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Trip Report Trip Report: 10 Days in Spain

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For photos, go to in a few days ( hopefully – I have over 800 to cull, sort, crop and upload!)

DAY 00 – SUN APR 29

This is our second trip to Spain. In 2006 we spent a week in Madrid (with side trips to El Escoreal, Segovia, and Toledo).

Our flight from Philadelphia took off on time – and luckily, there were two empty seats next to me, so I was able to lie down and sleep a bit. My wife, Linda, has less trouble sleeping sitting up (with the help of Nyquil)…so she took the seat with someone next to her…wonderful woman!!

DAY 01 – MON APR 30

Very quick exit through control and customs in T1. (We never check bags – just a couple of 21” overhead rollers and two pocketbook-size underseat bags.)

We decided to try the Express Bus rather than Metro (which, though it drops us closer to our hotel, involves walking to T2 and changing trains twice). It was really fast and only cost 2€ - - since we beat the price increase by 1 day. :-) It dropped us at Plaza Cibeles. The walk to Hostal Acapulco in Plaza Carmen was mostly uphill, perhaps 1 km.

This was our second stay at Hostal Acapulco, and I highly recommend it. Wonderful folks, beautiful rooms, great location (3 blocks from Sol), and super price.

First stop: The Orange Store in Sol to buy a SIM card for our phone. This was new territory for me – I had a phone I borrowed from a friend – and I was not sure how to do this. The people there were super-helpful. Got one for 9€ that had 9€ of time on it – a special promotion. Later in the trip we added 5€, so the whole deal only cost 14€. We called restaurants a few times and called our parents in the US nearly every day for short calls…a very good deal.

Lunch at Caffe Y Te – nothing fancy – just sandwiches – a quick and easy.

Now came the scary part… Our son and his wife flew to Madrid two days earlier and spent those days in Barcelona. We were to meet their train back to Madrid at Atocha and take the Metro back. Unfortunately, we could not find them (Did they miss their train??), and ,despite our suggestion, had not brought a phone. So we went back to our hotel. They arrived (by taxi) about 15 minutes later.

[METRO NOTE: I first bought a 10-ride ticket from the machine, thinking it was a pack of 10 tickets, like it is in Paris. When I realized my mistake, I bought several singles for my wife, thinking we wouldn’t use very many and that I had wasted some money. Then I decided otherwise and bought a second 10-ride ticket. It turned out that we used almost all the rides by the time we were done – with 1 remaining on each which I have saved for our next trip. The 10-ride ticket is really cheap…9.60€.]

The four of us walked to the Reina Sofia museum (which was better than I had remember it), took the Metro back, and had dinner at La Nuva Galicia, a very simple restaurant. The menu del día cost (starter, main, and drink) was 9€. Most dishes were a little bland, but the albondigas (meatballs) were excellent and the caldo gallego was a huge bowl of amazing soup with lots of beans and big chunks of potatoes and cabbage – almost a meal in itself.

[to be continued...]

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