Monday, February 23, 2009

SPAIN...Madrid whether we wanted to or not....

Monday, February 23, 2009 Madrid

Yes, I know…if you’re following our schedule we should be in Sevilla and then Tarifa for two nights. Well…as seasoned solo travelers know, the best of plans go astray sometimes.

Last night we read our bus ticket as 10:45 pm; it was military time: 20:45…and that’s 8:45 pm. We were only half an hour late as we’d arrived well ahead of schedule or so we thought. The next bus would be at 9:00 am on Monday. There was one last bus scheduled to leave: Madrid. This bus station is in the middle of nowhere and about the size of a small bedroom with only one bathroom that’s kept locked. So being good eggs we changed our ticket and boarded the bus to Madrid where we arrived somewhat worst for the wear about 7 am. No one spoke English that we could find so we went to the taxi line and took a cab to the Hostel that we were schedule to stay at on March 1st.

They are being great and giving us beds for two nights. Then we cancelled by email the reservations for Tarifa, Malaga and Cordova; and extended Granada one day on either end all by email within an hour and received confirmation back already. We’ve emailed the husbands to let them know of the changes as they’ve slept through our whole adventure. Modern technology does help. We have free wi-fi here at the Mad Hostel; that’s keeping us occupied until we can actually check in at 1 pm. Then we’re heading out to explore the town.

We got into our room….very tiny with two bunk beds but we are both on the bottom bunk which will be easier getting in and out of. So far we have one female roommate.
We’re on the third floor but there is a tiny elevator for luggage.

Walked all the way to the Palace; did the tour reading the Rick Steves’ book. Sad part was that only one of the five Stradivarius instruments that are 350 years old was on view. This is the only surviving matched set of four for a quartet: two violins, a viola, and a cello. There are only about 300 instruments made by Antonius Stradivarius in the world today. Princess Sophia loves classical music and these are used to perform for her and her guests.

After that we toured the Cathedral next door; see some of the photos that we were allowed to take inside.

Then we walked to the Plaza Mayor where people were performing for tourist, sitting on the stones on the plaza, eating at the restaurants, etc. Then on to the Puerta del Sol…the center of Spain. There is a metal plate in front of the Government building that states it is Kilo. Zero. All distances in Spain are measured from that spot.

Arrived back at the Hostel about 5 pm and will try to send this newest blog before showers and early to bed. Who knows what adventure tomorrow holds for us!

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