Hola and Adios Madrid!

Sunday, April 01, 2012
Madrid, Madrid, Spain and Canary Islands

April 1st
7:20 am: I'm waiting in the lobby of NH Constanza . I checked out of Hostal Fernando and took a cab here. There was no way I was going to lug all my crap on the metro and try
to figure out where this place was. Sometimes spending a few extra
euros on a taxi is worth it. And the taxi driver from Pakistan said I speak Spanish well, and that made me laugh.

Hostal Fernando worked great for the three days I spent in Barcelona. It was small, quiet, clean and the staff was very helpful. The location was ideal – just off Ramblas,
near the Liceu metro and in the Gothic Quarter.

I'm heading on a five-day tour through EA Tour Specialists. Today we will head to Madrid and stay for the night. My friend, Kay, hooked me up with some friends in Madrid, Virginia and Bob. I will plan on giving them a call once I get settled in at my hotel. We are scheduled to depart at 8 am. I could totally go for a cafe con leche .

11 am: Got on the bus, and we just made a gas station stop/break in the town of Frada. Got a cafe con leche and a funky sandwich that I think just merely had bacon on it. I slept most of the way here. So far the scenery looks green and somewhat like back home. Our guide, Paco, speaks English and Spanish. Just spoke to a young couple on the break from Singapore, Elizabeth and Shawn. I thought they were from the US, because I heard them speaking English so well. They said they learn it from watching too much US television. :) Next, we make a stop in Zaragoza.

2:20 pm: Just spent close to two hours in Zaragoza. Had lunch on the square and took a stroll through the Basilica. There were marches going on for Palm Sunday, and lots of people were dressed up. My nieces would've liked seeing all the little girls in their pretty dresses. Some people departed on a tour of the north to San Sebastian, and some of us are heading to Madrid .
Zaragoza was one of the most important cities in Spain during the Golden Ages.

7:30 pm: Arrived in Madrid (muh-dreed) an hour ago! Yay! Virginia is picking me up in an hour. I'm staying at the Hotel Mayorazgo, and it's nice! Hopefully I can see a bit of the plaza tonight. Tomorrow the bus picks us up at 8 am. Yikes! But I can sleep on the bus. Madrid has about 6 million people and is Spain's capital. Paco told us it was founded by Muslims, but there is also evidence that Romans might have been here, too. Off to get ready!

11:30 pm:
Just got back from spending 3 hours touring Madrid's main sights with Virginia. What an awesome, amazing person she is! We saw all the main stuff...Plaza Espana, Plaza del Sol, Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, the Cathedral, the statue of Don Quijote, the San Miguel Market (very fun and cool!) We sampled tapas and fresh ham and ate calamari sandwiches, which basically consists of calamari on bread. :) Madrid is really beautiful, and I'm bummed we leave tomorrow morning already, but what can you do? I'm glad I got here!

Tomorrow, the bus leaves at 7:45 am (ick) and we head to Cordoba and Seville. Should be interesting!

Hasta Luego!

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