Thursday, March 24, 2011
No show tonight, so we have the full day and night free. I went to the Gym across the street this morning for a workout. It felt great sweating out the Serrano ham and fattening cheese that I ate last night!
Kevin went for breakfast while I had an apple from the hotel reception. I'm not sure what our plans are today--just going to see a few sights in Madrid, I think. Kevin's been here many times before and said there isn't a lot to see. I Googled "sightseeing in Madrid," and it also said the same online! It said there are very few sights for such a big capital city!
Its 7 P.M. and I just got back to the hotel after walking 7 miles around Madrid sightseeing! I had a great day, although the weather wasn't sunny and a touch cool. Still, it was fine and was great weather for walking.
We took the subway from the hotel to the area of Sol, the central area in Madrid, and wandered around the streets looking at stores, buildings and sights.
While the buildings are nowhere near as nice as in Lisbon or Barcelona, I love all the squares with fountains and monuments in Madrid. It's a VERY clean city and the streets and subway are spotless. Since I only had an apple for breakfast I was a touch hungry towards 2 o clock, and we made our way into the main food market.
What an amazing place; it's full of stalls selling all types of food--each stall was food specific--and in the center were tables and chairs. You just go up to each stall, get a plate of what you want, then get a glass of whatever wine you want. You can either wander around the market eating and drinking or find a seat and a table to sit down at.
I, of course, settled on some more ham, a bread roll, and a glass of Chianti : ) Kevin wandered off saying he was going to get a coffee and came back with what you see below! Although the picture doesn't do them justice, those are the biggest strawberries I've ever seen in my life!
After another glass of Chianti and people watching for a good hour, we headed out for more walking around Barcelona. The ham and cheese shops are a huge thing out here. The Spanish certainly know how to eat and what to eat--it beats our greasy English pub food any day of the week!
We ended up in a market square, except there was no market! There were, however, a couple of street performers, including some bizarre pagan goats that looked like something out of the film The Wickerman! There was another guy blowing HUGE bubbles, a guy pretending to be invisible, and a guy playing the wine glasses as seen in the video below.
Bubbles and the invisible man in the market square
After walking around for another 3 hours, we stopped for hot chocolate before heading over to a huge park that Kevin's been to before. Then we got the subway back to the hotel.
An unusual art installation in the park and the lake.
More pictures from the 1st day in Madrid in the album below:
Posted by Simon W at Thursday, March 24, 2011