Monday, May 28, 2012


Hemos estado en movimiento desde su llegada a Madrid (We have been on the move since arriving in Madrid). We started our first full day in Madrid with another bike tour since we had so much fun on our first one in Barcelona. Needless to say, it was not the leisurely tour we anticipated. Madrid is not flat by any means. Our tour guide, Jose, was ready to cover some ground. I would estimate we rode about 10-15 miles in a 3 hour timespan with several stops in between. Our group this time included 2 girls from London, a couple from San Francisco and us. A few highlights from the tour...the park, "El Parque del Retiro", (see picture with people boating in the pond) was once used as the gardens for the Palace until the 1960's when it was opened to the public. We rode through a lot of plazas and numerous cobblestone streets. The Royal Palace no longer houses the Royal family but it has over 3000 rooms. Try playing hide and seek in there!!! The picture below is Plaza Mayor. This particular plaza once served as the local bull fighting arena. People would gather in the balconies around the plaza and watch the bull fights.

Again in Madrid, it's quite surprising to see so much retail in this area. Every street we turn on is full of clothing and shoe stores. To my despair, I have not seen one antique store! I'm hoping for more luck with antiquing in Portugal (or at least finding some hand crafted linens!).

We ate dinner at a great restaurant overlooking the Royal Palace and ended our night at Las Tapas Flamenco Live Show where we experienced a local favorite in Flamenco dancing. Unfortunately, we were not able to take decent pictures of the dancers but we tried to capture the intimate setting we were in. Not exactly what we were expecting..


Today, we are starting to feel a little weary from the biking and walking so we enjoyed a morning to sleep in and leisurely stroll down to the local market for an early lunch. What is nice about the market and their culture in general is most serve tapas so you can pick through several different types of food to create your meal. Afterwards, we walked down to the park to take a few more pictures and relax while we wait for our next adventure...the overnight train. Tomorrow, we anticipate the change of a new country and different culture and language.


Tener una buena tarde (have a good afternoon)!


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