Checking out the city

Madrid Travel Blog

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The city symbol -- a bear climbing a strawberry tree (though I`ve never seen a strawberry "tree").

Post-nap, we wandered the neighborhood.

We´re in Plaza del Sol, at Kilometer Zero for Madrid (and Spain). Major hoppin´ neighborhood. Excellent place to wander and people watch.

Most of the people we´re watching are other tourists. We count how many times we see the same guidebooks we´ve got in an hour.   :)

We spent a little time in the major square -- Plaza Mayor. Street performers, sidewalk cafes, just what you want on vacation (well, it´s what I want anyways!).  Took the advice of Senor Rick Steves and got dinner at a restaurant down a little side street. At 9 pm, we were about their first dinner customers.  I still can´t quite wrap my brain around not eating dinner till 10 or 11 or midnight.

We cruised the neighborhood for a while afterwards. There were a ton of people out, including hookers. Young women, dressed pretty much like all the other young women around (nothing sleazy or unusually baring), lolling against the buildings. Apparently, pimping is illegal in Spain. Prostitution is not.


Headed back to the hotel and slept like the dead all night. The beds are good, the room is really quiet, and we´ve got enough pillows. :)

Not a bad way to end the day.


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A big fan of the local soccer team.

I am a full-fledged traveller: I´ve been pickpocketed before I even got to my hotel.

It happened in the metro. I think it was two young girls who bumped into me when the train lurched. Lost my wallet, which included about $150, my drivers license, and my bank cards.

Bought a phone card immediately and got through to the bank (eventually) and got the cards cancelled. Thank heavens Jeff still has his cards and we´d split the money we got out of the ATM at the airport.

<sigh> I´ve never been robbed in all my travels so I guess I was due.  And I´m covered by travelling with another person.  Damn, though.

The Madrid airport is actually quite pretty, y´know, for an airport. Graceful lines, lots of light, pretty nice.  And, oh sweet heaven, I love flying business class!  Fully reclining seats to sleep on.

Street musicians -- a classical quartet playing for street change. They were quite good.
Blankets. Pillows. Lots of food. "Goodie bags" with sleep masks, ear plugs, socks (!), and toiletries.

Took the bus into town. Took the metro from the bus to the hotel, which is just steps from the metro and across the street from...Ben & Jerrys. Well, you know I won´t starve!  :)

The Hotel Europa is far nicer than I expected!  It feels very full service for not an unreasonable amount of money. I usually travel lower on the economic food chain, so this is a suprise. Even feels a little...wrong somehow.  :)  I´ll muddle through.

We´re going to go get a bite of lunch and then a shower. Then maybe a nap to prepare us for the standard late dinner hour (9 pm or later).  Maybe more for you later.

The city symbol -- a bear climbing…
The city symbol -- a bear climbin…
A big fan of the local soccer team.
A big fan of the local soccer team.
Street musicians -- a classical qu…
Street musicians -- a classical q…
photo by: vulindlela