Madrid, Spain, Day 58-After Africa, Madrid, a sophisticated, fashionable European city of over 3 million people (at least a third of which seem to be on the streets at any one time) is quite a shock. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve been here. I’d forgotten the city’s historic center is so incredibly beautiful. We are staying at Hotel Atlantico, on the Gran Via in city center where we can walk to most of the attractions.

imageHonestly we were beat after last nights red eye flight and 3 very short nights in Arathusa. We got into Madrid about 1 pm on 3/31. We’d arranged for an airport pick up to the hotel and were able to check in a bit early. We did our best to stay awake turning the day. Our dinner reservations were at a little restaurant, Rosi La Loca Tabern. We had to wend our way through increasingly narrow streets to find it, not an easy task. But it was worth it for the very yummy tapas and mushroom soup. We took a small detour and hit the sack.

imageOur detour on the way back to the hotel was to check out the neighboring mall. Oops! We quickly did a short circuit around one level and made for the exit. We just weren’t in the mood for the flashing displays, loud music and hoards of people.

imageOur room is so comfortable, we slept in this morning and didn’t get out until late morning. While Pete was out trying to get our Africa phone switched to a Spain phone, I bought tickets at our hotel for the city Hop on/ Hop off bus. A bit nippy in the high 50’s F, but we sat in the open air top. We got off at the Botanical gardens (see featured photo) next to the Prado Art Museum. It is spring in Madrid, trees and flowers are just starting to pop out. Although it’s not very warm, the sun is out and the city seems to sparkle. Thinking of doing the museums on Monday, because it’s supposed to rain.

We hoofed it back to the hotel to get some exercise, which felt great and tiring after doing little but riding in a car for 3 1/2 weeks.

We love the architecture in the old city. The ornate facades, statues and monuments seem to be everywhere, competing for attention.

After our day out walking, we decided to eat in the hotel bar & cafe. I ordered a double scotch, which in most places is a neat little glass of two ounces. Here I was given a fish bowl, with the soda added. The balcony off the bar is charming with views of the city. Too bad it was too cold to sit out.


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