Today we had to say goodbye to Barcelona and head off to Madrid! What would have been a 7-hour bus ride became a 3-hour trip by train on a high-speed line. Train travel is quite common in Europe and the AVE line (ave means “bird” in Spanish) is a common mode of long distance transportation in Spain. I was amazed at how comfortable it was—my 6-foot frame had tons of leg room for the whole ride.
We arrived in Madrid and had a few hours to explore on our own before dinner. So we wandered around and slowly introduced ourselves to the city. I took my phone with me and found all of these tiny surprises around every corner.
Finally we found a street full of shops. It was one of the hottest times of the year and Madrid has a dry heat. So I appreciated the banners that shielded shoppers from the sun. Shopping mixed with a bit of pineapple sorbet made for a nice afternoon.
We ended the night with another delicious feast at a local restaurant located right by the Prado museum. The owner welcomed us in as if we were her own grandchildren. She was born in Spain, grew up in Argentina, and then moved back in her teen years. You could still hear a faint Argentine accent in her Spanish after all of those years. Due to her background, the cuisine was typical Spanish with quite a bit of Argentine influence. Basically, I had the best steak of my life.
Read more about Michelle’s adventures through Spain by following along on her live blog page.