Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010 Spain Day 4 - To Madrid

Up about 7:00 a.m., Sharon sent me out to look for a Starbucks. Less than two blocks away, the Starbucks did not open until 7:30 a.m. so I walked to the Ramblus and explored a recently discovered Roman necropolis; it was on the Roman road into Barcelona.

Back to the room, the three of us headed back to the Ramblus and to the La Boqueria, a large market. We explored through the market, bought some fruit and ended up having breakfast at the Pinotxo Bar.

This is moving day. We will be heading from Barcelona to Madrid. After breakfast, we headed back to the room and packed. Checking the luggage with the hotel, we took a cab to the Miro Museum. Sharon and I had spotted it yesterday and were both thinking about it as someplace we would like to stop. It is up on the hill near the museum and the Olympic Stadium where we were yesterday with some great views of the city. This is the stop that Jack struggled with the most on the trip so far. He did not appreciate a blue dot on a white canvas (one of Mior's actual paintings) as modern art.

Taking a taxi back to the hotel, we walked a couple of blocks to Qu Qu (Quasi Queviures) for a drink and a snack.

Starting to Madrid, we took a taxi to the Sant train station and caught a high speed train to Madrid. It was an easy three hour trip with speeds up to 300 KPH (about 184 miles per hour). The countryside was an interesting. When we were in New Mexico, I wondered about what the Spainish were doing in that part of the world. There were sections outside of Barcelona that reminded me of New Mexico. There were also long sections that could have just as easily been the central valley in California and along the Sierra Nevada foothills.

We got to the Atoch train station in Madrid a little before 6:00 p.m. and took a taxi to the hotel. We will be spending the next three nights at the Urban Hotel. In contrast to the Hotel Palace in Barcelona, this is a very modern hotel.

After checking in and roaming the hotel, we started to wander the city. We went to Puerta de Sol and then to Plaza Major. One of the travel books has a pub crawl for dinner and we spent some time trying to orient ourselves for doing this on Monday night.

Sharon had made a reservation for dinner at the hotel in the restaurant Europa Deco so we headed back to the hotel for a 9:30 p.m. reservation. After dinner, we went back out to wander the area around the hotel. By the time we got back to the room, it was almost midnight. It was probably about 12:45 a.m. when we finally turned out the lights.

I made a tactical error; I did not set an alarm for the morning.

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