Hardly fell anywhere when we were there in late February and early March of 2015.
As promised (but of course much later than intended), here is the second of our now three part series about our trip to Spain. The main purpose of the trip, as you probably know, was our participation in Diverbo’s Pueblo Inglés program in La Alberca, Spain. But we also had a few days to see the sights of Madrid, Toledo, and Cuenca (Spain, that is!) In the interest of getting this post published before we forget what we even did, it will be heavy on pictures and lighter on text. If you are cheering that fact, I don’t want to hear about it. This post will focus on Madrid.
We flew non-stop from Quito, Ecuador to Madrid (10 1/2 hour flight) on Iberia Airlines. Since it was a night flight and we advanced six hours in time, we had a nice sleep and arrived in the early afternoon. After checking into our hostel in the historic center just blocks from Plaza Mayor and Puerto del Sol, we enjoyed a self-guided walk in the brisk but clear early evening.
When I think of Madrid, I think of plazas. It seems that at every turn, a sidewalk or narrow street opens up into a plaza. I loved the surprise of it. Probably the most famous plaza is the Plaza Mayor.
On our first full day in Madrid, we went on a “free” guided walking tour (we were expected and were glad to tip our guide). This is a really great way to get your bearings in a new city.
Speaking of food, you can eat just about anything your heart desires in Madrid but eating with friends makes it all taste so much better.
Besides the walking tour, we sprung for a two day unlimited pass to ride the Hop On Hop Off double decker sightseeing buses. After riding both routes and listening to the audio at least two times, we felt a little more comfortable with the layout of the city center, the history of Madrid, and how to get where we wanted to go. Here are some pictures from those rides.
Because of our limited time, we did not tour the Palacio Real or the Museo de Prado but will definitely do so on our next visit. However, we did enjoy the free admission at the Museo Sofia on Sunday afternoon as well as walking through the beautiful Parque Retiro.
Near our hostel was a little alley that was adorned with these wonderful mosaics.
For next time: Our third and final post about Spain, featuring the cities of Toledo and Cuenca – two very easy day trips from Madrid.
If you were hoping and expecting to read about life in Cuenca, Ecuador, we’re sorry for the deep disappointment you must be experiencing. But we think we can help. Our friends Lance and Kathy Mentink write a wonderful blog about their life here in Cuenca and their most recent post was excellent. Why don’t you head on over to Rambling On to see what experiences the Mentinks have had recently. Go to http://lance-kathy.blogspot.com/
What We’ve Learned: We did more in Spain than we thought we did!
What We Need to Learn: Don’t procrastinate in writing a blog – it only gets harder!