We flew into Madrid for our wonderful tour of Spain.  Spectacular Spain - Madrid

After resting a little Saturday afternoon, Sharlene and I walked several blocks around the hotel to orient ourselves with the area. At 6pm we attended an orientation cocktail party.  A Guide gave an overview of our trip, we introduced ourselves to the other travelers, had our documents checked by Kaye and drank a glass or two of sangria.

On our walk we found a mall adjacent to the hotel that was having a chocolate exposition. The chocolate was sooo fine and attracted so many people we could hardly get through the crowds. Sharlene noticed that most of the women were wearing neck scarves, so that first day she bought one. After our walk we had dinner in the hotel's restaurant with the rest of the group.

Sunday morning we were up and ready for the Madrid Tour. But first, we had a fabulous breakfast buffet at our hotel, the Holiday Inn. As it turned out we felt the Holiday Inn had the best breakfast of all of the hotels we stayed in on this trip.

Madrid is a beautiful modern city and the new capital since 1561. Our local city guide directed the bus to several key sites on our way to the Prado Museum, the highlight of this day in Madrid. On the way we drove through the Puerta del Sol, the Times Square of Madrid, stopped at the Plaza de Espana with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, and Paseo de Castellana.

As we toured the Prado Museum with the world's largest collection of Spanish paintings and priceless art treasures, we were attracted by several of our travel mates describing the paintings in historical significance that I had never heard before. So we tagged along. We found out that these informed folks were Museum Docents from the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. What a great experience.

After the Prado, our small band of adventurers decided to take a train to El Escorial to see the castle, paintings, tombs and the silver figures in the high alter. The train took more time than we had planned so we hurried to find as many treasures as we could. We did manage to get a bite to eat for a late lunch, pizza and wine. From there we took the bus back to center of Madrid and then a taxi to the Holiday Inn hotel. Dinner at a local tapas restaurant.

Note: click on the picture to the right for more pictures of Madrid and El Escorial.

The Cervantes monument in Plaza de Espana, Madrid. Click here for more pictures.
Madrid was the first 2 days of our trip. Click here as the tour continues on to Toledo and Granada.

Click here for:    Madrid       Toledo        Granada       Torremolinos and Gibraltar       Ronda       Sevilla       Flamenco         Cordoba       Last Supper   
Copyright © by Dave Quinter