2011 Hogarths on the move again - to places afar travel blog

Plaza Mayor

An entertainer

Buildings in Madrid

Buildings in Madrid

Buildings in Madrid

Buildings in Madrid


Sekf Explanatory

Buildings in Madrid

Superfat spider man

Our favourite performers

We oversleep – jetlag again. Use the hostel washing machine to catch up and get our own breakfast – how exciting. After stringing our washing from one end of the room to the other we set out to investigate Madrid.

Only a five minute walk to the Plaza Mayor – a large square surrounded by interesting buildings, sidewalk cafes and full of people and, of course, the ‘entertainers’. These do tend to detract from the atmosphere.

A short walk to the Plaza de Sol and then we spy a hopon/hopoff. We had looked on the internet for one of these and the general advice was that Madrid was too small and it was a waste of money. As usual it pays not to always follow reviews. We found the trip really interesting – circling twice. The view of the streets and buildings enhanced by being so high – and with the traffic jams there is plenty of time to see everything. Strange to see deciduous trees after the tropical lush of Brazil. The leaves just budding. Some wonderful old buildings.

We eventually disembark at a market just by the Plaza Mayor and purchase some fruit (very good quality). An afternoon meal and a glass of wine at one of the cafes whilst we are entertained by a group playing big band music (as in Glen Miller). After they finish each set out comes the collection tin and then they move to another section of the plaza. On one move they looked just like ‘Abbey Road’ – just the right amount of space between them but with instruments in hand. Unfortunately we were not quick enough to get a picture. We noticed that ‘Spiderman’ has not lost any weight since this morning and is still puffing away. What a way to make a living.

On our feet again and we make our way through some of the areas transited by the bus. A visit to Spain’s biggest department store and a couple of bookshops. The shoes here seem remarkably cheap. Love the security guy in the department store .. his belt a mass of bullets.

Even though it is now 8pm there are people everywhere. We are entertained by more musicians and notice a small protest in front of the parliamentary building.

Suddenly the police presence increases and a much larger protest appears. A truck with loudspeakers and plenty of banners. The only word we understand is ‘crisis’.

We eventually make our way back to our hostel around 10.30; a bowl of soup and a roll and that is it for the day. Some packing to do for tomorrow.

Have really enjoyed our brief stay in Madrid – just small enough to enjoy and very social.

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