It was wonderful to arrive at the Westin Hotel in Madrid after a night of traveling and once we were settled into our rooms we ventured off in different directions taking in the sights and sounds of this impressive historical Spanish city.
Sunday, October 23 was a full day starting with a bus and walking tour of Madrid but due to off and on rain showers we remained in the bus while our guides impressed us with interesting and entertaining facts and trivia about Spain’s capital, Madrid.
We caught a glimpse of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home field of the world-renowned Real Madrid football (soccer) team, and a short distance later the bus stopped at Plaza de Toros, the historic bullfighting arena which continues to host some of the top bullfighting competitions in the world.
During the walking portion of the tour we stopped outside the City Palace, an expansive and popular historic site which continues to host special events linked to Spain’s monarchy. After lunch at the old Atocha Train Station, (now serving as a central meeting place, museum, and tropical garden) the group ventured off to art galleries and botanical gardens for an afternoon of free time.
In the evening, the majority of us took a short stroll down the cobblestone streets, not far from our hotel, to find an unexpected entertainment gem, the Cardamomo Flamenco Show and Restaurant. Here we enjoyed a delicious three-course meal and a very impressive and entertaining traditional Flamenco dance/music production.
As we walked back under multiple umbrellas and dodging puddles everyone shared their enthusiasm for the treat we had just experienced. Our tour of Spain and Portugal has just started and yet we have seen so much.
– Terry Petkau