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Taste Of Madrid

April 25, 2007

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We thought we would spend lots of time in Madrid this past winter since we have lots of friends through our church there and love art, but some how we never got there.... until now. We did not want to leave Spain for seven months without seeing Madrid and the Prado even if it was just a small taste.

It was part of our thinking when we decided to fly back from Morocco and land in Madrid. It is a night city, known for having the best night life in Europe and possibly the world. In my youth, I could stay up and party all night, but now I don’t care for night life much and tend to like solitude and silence if I stay up.

Still, I thought we had the possibility of maybe seeing a little of Madrid’s famous nightlife as I booked a plane that was to land at 11 P.M. Things are just getting started there then and we would have adapted to Morocco’s two hours earlier time frame.

Well, fate had other plans for us as we did not land until after 3 A.M. and we just wanted to hit the sack by that point. Oh well, I am sure we will have another chance along the way. Now that we know Madrid a little, we are sure to be back.

It is a very beautiful city and DaVinci thought he could live there. It is a very large city, which is probably too much for me at this point in life. I was a big city girl in my young adulthood, but now I have become a country wife and enjoy that slower pace and quiet. We could see some of the similar charms that I enjoyed in Seville, but in a bigger city way. Seville has a small town feel, but Madrid is clearly a bustling city and the largest one in Spain, besides being the capital.

It was wonderful to be back in civilization again and if felt good even at the airport. Morocco is a wonderful ancient civilization with gracious, warm people and spectacular sights, but alas it is the third world and for an American it felt so nice to be back in the predictability of the first world after ten days away.

Spain really does feel like our second home now. It was wonderful to be able to understand everything that was being said again and to talk to our taxi driver and such. One can get by in countries like Morocco where they speak little English  (and mainly Arab and French), but it makes it a lot easier when you understand and can talk well enough to be understood. Of course, it is Mozart and DaVinci who understand and talk it and not me, but even I understand a lot more Spanish than French.

It is just easier to get back to something more familiar, so that was part of the “back to civilization” feeling. I did not mean it literally, but figuratively as I admire much about the ancient Moroccan civilization and the incredible beauty and refinement on some levels. We just know and are more comfortable with this one. It is easier for us on lots of levels, so that was a relief.

I was not crazy about where we stayed. It was a fantastic central location and a great price, but it looks so much better on the website and they were not terribly helpful. It was clean at least and at three in the morning that is all that really matters. We got into bed as quickly as we could.

As you might guess, we slept in. We got in our showers and Mozart watched a little bit of Disney channel in Spanish on the TV and then were ready to do a little exploring. We never found the Madrid Vision bus that tours the city and lets you hop on and off, so we just grabbed a taxi after a while to find someplace on our list to eat.

With this short time in the city, we were down to three “must do’s”; lunch at the famous Botin, Prado (Madrid’s world famous art museum), and the world class hot chocolate and churros at Chocolateria San Gines.

We really loved what we did see especially Plaza Mayor, the park filled with tulips, the Prado, walking around Madrid, all the little and big romantic touches .... and the hot chocolate for breakfast  that tasted like and was the consistency of pudding!

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