Madrid – 15 March 2018 – our last full day in Spain

This morning we visited the Barcelona History Museum. After we entered the museum we went down an elevator to see the archaeological remains of Roman Barcino which was founded around 10BC. We walked through the ruins and up through remains of the thirteenth century. It was fascinating. There is so much history here.

We woke up this morning to a student demonstration in the street below the hotel. The street was closed all morning. Apparently the students were protesting the fact that their university fee was raised 30% the front desk clerk at our hotel said it is a pretty small fee. It seemed like a very civilized demonstration.

Linda and Ray left to go home today. We had a lot of fun touring Spain with them.

After we got back from the airport we walked down to the Christopher Columbus Monument at the beginning of the Rambla. We took the elevator to the viewing platform sixty meters above the ground. The elevator and viewing platform were surprisingly small. The views were wonderful.

At 6:10 we had free tickets to tour the Picasso Museum. The museum has a lot of Picasso’s early works and 57 works that are his personal interpretation of La Meninas a painting by Velázquez that we saw at the Prado in Madrid.

We ate dinner at another great restaurant, Eldiset. Every restaurant we have eaten at in Barcelona has felt like the staff own the restaurant and believe in the food.

Barcelona – 14 March 2018

This morning we toured La Piedra, the apartment building that Gaudí designed when he was 54. It was his last civil project. People still live in the building but we were able to tour the roof, the attic and an apartment decorated in an early twentieth century style. Gaudi’s genius is expressed at every turn.

From La Pedrera we walked to Plaza de Catalunya where we again had a great lunch overlooking Barcelona from the top of the Corte Íngles department store.

We walked back towards our hotel past the cathedral and parts of the old Roman wall.

We did some shopping and had another great dinner.

Barcelona – 13 March 2018

We started off our day in Barcelona riding the hop on hop off bus on a tour of the city.

Then we had a great lunch at the top of the Corte Ingles department store on Plaza Catalonia.

On the way back down the escalator we stopped in the toy department.

In the afternoon we had a guided tour of La Sagrada Familia. The Basilica is amazing from the outside but when you walk in it is literally awe inspiring. The columns soar like giant trees and the light from the stained glass windows fills the space.

We had another great dinner at the restaurant El Salón near our hotel.

Madrid to Barcelona

It was cool and rainy this morning in Madrid. After taking a cab to the train station we had coffee and croissants in the station.

Then we took a high speed train to Barcelona where it is sunny and warm. Along the way we played bridge. Linda won again.

In Barcelona we, checked into our hotel, had lunch, and went for a walk.

For dinner we had tapas at the same restaurant that we ate at our first night in Spain Llamber Taverna. It was fabulous. The picture below is of our Maitaki Mushrooms.

Madrid – 11 March 2018

We had a wonderful day in Madrid today. We had coffee and croissants near our hotel and then strolled through the center of Madrid. We stopped for chocolate and churros at Chocolateria San Giles. We have never had to wait in line there before and but today is Sunday so we did have to wait a bit. It was worth it.

Next we walked through the Mercado de San Miguel.

And then it was on to a guided tour of the Royal Palace. Rick Steves describes it as “Europe’s third-greatest palace, after Versailles and Vienna’s Schönbrunn. It has arguably the most sumptuous interior”. Our guide was great and the opulence blew me away.

After touring the palace we took the metro back to the hotel. I rested my aching feet for a bit and then we went to the Naval Museum. It was fabulous. Spanish naval history is so long, full and complex. I loved all the models. It was fun to see the model of the USS Maine and how it was sunk in Cuba (not by the Spanish).

For dinner we had tapas.

Sigüenza to Madrid

When we left Sigüenza this morning it was pouring rain. It was raining so hard that we decided to skip visiting the Basilica. This is our Parador.

When we got to Madrid we checked into our hotel. Then Duke and I fueled the rental car, returned it and walked back to the hotel.

Then it was off to Museo de Jamon for a snack.

And then to the Prado, one of the top art museums in the World.

For dinner we went to a nearby restaurant, Fuente de la Fama. I started with the octopus with onions.

And the had the oxtail with tempura vegetables.

The staff was super friendly and the food was as good as it looks!