Cervera de Pisuerga to Donastia San Sebastián

We woke up to a temperature of 0 Celsius and a beautiful sunrise that we could see from our window. The primary objective today was to get to Donastia San Sebastián by 2 pm to return our rental car.

Here you can see the frost on the grass and the beautiful sunrise this morning.

We got a fairly early start and made stops along our route when we saw something interesting.

I thought the bridges in the town of Pisuerga were pretty.

We headed north through the mountains to the Spanish north coast.

On our way to Donastia San Sebastián
When we got to the coast we stopped to take pictures.

In Donastia San Sebastián we dropped Rick and Elaine and our bags at the hotel and then Duke and I returned the rental car. From the rental car office we walked back to the hotel.

Walking back to the hotel.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Donastia San Sebastián.

On the beach

Tordesillas to Leon

Today we drove about 100 miles north from the Parador of Tordesillas to the Parador of Leon. Duke and I stayed in the Leon Parador back in 2016. Since then the Parador was closed for a few years while they totally renovated it.

The Parador of Leon today
The grand staircase in 2016
The grand staircase today

This afternoon we had our welcome drinks and played cards in the central Atrium

The bar in the central atrium

Later we walked about a mile to the center of Leon to see the cathedral. It didn’t open until 4 and we got there about 3:30. So we had drinks in the restaurant across from the Cathedral.

Waiting for the cathedral to open.

The stained glass windows make the Leon Cathedral one of my favorites in Spain.

Leon Cathedral
One of the stained glass windows in the Leon Cathedral.
More windows

We had one of the best meals of the trip in the Parador restaurant tonight.

My fish was steamed with vegetables in a cellophane like package. Here the waitress is opening it.
The fish was moist and delicious
The desert was a pyramid of white chocolate yogurt and raspberry ice cream was divine too.

After dinner we went outside to get some night time pictures.

The Parador of Leon.

Madrid to La Granja

Our plan today was to pick up our rental car about 2pm.

We found a spot near our hotel for breakfast.

Then we packed, checked out and stored our luggage. We went for a walk in Retiro Park.

It was a beautiful spring day.

We stopped near the lake to have a snack.

Smoothies for Rick, Duke and Elaine
Churros and chocolate for me.
Duke and Elaine on a bridge in the park.
On our walk in Retiro park.

At 2 we got the car and headed out of Madrid, northwest over the mountains to La Granja.

After we checked into the Parador Rick and Duke parked the car.
I took this picture from the balcony of our room.
If you travel with us you play cards!

We had dinner at the parador.

This is my noodle and vegetables starter.
This is Elaine’s white chocolate and mousse desert.

When we were in La Granja on February 28 of 2016 it snowed.

Outside the La Granja Parador 28 February 2016


First thing this morning Duke and I took the Metro to Madrid airport where we met our friends Rick and Elaine who were arriving from Denver via Chicago. We got to the arrivals area a very short time before they walked through the arrivals door.

We took a cab to our hotel and then went out for a walk to show them a bit of Madrid.

Here we all are in the Plaza Mayor
Duke and Rick looking at the Royal Palace
Rick, Duke and Elaine overlooking Madrid from the plaza between the Cathedral and the Palace.

We walked back to our hotel and rested a bit this afternoon and then had snacks on the balcony of our room.

For dinner we had fun walking around the neighborhood near our hotel. We had dinner at a couple of tapas places.

Having tapas
Outside the tapas place
The salmon at the second place we stopped.

Barcelona to Madrid

Roger and Gayle ordered a taxi for 7:30am this morning to take them to the Barcelona airport. We had a wonderful time traveling with them and we’re sorry to see them go.

Roger and Gayle leaving.

We ordered a taxi for 8:30 to take us to the train station for our 10am train to Madrid. When we got into the taxi the driver said getting to Sants train station could be very difficult because today was the Barcelona marathon. We made it to less than a mile from the station but then there was no way to get to the station. We told the driver we would walk, got out and walked the last .7 of a mile. Along the way the marathon leaders ran by us.

The leaders in the Barcelona marathon.

When we got to the station I wasn’t sure how we would get across the course and the runners. But an old guy suggested we use the metro station and it worked!

The metro station we used to cross the marathon course.

We caught our high speed train to Madrid with no problem. And then walked to our Madrid hotel.

Walking to our hotel in Madrid
After resting a bit we enjoyed our complimentary welcome drinks.

For dinner we went out for tapas.

First tapas stop
Second tapas spot.