We had breakfast on the train as we pulled into Madrid. Got off and
caught a cab to our hotel in the old part of Madrid. It seems to be
that in the older part of most European cities the streets are one
way and very narrow most likely because they were built before the
car was even thought of.
Our hotel the Palace was just that, originally built as a palace and
then they converted it over to a hotel.
After getting situated we opted to walk around the area and see the
sights but by the time we got going it was siesta time and everything
was closing up. We found a local joint that was still open for lunch
so we hoped in for a bite.
Once night hit Madrid was just wonderful and the weather could have
not been more perfect. Everywhere you go there is something happening.
Earlier that day I had spotted a nice Italian restaurant called Pasta
Nostra so we decided that would be perfect for dinner. We ordered
some Pizza and Pasta for what was to be the best Italian food we had
in a long time. Maybe it was just because the Italian food we had
earlier was not good. Maddie also decided tonight was the night she
wanted to start wearing glasses and Lisa's reding specs were just
the ones for her.
Posted by Scott
It was a holiday so there was not a lot going on anywhere and not
much was open. Lisa had cracked her tooth at dinner on the train so
today was a good day to find a dentist that was open and get it fixed.
I talk with the hotel about options for the dentist and we found a
clinic that was open across town and could get us in. Because of the
timing all they could do was a temporary fix but at least is was fixed.
Later that day we decided a Flamenco show would be in order so we
went to a show with a dinner. The dinner was good but the show was
a little bit long and we thought the free flamenco dancers you see
in the street had more talent. But in the end it was a good evening.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped in a café and had some dessert
and washed it down with a couple of espresso’s, Maddie and Lisa had
some kind of a chocolate coffee concoction that they claim was the
best ever. It did however keep Maddie up all night.
Posted by Scott
Picnic in the Park....
Another Holiday so once again not much would be open today but we
would make the best of it. We started by heading down to the center
or town to see the Plaza Mayor.
After walking around and checking stuff out we hit up a ham shop
which is a store that only sells hams and I mean a lot of different
hams. Picked up a few types, some cheese and a baguette and we were
off to the park.
The park was definitely the place to be on such a beautiful day and
we picked a nice spot in the grass. After the picnic we strolled through
the walkways to admire all the grand gardens they have throughout
the park. It was also a great place to play a good old fashion game
By this time Maddie was tired and we had a ways to go to getback
to the hotel so in the usual style she caught the daddy taxi.
Later that evening we grabbed dinner again at Pasta Nostra and by
this time we were locals. It seems whenever we travel and try all
kinds of new foods, like the tapa bars of Spain, you can always find
comfort in a big bowl of spagetti bolognese.
Posted by Scott
Driving the Partner....
Started out early and went down to the train station to rent a car
from Sixt a German car rental outfit. We got a Puegot Partner which
is a mini minivan sort of diesel station wagon thing. Maddie felt
sick and as we walked outside she threw up all over the sidewalk.
We got her into the car and were off. Heading out of Madrid Lisa had
the first shift of driving.
It was raining and our first stop was in Toledo the original capital
of Spain. We parked in a garage as in a town center you are not going
to find a parking space. Maddie was feeling better and we walked down
to the McDonalds and she got some food. Toledo was a interesting place
built on a hilltop and you could probably spend a few days there but
we opted for just an hour.
As we headed off the sky cleared and we were driving through the olive
orchards in what was becoming a beautiful day. About an hour out of
Toledo the McA-Dees was catching up with her and Maddie had a round
two in the car. Now it was siesta time in the middle of nowhere and
that made it even more fun. Within 10 minutes she felt 100% and we
drove through the countryside down to Merida.
Everyone live in the towns or villages and once out in the farmlands
there are no houses so everything is very clean. It is not like the
United States where everyone had 10 acres and 5 old cars spread around
their property. You really get a feeling as if you have gone back
Once in Merida we stayed in the town plaza at the Merida Palace Hotel
another palace gone hotel. We decided to eat dinner in the hotel restaurant
which like most places in Spain does not start serving dinner until
after 8:30. We had some special version of Paella and the food was
Posted by Scott
We started the day by walking around Merida for a little while and
Lisa bought her usual dose of postcards and souvenirs’ – she puts
the T in tourist. To make up some time that we had lost the day before
driving through the countryside we headed straight onto the freeway
which you pay to drive on in Spain so it would not be free by any
means. On the way down to Seville we made a lunch stop and found a
Spanish version of a dollar store in Monesterio which is not much
more than a dot on a map.
Afterwards we headed south until I spotted a Solar Furnace Tower in
the distance and we had to “shortcut” out of the way to see it. I
used the term shortcut because whenever I tell them we are taking
one it is usually just the opposite. The solar furnace is a array
of collecting mirrors that concentrate the sunlight to a single point
on a tall tower where is superheats water into steam to drive a turbine
to make electricity.
So after the shortcut we were headed straight into Seville and trying
to find the center of town where the old tourist part is. After making
3 circles around it we were finally there and found a hotel. Unfortunately
they had no parking so I needed to drop off the bags and drive out
of the old part to a garage.
I will say that the old part of Seville is a very cool. We were staying
at ground zero in a hotel they called a High Tech Hotel which had
all kinds of weird stuff going on, like a glass bathroom. After getting
unpacked we headed out and walked around getting a paella dinner at
a local place.
Posted by Scott