A Travellerspoint blog

A day in Madrid ....

So much to see ....

sunny 30 °C

7 Sept 2011 (Wednesday)

First day of our European Holidays. Greeted with a beautiful sunny day with clear blue sky. There goes all that jumper and jacket that we brought .... something to remember ... September is still very hot in Spain .. temperature was about 30 C. Best dress is T shirt with sunglasses and a hat. Started the day with breakfast at the hotel cafe ..... coffee with juice and croissant for 3 Euro. Spanish churros was also good. Walked along the narrow lanes off the main road from Calle de Toledo. First stop Jardin de Las Vestillas .. a garden below the Viaduct.

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Looking across we could see the Catedral de Las Almudena.

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It was quiet a climb back to the main road but it was early so our reserves were still high ... next stop Real Palacio (or the Royal Palace). Big plaza in front of Palace with long passages. IMG_8640a.jpg Long queue so decided to give it a miss. Walked along the Calle Mayor to Plaza de Mayor and Puerta del Sol. Calle de Mayor is a major road flank with tourist shops. Good place to grab some pastries before stopping at the famous Plaza Mayor (check out photos). Plaza Mayor is a large cobblestone plaza with interesting arched corridors on all sides. Check out the Sombrero and the cookies shops ...

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Walked through Puerto del Sol towards the Museo Del Prado. Very busy part of the city with tourists everywhere. Keep off the main road (Carr. San Jeronimo) and you will enjoy the less busy narrow lanes with more interesting shops. Haven’t been eating rice for 2 days so decided to have Indian lunch at Indian Aroma (at Ventura de la Vega off Carr. San Jeronimo). It was so nice to have fish curry and veg briyani after 2 days (die hard rice eaters .... )
Since Museo del Prado is free from 6pm onwards, we decided to walk round the Botanical Garden first.

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It was worth the walk as you will see a huge collection of plants and trees, some unique to Spain ...... some ideas for our garden back in Melbourne. At 6pm we headed to Museo del Prado. Enjoyed the vast collection of art from the various eras. Big on Spanish collection of El Greco and Goya. It was amazing to have a close up look at the marterpieces ..... those detail stokes and blends of colour ..... mind boggling skills. These talented painters certainly were in demand then .... imagine what they would say if they know about digital camera, scanners and Photoshop !!!

Posted by nasirhasnah 15:25 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Spain Unplugged ....

Travel to Madrid via Paris on AirAsia and EasyJet ..

sunny 32 °C

6 September 2011 (Tuesday)

First flight out of LCCT. 1.20am bound for Orly, Paris. Prebooked seats 8a and 8b. Fortunately row 7 was also empty ... see we had the full rows 7 and 8. Did not get our requested upgrade from Optiontown .... but this is a good alternative ! (check that we get out money back from Optiontown).
With the full 3 seats, it was a great flight ... slept all the way. We were served 2 meals (you get 2 meals during the KL-Paris flight if you prebook). Nasi lemak followed by Chicken briyani close to arrival). AirAsia is fine .... crew was friendly and the flight very smooth. Bought our universal travel adapter .... last minute prep ... Euro plug is a double straight round pin. You can get this cheaper from KL electrical stores !). Arrived in Orly Paris at 9.30am, feeling fresh after the good sleep. Transferred from Orly to Charles de Gaulle airport on the Air France bus, outside terminal 2 platform 5. Price 17 Euro each. CDG is a big airport, so you need to know which terminal you are going to. EasyJet flight for Madri d leaves from Terminal 2B. We had a long wait as our next flight was at 5.30pm. So spent time at McD with free wifi !! Now for those interested in prices of food for budgeting purpose, here’s some indications : McDonalds meal or Pizza Hut meal are about 6.50 Euro each. Kebab meal is about 6 – 7 Euro each. Coffee 1.5 – 2 Euro. Soft drinks 1.5-2 Euro. Water 0.3-1.3 Euro (cheaper from the supermarket).
Checked in EasyJet flight with no problem. Please note EasyJet only allow ONE hand luggage. Handbag is considered one hand baggage ... so need to put the handbag into a bigger carrier/cabin bag if you have one. Hasnah forgot that she has a 150ml lotion in her carrier bag. Tried to check in the bag to avoid losing the nice new lotion .... But checking in additional bag after official check in will cost you additional 30 Euro .... hence we sacrificed the lotion .
Arrived in Madrid airport on time ... 7.30pm. Decided to use public transport ... remember we are retirees !!!. It was actually quite easy. Bus from Terminal 2 for Canellijas Metro. It was a bit of hassle as they do not have escalators at the Metro ... hence the lugging of baggage down the steps. REMEMBER ... DO NOT CARRY TOO MANY BAGS ... KEEP IT TO ONE PER PERSON ... something we overlooked ... we had 2 big bags and Hasnah has a small trolley bag plus my camera backpack. Obviously I am responsible for the 2 BIG bags  .... it was a test of my muscles to carry these up and down the steps. Anyway it was good exercise ... heart beat up to 150bpm ! Travelling on the Madrid Metro is easy ... took line 5 for La Latina. Then a short walk 500m to the hotel (should have got off at the next stop Puerto de Toledo which was only 50 m from the hotel .. something for the next traveller ..) The street Calle de Toledo is very reminiscent of Glasgow .... old buildings and narrow street. Ganivet hotel was certainly welcoming with nice modern lobby. Checking was fine will all paper from AGODA in order. We had room 214. Spacious clean room with twin beds, TV, wardrobe and a small bathroom with shower. TV channels are all in Spanish except CNN.
We were starving by then. Ventured out to get a quick snack .... luckily the kebab shop beside the hotel was still open ... Spaniards eat late dinners so restaurant and cafes are open till 10.30-11pm. Stocked up with some snacks from the shop next to the hotel ... run by a local Chinese !!!

Posted by nasirhasnah 08:42 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Exploring Toledo

My first posting ... hope this gets through ..

A full day in Toledo. The temperature was unbearable .... even the Spaniards stay under the shade !!!

Posted by nasirhasnah 22:54 Comments (0)

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