We have finally come to the end. Our last travel stop before heading home, Madrid!
Some of the best news…we were returning the rental car and going to spend the next 5 days walking and using public transport! Which meant no stress about driving or parking! Of course the other good news was that I had hardly purchased anything and still had room in my suitcase for more shopping!
However, a few more touristy related things before getting on to the shopping tales.
We had opted to stay on the Gran Via, at the Hotel Atlantico, as it was pretty central and easy walking distance to a great number of spots in Madrid. It turned out to be a great spot as we walked absolutely everywhere.
The Gran Via: This is a view from our hotel out over the Gran Via. The Fashion Mister wasn’t so impressed but it was a great location!
Madrid: Wandering around on our first day in Madrid we got a real sense of how grand a city it once was. Many of the streets are quite wide, a rarity in Spain, and the buildings are large and ornate. Columns, arches, statues and gold-plated things everywhere!
Museo Nacional Del Prado: The day we went to the Prado Museum was a perfect day for walking and we opted for a different route than we had taken before so we had an opportunity to see a lot more grand buildings and artwork. We had plenty of opportunity to go to any number of museums while in Spain but we waited to the end so we could spend the day in the Prado. Not only is it HUGE but they have the largest collection of Rubens that I have ever seen. I told the Fashion Mister I considered myself a Rubenesque woman. He stood staring at one of the paintings and replied, “I think you’re only about half Rubenesque”. I took it as a compliment. He’s such a charmer!
Of course we also had the opportunity to see Goya, Velazquez, Rafael, Greco, Tiziano, Rembrandt and a fair few others. We spent a couple of hours viewing the paintings and statues then stopped in the cafe for lunch and then spent another couple of hours looking at more artwork. We didn’t even see it all but by that time both of us had sensory overload and felt we had seen enough. We stopped in the gift shop and purchased the Fashion Mister’s grand-daughter (who couldn’t be more like me if she were my blood) coloured pencils and a colouring book of famous artists.
The Food: As Madrid is in the middle of the country, there wasn’t as much seafood available. The focus was all on paella, beef and jamon. We actually found a restaurant, Cafe Maria, we liked about a kilometer up the Gran Via that we really liked and found ourselves heading up there either for tapas at lunch or something more substantial for dinner. The wait staff were all nice and friendly and even though they only spoke to me in Spanish, they were easy to understand and helpful with suggestions. Maybe my Spanish was improving? Even the Fashion Mister had added to his Spanish repertoire and could order desert as well as drinks!
Tomorrow I will finish our Spanish holiday with the last of my shopping adventures and purchases in Madrid. Hope you have enjoyed the tales.
Madrid is our last travel stop before heading home.