in line with tickets than without but overall it was not too crowded and it didn't take us much time to get in. According to Rick Steve's this is the 3rd greatest palace in Europe. It was built by King Philip V who wanted to make it his own private Versailles to match his French upbringing. He...

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Spain and Portugal

Apr 1, 2019 - Travels to Madrid

April 1 Travel to Madrid This morning we busily packed, cleaned out the refrigerator as we needed to be out of the apartment by 10:30. After several attempts to call a taxi (some did not speak English, I don’t speak Spanish and one call to some place other than Barcelona) I gave up and called Maria (agent for the apartment rental company). The taxi was right on time and delivered us to the train station for our 3 hour ride to Madrid. Hailing a taxi to our apartment for the next four nights we relaxed on the train. Another taxi ride from the...

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Spain and Portugal

Dec 3, 2018 - Madrid is Magical Indeed

In addition to the Christmas Markets, our short return to Madrid enabled us to revisit the Reina Sophia gallery to use the pass we’d purchased and then didn’t need for “free” admission day. Then I learned there was a set of props from the Harry Potter book series placed about town. Of course, this determined the route of that day’s strolling. The first find enabled me to joke on FaceBook about taking “a quick side trip from Atocha train station to my old alma mater, where I learned everything I needed to know about gardening in botany...

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Dec 1, 2018 - Christmas Markets in Madrid

I was so excited to visit a European Christmas Market, after we left Cyprus, I planned a few days layover in Madrid before returning to Edmonton. First up, I dragged Duncan back to Plaza Mayor, the site a long-standing outdoor holiday market reported to have 100 booths or more. It was very disappointing, because with booth after booth of the same kinds of goods it appeared to me as if the entire place was set up by some importer of Made-In-China trinkets and trash. Several of the booths presented various styles of mass-produced wreaths,...

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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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