Apr 9, 2007

2007 Easter in Madrid

My Easter vacation in Madrid city -- 5th to 8th April 2007

Guadarrama mountain with some snow. That was the view from our car when approaching the city!!
Guadarrama with some snow. Note that we're on Spring!! LOL

Here we're in Madrid city. After a 600 km drive, we arrived at the Spanish capital. It took us about 6 hours…We left Porto city after lunch and we arrived in Madrid just in time for dinner!!! With all these good high ways, it seems closer to b there now!! However, it’s still is a 600km drive!! It was funny using my bro-in-law GPS to arrive in Madrid!

Madrid, Plaza Mayor.

Madrid city.

Prado museum door, Madrid city.

Dark rainy day in Madrid central area.

Madrid city buildings.

The modern mirror of the old buildings.

Madrid, the futuristic buildings area.

I believe u do know about this technology wonder that help u taking a better & faster itinerary to reach a certain City/street/hotel/cinema ... wherever u go. It worked out perfectly, and didn't lost it's satellite anthem communication this time... Ah!
And, as usual, I’m using this old PDA of mine to write in all this trip details… it’s so useful,I save heaps of time indeed!! And when returning back home, I can say I have almost all written this travel tale to send out to my friends & penpals!!

The nighty colors of Madrid.

Palacio Real, Madrid. (Real Palace, Madrid city) Catedral Almudena it's just beside the Real Palace.

Palacio Real, Madrid.

Seems half the world tourists are here in Madrid. I've been several times in Madrid before, but i think my last one was 20 years ago! My God!! Am i that old?!?! We arrived yesterday,thursday, 5th April, and it is freezing here... 2°C as minimum & around 10°C as maximum. WOW We saw heaps of snow in the Guadarrama mountains (Sierra de Guadarrama) yesterday afternoon, just after sunset. It was a huge view from our car when approaching to Madrid city. Today is still freezing & it's raining...this rainfall it's annoying...

We'd some thunder storms! Bahhhh Doesn't seem we're in Spring. Madrid is so much colder that my hometown Porto.

My hotel lobby area. Here i used to read the newspapers.

This hotel we're staying in it's very well located, clean, comfortable and elegant, it’s is called Liabeny hotel.

It is an old hotel, now fully recuperated. But i dislike it's decorating style. Too many golds & Rococo’s 4 my taste. It has a gymnasium inside this hotel... i want to see it later on too....ehehe

The hotel gymnasium. I couldn't resist....i had to put here a pic!! LOL I swear i didn't take my gym suit with me this time!! Ah!!

Our hotel facilities include: Gymnasium, Conference room, Restaurant, Bar... bla..bla..bla... and we have a huge TFT screen with Internet & TV at each bedroom! But all foreign TV channels and the internet access are paid!! I’m so upset…it is not fair!! Even to watch the international channels like CNN, we have to pay extra €… it’s not normal for a 4 stars hotel like this one. Hey, normally these facilities are all included!! Aren’t they?!? I am not expecting to b here watching TV at all…but sometime to look at it when in bed b4 sleeping would b ok… And how about the internet?!? Yeap, I’m doing a break now!! LOL

Madrid center by night.

Thursday, 5th April, after the arrive, we'd a quick dinner in the hotel. I only ate a soup. It was not tasty at all... Bahhhh (Mum I miss ur delicious soups!! Eheheh)
We're 8 persons in our group: me, my mum, my sis, her husband and daughter; and last but not least, my brother-in-law bro and his partner.

Botanical garden, Madrid.

Today, Friday,6th April, the stores are all closed, that way, we can only do some window-shopping... i don't mind at all b'cose i mainly want to see the city & take heaps of photos. And i don't want to spend much of my money!! Eheh I know i'll need it soon. But if i find anything fancy to pamper myself ...who knows??! Why not?!?
At 9.00 am we had breakfast at Star-bucks.(S-B) I never been at any S-B at all…& we have not them in Portugal so far. However I felt a bit frustrated I had to start my day with a big & high caloric Muffin, when a coffee with milk & bread would b much healthier, pleasant and fit in my meals needs right now. Then I was a bit pissed off to pay 2.60 € for a banal coffee with milk there!! Are they fool or what?!?
After the breakfast, we had a long walk to reach our next destination!! We all took the morning to visit the city Botanical garden (BG). I'm not a big fan of those places lately (oh well… it’s a long story!), but i somehow tend to take a lot of photos at every BG’s. Some of these photos come out very light full, original & nice!

Cactus detail, Botanical garden,Madrid.

Coconut tree macro at Botanical garden, Madrid.

Madrid by night.

I'm enjoying the city, but the weather bad conditions doesn't help at all ... Madrid it's a very cosmopolitan city where u find from Spanish to Turkish people. From Indian to Latin American...from 'banal' souls & 'modern style' souls moving around, and even Gothic style ones... I end up feeling i'm so very old-fashioned here!! LOL

Plaza Mayor.

One of the doors to enter Plaza Mayor.

Later on we visited Plaza Mayor.(Big square) This square it's the central area to met everyone at every square corner. This is definitely my favorite Madrid area...so far there are loads of places i haven't visited. The square is beautiful indeed….u can see the photos I’m posting at my website: http://manuworldnews.blogspot.com . I’ll probably post this travel tale there too.

Madrid, Plaza Mayor.

Now it's Saturday, 7th April,9.00 am and here we're having our breakfast. The weather keeps bad, and it's about 8°C. After my usual coffee with milk and a toast here i'm ready for another long day. Seems we'll b shopping today... these girls love shopping!!! I guess i'll go bankrupt!!! LOL El Corte Ingles(ECI) it's opened today (it wasn't yesterday, and it won't b tomorrow), so ECI it's waiting 4 us. Yeah, these are the same chain ECI shopping malls stores i use to talk about sometimes. We've one ECI store pretty close to Porto city...Do u remember i told u about reaching that ECI in 17 minutes??!? (Using that Porto city new metro Yellow line.)

We had to take Madrid Metro line to reach ECI. Madrid metro line it's much older that my city one...i find it quite confusing, but in the end we reach the destination after some kilometers walking ... Good legs warm up & exercise!

Madrid city, the central area.

The modern side of Madrid.

Ohhh boy, here i'm... back to lunch after that ECI shopping... I'm really full of ECI for the coming decade!! I was looking for a new swimming suit 4 my hydro classes, but didn't had my size in that blue color. Always too difficult to find that color & size! I'm wondering why!

San Lorenzo del Escorial, the inside.

8th April,Sunday; Today's our returning day to Porto city. Before returning to Porto, we’re going to visit a very big Monastery at pueblo San Lorenzo del Escorial. (www.sanlorenzoturismo.org)

San Lorenzo del Escorial.

One of the countless San Lorenzo del Escorial beautiful doors.

After having breakfast at 8.00am and packing up all our bags and put in the car, here we go to El Escorial. It is bloody freezing here: 2°C. Boy, what a big monastery. It was ordered to be built around 1561 by the very religious Felipe II King to keep the eternal memory of the Spanish Royal Family. This monastery (Monasterio) has such a nice architecture and many tourists are coming to visit it.

It's Easter,Sunday, and there is starting a mess now... The organs of this huge church are amazing!! What a superb sound!! I finally made my 1st buy!! A book about Madrid! Eh! The city it's a small beautiful one too. We saw an Easter precession in this “pueblo” too. It was interesting!!

San Lorenzo del Escorial monastery area.

This "pueblo" it's 50 km northern of Madrid, and we're driving into northern direction to enter Portugal from the top north side... it's faster.

San Lorenzo del Escorial village. The Holy festivities.

San Lorenzo del Escorial.

The San Lorenzo del Escorial area map.

At about 7.30pm we were back to Porto city. I was supposed to meet in Madrid a new mate –Cecilia-- I met at the website Couch Surfing(CS) (www.couchsurfing.com). Yeah, this CS is that website I use to surf around and where I recently meet cool swappers and few nice pen pals too. Cecilia is a 33 years old woman from Peru. She is now living in Madrid until July, but she wasn’t in Madrid during Easter, so I’d no chances to met there. She will probably be visiting Portugal later on, so there are high chances we’ll meet up soon here in Portugal. We’ll see if she won’t behave like these other CS members had earlier this year!! LOL

San Lorenzo del Escorial village.

I hope u enjoyed my travel tale…it wasn’t very detailed b’cose this is not supposed to be a travel guide. If u want to have a look here are some books and websites I looked in before heading off to Spain.
Books: Lonely Planet edition -“Best of Madrid” & “España Guia Artistica en color” – Edicciones Everest.
Websites: www.patrimonionacional.es , www.metromadrid.es , www.elcorteingles.es ,
www.minimadrid.es , www.descubremadrid.com , www.renfe.es, www.madridcard.com & http://mnartesdecorativas.mcu.es . (...)
Plus, u’ll find more about this travel photos in my Flickr page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ocean_of_dreams .

In Madrid....

The "Peninsula" shopping mall of Madrid. :) Those who know my home city will know what i'm talking about!! :O)

No comments: