Monday, March 14, 2011

More Photos from the October, 2002 Trip to Spain

After an absolute nightmare of cancelled flight from London to Madrid, not arriving until many hours after we were supposed to (having been on the road for well over 24 hours at that point), the cab driver not being able to find the hostal I had booked us into, and then being jacked at the hostal when they claimed they did not have a record of my reservations despite the copy of the email I had brought along - once we finally relocated to other accomodations (another nightmare in and of itself), Mr. Don and I spent the rest of our time in Madrid walking over much of the city and having a wonderful time, despite not being able to speak the language and not being able to find a decent, modestly priced restaurant. 

We tried a high priced place one afternoon where we were the only customers (should have known) and they were eager to serve us but equally eager to shove us out the door by 3:00 p.m. (we had arrived at 2:00 p.m. starving after more than 24 hours without food); we found a place we liked and had good food but it wasn't exactly the corner cafe and about 9:30 at night it turned into a local hot spot (which we were not in the mood for, filled with people young enough to be our children); we tried another local spot that sported what promised to be a delicious menu and turned out extremely disappointing (how, pray, can a Spanish cook RUIN a potato fritatta, I ask you? - he was probably an illegal alien from Mexico), tried a pizza place one night where the Arab counter-person patently ignored us for 10 minutes as we stood at the counter, less than 3 feet away, as he nattered away on the telephone - again, the only people in the place that was not larger than 8 square feet squeezed into a triangular shaped space.  I should  have gone back the next day with a smoke bomb and dunked the place, I was that pissed off.

Finally, we gave up trying to find a reasonably priced and good food place to eat in the area where we were housed, and ate a lot of meals at McDonalds.  Fortunately, the NEW hotel we had settled into for our remaining stay served a fantastic breakfast buffet as part of our room rates and we stuffed ourselves every morning while drinking pot after pot (our coffee cups were the size of small pots) of coffee and hot milk poured together most expertly by a jolly waitress who seemed to have taken a fancy to Mr. Don.  It is the best damn coffee I ever had - ever!  But one cannot live on breakfast alone, not even a hearty breakfast like we enjoyed at that hotel - I cannot remember the name but I'm sure the rooms there are no longer 60 euros a night, especially after working up an appetite tromping around Madrid (and Toledo) on foot all day. 

Madrid was worth it - and worth going back to again, this time armed with fore-knowledge of what to expect and how to deal with it! 

I love this photo.  It was taken on our second evening in Madrid, after we have found the new hotel, had fed ourselves and had ventured out as dusk settled over the city.  We ended up in Rentiro Park and Mr. Don snapped this photo of one of the fountains as we watched ladies come with bags of dried cat food to feed the feral cats that suddenly appeared out of nowhere - like magic!  Dozens and dozens of them, being fed by these sturdy, modestly dressed older ladies, most wearing head scarves. I felt like I'd travelled back to old Mitchell Street in my hometown 50 years before, surrounded by the Babushkas! 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...