• Post category:Europe / Spain

The final stop on the holiday was vibrant Madrid. We took another bus for the 4.5 hour journey and time seemed to pass quite quickly. The sheer number of Olive trees made it clear how much Olive Oil came from this region.

Having bumbled our way through the Mardrid public transport system we got to our apartment which was a stone’s throw from the busy shopping street of the Grand Via. It was also Monday and free entry to the Thyssen Art Museum which we had liked more than the Prado on last visit because the collection was smaller and easier to take in.

The next day we joined a food walk – it was a good opportunity to get some tips for the remainder of the stay in Madrid. I had booked the tour while travelling by bus and had not received a confirmation email so we turned up extra earlier to make sure we actually were registered. Having confirmed that, and being nearly 30 minutes early, we said we would walk around the square. The tour leader warned us we needed to be back on time and the tour wouldn’t wait for us. We returned 5 minutes early and she said to the assembled group she was surprised we were back on time – we certainly felt like naughty children. More surprising were the other 8 members of the tour – there were 3 Americans and all the rest of us were all from NZ.

We did visit another Churro/Porro Cafe for fresh delights, bread shops, local market, calamari, cakeries, tapas and wine shops. It was an excellent activity and the restaurant recommendations which we used over the course of our stay were very good.

One of the best restaurants was La Sanabresa – which when I looked it up has the descriptor “a casual meat focused restaurant” = Andrew to a T. But it was open early (13:00) we got there just after and got the last 2 seats. The place was humming! Food was excellent and not expensive with a lot of locals having the menu of the day. When we exited, the queue was snaking down the street.

Over our time in the city we visited a few museums from the Museum of Madrid history – with its excpetionally ornate entrance to the Museum of the artist Lazaro Galdiano where along with the display of paintings in his former house, there were artisits with easels painting in the gardens. And there was the Museum of the Romantic period (19th century art and artefacts ) with beautifully presented rooms – here the guards watched you like a hawk.

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