Friday, July 23, 2010

2010 Spain Day 10 - To Madrid

We are heading back to Madrid this morning to finish up the trip. We had a quick breakfast at the hotel, packed up the luggage, loaded up the car and were on the road a little after 10 a.m. With a quick stop to fill the tank of the rental car, we were back in Madrid a little after 11 a.m. It was not a very interesting drive.

When I rented the car, I had requested a GPS. Hertz gave us a portable Garmin that set on top of the dash. It worked great the whole trip. It dropped us right where we wanted to go each time. I am not sure that I could have found my way in and out of the twisting streets of Segovia without it! Additionally, getting back to the rental car place in Madrid could not have been easier.

Dropping the rental car, we caught a taxi to the Ritz Hotel. We are spending the last two nights of the trip at this hotel. We have jr. suite room #219. The Ritz is right across the street from the Prado; our major goal for the next two days.

Interesting, the Ritz was just reopening as we got there. There was a kitchen fire in the hotel three days ago and it has been shut down since then.

After we got into the room, we walked around the neighborhood. We had a lunch of tapas at Estabon Puro across the street from the Pardo and the hotel. From there, we attacked the Museo del Prado. We got one guidebook and one audio tour. Struggling to figure out a plan of attack, we eventually settled on concentrating on the ground floor. It took us a little over three hours to cover about 40 rooms. At that point, we decided that we would leave the first floor for tomorrow morning.

We finished the day with a drink and a snack in the terrace restaurant at the Ritz. We then wandered towards the Gran Via into a neighborhood that we had not been before. Sharon wanted paella for dinner and the hotel recommended a restaurant called la barraca. Neither Sharon or I thought that paella was as good as the dish we had in Barcelona at the beginning of the trip.

We got back to the room and to bed a little earlier than the last couple of nights. It was 11:30 p.m.!

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