Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Cordoba is linked to Madrid via high speed train, which we purchased tickets on, through a big stroke of luck, using broken Spanish at the train station.

The speed was shown on a monitor at the front of our car and the fastest we noticed was 270km/hr, which is pretty impressive. We crossed our longest distance of the four-city stop in the shortest amount of time: just under 2 hrs.

Our Madrid hotel is spacious and has a kitchen with a fridge, sink and range...but no pots, pans, silverware, coffeemaker, plates...nothing. You have to request them from the front desk but they are clear that they are not responsible for washing them but also won't provide soap and sponges unless you fork over a fee. Strangest kitchen policy I've ever encountered. For two days we've attempted the least messy breakfast we can think of: soft boiled eggs with cheese and wee toasts. We had to make egg cups from wads of toilet paper. I have decided not to share photos. This morning I wandered down the street to the nearest Churreria so we could see what this early-morning Churros phenomenon is all about. Verdict: Salt and Fat. Nothing wrong with that.

Continuing on the subject of food: We've pretty much experienced the wonderful world of tapas and feeling a bit exhausted, have glommed on to this Mexican restaurant down the street. I am almost perplexed by how much like a hug this place felt like.

Our first full day we visited the Palacio Real de Madrid. You might think that after the palaces in Sevilla and Granada we would have had enough of royal residences, but this was unlike either of the others, and quite lovely. Photos weren't allowed and the ones I snuck weren't fun enough to post, but here is one of us in front of a random statue that means nothing to us, but it is where the couple who asked us to take their photo wanted to stand, so this is where we stood when they returned the favor. This is the only photo of us together in Spain.

This morning we took the metro to the Parque del Retiro while it was still relatively cool (another 90 degree day).

Afterwards we visited the Prado Museum, which was very nice.
We had a nice Indian meal and will now power nap in anticipation of staying up all night in anticipation of sleeping on our (separate) flights home.
It's been a vacation of the crazy and tiring variety, and we've loved every minute.