Day 15 - Friday, April 7, 2017 - Day at Leisure; Walking on Our Own in Madrid; Farewell Dinner
We slept in this morning and had breakfast without the hassles of too many groups trying to eat all at the same time. It was another beautiful day in Madrid, with a temperature of 42 degrees but there was not a cloud in the sky.
Armed with a map of the city and our cameras we set off on our own to explore Madrid. The location of the hotel was perfect as we could walk the busy Gran Vía and in a few minutes we were at the Plaza de España where we took more photos of the fountains.
We made our way to another beautiful park and the Templo de Debod, an Egyptian temple that was to be destroyed during the building of the Aswan Dam in the 1960’s. The temple was saved and moved to Madrid in 1968.
From the park surrounding the temple we had great views of the city and we walked to the Royal Palace that we has seen yesterday. We spent more time in the beautiful palace gardens and saw many people enjoying bike and Segway tours of the capital.
We loved the olive pinchos that Rikardo bought us yesterday so we went back to the San Miguel Market to look around. Vic had a Caipirinha with maracujá or passion fruit. The Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane alcohol), sugar and lime. We shared an empanada and we each chose three olive pinchos. What a great lunch!
We walked back to the hotel, on the way stopping at several small shops just to look and to watch the people. Rikardo had told us about a discount clothing store on the Gran Vía called Primark so we went in to see what all of the fuss was about. It was unbelievably crowded with thousands of people shopping for the latest “cheap” spring styles.
Back at the hotel we had a chance to organize ourselves and then get our bags packed for the trip home very early in the morning.
The traditional farewell evening began in the hotel at 4:45 when we all met together to see the Portuguese tiles we made so long ago at the beginning of the trip. We also got the OAT pins from this tour and then set off for dinner and a flamenco show.
Others in our group had gone to many of the museums in the city on their free day. We had been to the Prado on a previous visit to the city, but it was fun to hear of their adventures.
We walked to our Flamenco evening at the Jota Restaurant not far from the hotel. We were entertained and informed about the art of the music of Flamenco guitar, dancing, and singing by Monica, Jamie, and José. After an hour we went upstairs while the room was set up for the dinner.
We left the dinner as others were having tea and coffee and walked back to the hotel with Florence and John from Oregon who also have an early departure in the morning.
The car that will take us to the airport will arrive at 5:15 am to pick us up. It will be a dark and early morning but we have a flight back to Munich and from there we do directly to Denver. We will post the last day’s journal when we arrive home safely.
Spain breeds art. The Prado, one of the world's greatest art galleries, houses the works of these Spanish painters, Dali, El Greco, Goya, Murillo, Picasso, and Velázquez as well as hundreds of great European masters.
Accommodations: Emperador Hotel - - - Meal: B & L
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Second attempt at sending this comment...keep it short this time. Loved experiencing your Iberian Adventure with you...fabulous job. Will miss our travel-sharing evenings together. Love you guys! KVS
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All so beautiful, including the olives! Safe trip home! Love to you both!
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