Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Our Spanish adventure

After catching the Gatwick express train to Gatwick airport, we had to wait a couple of hours before a desk or gate was allocated for our flight. On rising early, we took this time to have some breakfast and reflect on where we have travelled over the last few weeks. Our flight to Madrid took 2 1/2 hours and on arrival into Madrid, sailing through customs, we caught a cab to our hotel. Checked into our hotel, then went for a walk to orientate ourselves to the area. We had our first taste of Tapa's for lunch, quite impressive.  The next day we took the metro into the centre of Madrid.

The bear below in Madrids Sol Plasa is their national emblem.
Just love the street signs in Madrid.
Royal Palace
Gorgeous statues
We visited the Pasa, royal palace and the Cathederal in the centre of Madrid.
Finished of with Tapa's
Always dessert first, just in case you choke on the main!!!
A fantastic selection, only one euro each. Heaps of salami, DH's paradise.
Tuesday night we met our tour group, quite a large group of 45, we were given introductions and then shared a buffet dinner.
Friday we had an optional tour to the city of Toledo, which is a 45 minute drive from Madrid. Toledo is a  fantastic historical place with winding streets, quite a number of cathedrals. The city is surrounded by a large wall, many of the streets were designed by the Arabs in the 1100's. Toledo is a well known city for three different religions coexisting together for more than 800 years.

Photo opportunity overlooking Toledo.
Narrow streets
Decorative cathedrals
Gorgeous painted ceilings
The interesting thing about Toledo is the escalator, seven in all to get to the top of the mountain to explore Toledo. In the afternoon we did a walking tour in the centre of Madrid, as Friday was a public holiday, the local folk was out and about in traditional dress.

Saturday our tour began, after a city tour of Madrid we travelled to Coimbra. 
On the way we visited Avila and Salamanca.
Avila, reminds me of Venice, St Marks square, we visited the birth place of Saint Teresa and centre square.
Saint Teresa Cathederal in Avil and the wall surrounding the city.

Saint Teresa's birth bed. 
In the museum shop is Saint Teresa's finger in a glass dome.

Onto Salamanca where we had tapas for lunch,,after some sightseeing, the most interesting structure in Salamanca is the university gates, where legend has it if you spot the frog, unaided, you make a wish and in one year that wish will come true.
University gates, multiple carvings, good luck finding the frog......
The best capriccio yet.
After Salamanca we left Spain to travel into Portugal, our first stop Coimbra.
Portugal next.

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