Thursday, January 5, 2012

Some Photos from First Day

Our flight was long and bumpy - lots of turbulance - but uneventful.  Iberia Airlines fed us well; the entertainment wasn't anything to write home about, a movie about a fighting robot or something - I didn't watch it, I tried to sleep (not very successfully).  Our flight touched down at 7:20 a.m. Madrid time and it was pitch black outside - no daylight savings time here.

Waiting for connecting flight to Chicago at Milwaukee airport
the morning of 1/3/12.

Breakfast at the Milwaukee Airport on 1/3/12.

O'Hare Airport decorated for the holidays 1/3/12.
 The new airport is gigantic and a monstrosity of "modern" architecture, which means lots of glass and steel everywhere and glaring white.  It's ugly and cold looking, and like everything else seemingly in Madrid this time of year, greatly over-heated.  Geez!  No energy crisis in this country - or if there is, they don't care.  Our hotel rooms are hot, restaurants are hot, the airport was hot!  Yes, it is cold and damp in the mornings, about freezing or a little below; but by 3 p.m. it's warmed up into the 50's and people are walking around in hoodies. 

Yesterday afternoon after a nap between about 12 and 3 (we're doing the same today except right now I'm doing this instead of trying to catch some sleep) it was beautiful out and the streets were packed with people.  We hiked down Paseo del Prado to Calle de Atocha and then headed up the hill to Retiro Park grounds, which spread behind the Paseo del Prado from Calle de Atocha all the way to Calle de Alcala.  There were lots of families with children (out of school for the holidays) as well as tourists from all over (we heard lots of different languages) strolling about the park grounds that features lovely views.  It smelled like autumn in the air, not winter.

Starting up hill toward Retiro Park.

Not sure what this is - Don thought it looked like a minaret but I think
it's Bourbon.  The fence capitals - check this one out - incredibly elaborate!
This was taken on our trip up the big hill toward the entrance to Retiro Park Grounds!

Sneaky Mr. Don taking photos of me behind my back... at the top of the hill.
We're just about to cross the street to continue our climb, this time
through the entrance into Retiro Park Grounds.

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