So let's preface this with - we are tourists, doing tourist stuff, we don't know the insider stuff. We are in the heart of downtown Madrid.
It is beautiful.
Wide streets, wide sidewalks, streets and sidewalks in good repair, no holes to fall into or things to trip over, tidy, no trash blowing about, excellent mass transit, Metro, bus, etc. The architecture is awesome.
Sidewalk cafes abound.
Don't let anyone tell you its going to be cheap here because of the economy. It's not! In fact I'm really confused by just how expensive things are.
Art museums aplenty. We've so far been to The Prado, The Reina Sofia, The Thyssen-Bornemisa, .... The Thyssen is my favorite so far, didn't make it yet to the Sorolla.
We've wandered many beautiful parks, and admired some pretty darn fancy buildings.
Tom keeps saying it is so 'civilised'. He's comparing it to Merida. I'd have to agree.
People are more - urbane? I mean cars stop and let you cross the road, they don't try to run you down or act as if you are not there, they don't blow their horns at you.
There is a bit of gentility in the driving, they use trash cans, there are recycling bins on the streets and people actually detour to use them.
Still, it is a big city with all the hustle and bustle feel.
The weather is awesome, we were warned that it was going to be really hot in July, uh, no! It's like mid 80's, with almost no humidity. In fact, my very light hand cream just isn't doing the job so I had to buy a more subsantial cream today. A small tube of hand cream was over 2euros. This is the .79cent size in the States. Gads!
The food is meat intensive, and especially hams and sausages. Not my favorite stuff, salads are mostly white lettuces, you know like iceburg, blech, but it is what it is. I did have a smoked fish plate the other night - pieces of smoked salmon, trout, and anchovies, really yummy.
So tomorrow we start some of our daytrips out of Madrid; Segovia, el Escorial, Toledo. Then we start to relocate...
Oh, in trying to figure out how to add photos, apparently I need to buy some interface software, and buy more space on Picasa to upload my photos to that first. Just warning you, might not happen.
It's one thing to sit here at 1:30am and keyin in these missives because my mind can't deal with the time differential, its another to deal with all that research!
Ok, hasta pronto! Sleepless in Madrid!