Sunday, March 30

Madrid, Spain

(t) First of all Madrid was our first European city. As we drove into Madrid I was reminded of all the things I had been missing without knowing I was missing them. It was contemporary man-made beauty. Fashion window displays. Home decor stores. Beautiful buildings rather than cement cinder blocks with re-bar protruding from the roof. I know. I know. This makes me sound terribly materialistic. But, I really thought, Oh, yeah I like these things. I am not saying South America doesn't have these things but where we had been we hadn't seen them for some time.

Our first morning we ate breakfast in the Plaza Mayor where a government procession kept cruising through. They had the full getup with the powdered wigs and all.

After each pass though the vacuum truck would come though and clean up after the horses. Very clean. Another thing I like.

We made our way across town on one of our self guided walking tours and found the palace where the convoy was arriving. Perfect timing! We were able to see the palace guards march out and greet the leaders entering. We spent the rest of the day touring the city. The theme of Madrid for us was tapas bars. We loved the complementary snacks that came with our cold beers.

We had to try the churros and chocolate. We visited the popular Chocoloteria San Gines. Unknowingly we ordered two orders (one for each of us) and we were shocked when they brought us a mountain of churros. Mike did his best finish them but we just couldn't do it. And, then we had one of our - Why did we eat that? Moments.

We spent half of the following day figuring out the best way to mail our camping gear ahead to the Spirent office in Hong Kong. The Madrid Post Office was a tour worthy destination in itself.

Once our packages were on there way, we spent the rest of the day wandering in Retiro Park. Mike thinks I look like Mini-Trini in this photo.

From Madrid we took a recommended side trip (thanks Aimee) to Segovia. This was an easy bus ride from the center of the city. We saw our first of many roman structures in Segovia. The Roman Aqueduct which is 894 meters long.

While there we spotted a traditional barber shop and Mike decided to abandon his no haircut idea. Here is a last look at his long locks.

Here's the new clean cut Mike.

No comments: