Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Tapas anyone?

Spain

After Greece we took a short flight to Madrid. I didn't really have a plans for Spain and had only booked our hotels in Madrid and Segovia as I'd lost all enthusiasm after travelling for so long. It's not the time of year that I would choose to visit so I wasn't planning on going any further north of Madrid as it would be too cold. Spain has a great train system which would give Lindsay a break from driving and let him relax and enjoy the scenery or watch a movie.

Madrid

Puerta de Alcala (Alcala Gate)

My first impression of Madrid is that it was like the other great cities of the world: London, Rome, Paris - but all rolled into one. It has a great vibe. It's a great walking city and we started exploring it by taking a walking tour. It allowed us to get to know the area as well as get a bit of a history lesson. It's been inhabited for over 2,500 years.

Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) started out as a greenhouse but is now an exhibition space
There were times that we thought particular restaurants weren't going to open at all as there was no sign of life at 7pm, but then they would open at 7:30 or 8pm.

Our hotel was right in the heart of the city, just near the Opera House which made it very easy to get around to all the places we wanted to go.

Templo de Debod (Debod Temple)

The subway is quite easy to navigate once you work out the ticket system and it's very clean. The first time we used it we bought the wrong tickets, right price, but obviously the wrong direction and it wouldn't let us in. So the next time we used it we got help from one of the railway employees to navigate the complicated menu of the machine, because of course we never saw any ticket booths with people.

It's November and the weather is quite cold after being in Greece, so we wear our jackets out all the time.

Mercado de San Miguel is a market that also has bars and shops to buy tapas

Madrid was our first introduction to Tapas and we started off by having tapas at lunch with John & Lucille from Perth who we met on our walking tour. For those that don't know, tapas are small serves of savoury Spanish food usually served with drinks. Spain has topped my list as having consistently the best food we have eaten in the world, they are fantastic cooks.

Spiral staircase in the Telefonica museum building - he looks like he's running

Two hooves off the ground means you died in battle, but this guy didn't he just wanted to be remembered as a hero
Known as the stinky horse for centuries because birds could fly into the horse's mouth but they couldn't get out, it was only after someone shot the horse in the stomach that they found all the dead birds - the mouth is now sealed. This horse has a solid tail and hind legs so that he doesn't topple over.

One leg up means you were wounded in battle
Plaza Mayor is home to the stinky horse

I would navigate my way around by way of the plaza's, there are many of them. The Puerta del Sol - the sun square has one street for the horizon and then the other streets radiate like the sun's rays.

Parque del Retiro (Madrid's Central Park)
Parque del Retiro
















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