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Trip Report- Madrid and Seville.

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My husband and I recently took a trip to Madrid and Seville and we had a fabulous time. Instead of going through and listing what we did each day I'm just going to group what we did by city to save some time and some typing.

Madrid May 11-14,17-18
Hotel-
Hotel Gran Canarias- I really enjoyed the location of this hotel away from the hustle and bustle of the Sol and the Gran Via but still within convenient walking distance to all of the sights we wanted to see. The view of the Neptune fountain at night can't be beat and the rooms were very comfortable.

Prado Museum-We went on Sunday when it was free, and we were far from the only people who thought that was a good idea. The lines were long, but moved quickly. Having been to the Louvre I was somewhat underwhelmed here, but that may also be due in part to the massive crowds. I think I would have enjoyed this museum much more if it had been less crowded.

Palacio Real-very regal baroque style palace, my husband commented that we need more things decorated in gold here in the United States. I was a bit disappointed that we were unable to take pictures inside though. The highlight for me here was the armory which was filled with all different kinds of suits of armor. We also enjoyed the adjacent garden.

Park Buen Retiro- This was my favorite place in all of Madrid and a fantastic place to people watch. In addition to being a lovely place to walk we came across a lot of free entertainment including a jazz vocalist, a puppet show and for San Isidro a ballet performance out on the lake. My favorite performance though was catching a group of young girls break out into impromtu flamenco dancing.

Sol/Gran Via- We walked through the Sol area our first afternoon in Madrid in search of something to eat and I was immediately overwhelmed by the crowds of people. It was quite intense. The Gran Via was also crowded but not wall to wall people as the Sol was.

Barrio de Las Letras/ Plaza de Santa Ana- We spent a lot of time here wandering through the narrow streets and eating at the wonderful tapas bars

Food
Breakfast was usually coffee and a croissant or muffin at Starbucks or a small cafe near our hotel.

Larrizan-Basque style pinxtos which were delicious. Menu del Dia included drink, 4 pinxtos and an entree for 9.50E and was far too much for one of us to eat. After this we decided just to share several tapas.

Casa Camu- casual modern tapas near Plaza Santa Ana.2 sangria, 1 saltienes ( egg potato dish) and 1 tosta with lobster totaled 13 E

Vinoteca Barbarecha- we ate here twice, great service and food. The tortilla and croquettes were my favorite. 2 glasses of wine and 4 tapas totaled 15 E.

Cervezeria Alemana- Plaza de Santa Ana. This one is in all the guide books and for good reason. Nice view of the plaza and good albondigas. 2 glasses of Sangria, 1 chorizo bocadillo and albondigas totaled 12 E.

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