|The saving grace of international travel|
Flight information is boring, so let me assure you, we had it as good as we could afford, which wasn't very good, but we arrived at the same time all the rest of the people arrived safe and sound; tired, stiff, and shell shocked. Madrid airport is beautiful and we proceeded without incident. Found an ATM and got some Euros, called the apartment manager that we were on our way, and proceeded to get a taxi into the city.
As mentioned before, our Spanish is ....limited. We can say hello, good morning, afternoon, evening, good bye, do you speak English and yes. This is the limited vocabulary that we had in Italy last year too. Unfortunately, we have found that Madrid really is a Spanish city and the people here speak ....Spanish. Fewer English speaking tourists. Fewer English signs. Lots of Spanish. Our taxi driver was one of those. In other countries, the cabbies know a little English, but do know the city. Not the one we got. She didn't know where the apartment was, didn't speak English, didn't try to. We think she was a rookie. She just talked really fast and louder. I had written the address on an index card with the owner's name and phone number too, she called the apartment owner, and talked and talked and talked about where this apartment was. We knew where it was on the map, but she didn't know how to get there. Fortunately there was a maximum fee for the ride from the airport to the city, so we didn't get ripped off, but it was an arduous task just to get here. And of course, we were TIRED! Note to self, next time get a cab driver who is an old man that looks like he has been driving for 50 years.
The manager, Sol, met us in the apartment and showed us around. It is small but nice. 2 bedrooms, living space, bath with shower, nice little kitchen with dishwasher and sink, 4 burner stove, fridge, and a washer dryer for clothes.
Unpacked, and then lay down for a little rest. 2 hrs. later we are out walking the neighborhood. The weather is 53 degrees F. so a fleece felt good, but bright sun. Here are some shots of the neighborhood and our walk.
Found the daily market, Mercado, and again, what fun. Lots of stalls, but the difference is that people eat there too. Tapas is "small plates" of savory dishes, so you go around to these vendors and pick out some good snacks and then meet at a table. Like hors d'ouvers for a meal. Kind of like the food court at the mall, but MUCH MUCH better food.
|Little individual servings of sausage|
|Fresh potato chips--|
|Seafood always intrigues us|
Walked and walked. Saw the palace, the Cathedral, just saw.
|Cathedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena|
|It's spring here! Green grass!|