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Trip to Spain

In the same trip see also: England Spain Ceuta Morocco Portugal

Most of the time when we went to Madrid we stayed in the area near Plaza de Colon in the Alonso Martinez Barrio. The plaza was originally called St-James Square (Santiago). There are spectacular cascades of water. You can even walk underneath them. In the Paseo de la Castellana there is a grandiose monument to Colon. The reason we stayed in that area is because there were a lot of hotels or pensions. I was first sent there by one of the tourist offices in downtown Madrid. For a small fee they help you find a hotel. Many in the plaza had very reasonable rates.

Nearby, there were a lot of very large avenues where people go for a walk. The sidewalks are very large and there are a lot of kiosks where people sold all kinds of goods. There were many restaurants and cafes as well.One of the things I enjoyed the most was to see the rollerbladers showing amazing skills.

We also went to visit Parque del Retiro. It has a beautiful Pond. It is one of the most popular weekend retreats. This used to be the royal grounds, the aristocracy was allowed here in 1767. Almost a century later Spaniards of all classes were allowed in. Today, there is something for all tastes. You can rent boats, watch puppet shows with children, there are also statues, fountains, glass palaces and small shows and much more. It is also a romantic place and many couples love taking a stroll.

We also went to visit the Prado Museeum. One of the best in Europe and Madrid's top cultural site. Actually they may have the biggest collection in the world. You can view the artwork of those re-known artists: Goya, Velazquez, Bosch, Murillo, Dali, Rubens, Picasso, Sorolla, Gaudi, Miro, El Greco etc. We were supposed to meet with two friends of Edmonton Marcia Krawn and Grace Beima but we had lost touch with them.Here they were at the museum. I truly saw that as a small miracle.

Later on we took the train to Algeciras and Gibraltar. The towns are side by side but they are in different countries. We were ready to go to Africa since we were in Gibraltar although the best place to take the ferry was Algeciras, right across the border in Spain. The fares were cheaper. Nowadays it takes only 30 minutes to go to Ceuta, but when we went in 1985 it took a little bit longer. There are many ferries each day that make the crossing between both continents.

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<br>Madrid from the air
Madrid from the air
Street near plaza de Colon where our hotel was located
Street near plaza de Colon where our hotel was located

Parque Del Retiro in Madrid
Kids playing in Madrid
Kids playing in Madrid
Main post office in Madrid
Main post office in Madrid
Quiet time in a Madrid Park
Quiet time in a Madrid Park

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Plaza de Toros - Madrid
Plaza de Toros - Madrid
Another view of Madrid from the air
Another view of Madrid from the air Begger in Madrid, there were many in the city
Begger in Madrid, there were many in the city
Marcia Khrawn buying and icecream in a wide Madrid avenue
Marcia Khrawn buying and icecream in a wide Madrid avenue
Another view of  La Plaza de Colon, Madrid
Another view of La Plaza de Colon, Madrid
La Plaza de Colon, Madrid
La Plaza de Colon, Madrid
Falls under la Plaza de Colon, Madrid
Falls under la Plaza de Colon, Madrid