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Old 12-09-2008, 12:55 PM   #46
RDJEff
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I'm really enjoying your trip!

Be sure to walk the park across the street from the Prado, its quite nice!
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:49 PM   #47
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Segovia first

May 13

It was warm and sunny when we left Salamanca,





Before stopping in Madrid, we would first make a small detour by Segovia.
We entered the city via this roundabout.



And followed the small cobble stone streets to the famous Roman Viaduct,




What a sight







Jackie wanted me to ride pillion till Madrid?, uhhh... I don't think so!



We stopped for gas, and I met this very friendly horse, he asked if I could get him some of those tender branches that were out of reach, of course I obliged, and we had a nice conversation regarding the benefit of fiber in your diet.




Back on the road, we'll be in Madrid soon...

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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 12-09-2008, 06:16 PM   #48
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WOW!!!
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:22 PM   #49
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I'm in for the whole journey.... and savoring every installment.

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Old 12-10-2008, 05:19 AM   #50
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Great report, I am dusting down my Pan now :)
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:51 AM   #51
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beautiful pictures.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:28 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
I'm in for the whole journey.... and savoring every installment.
Stay tune for Madrid, for a culinary experience of a different nature


Quote:
Originally Posted by Medicine Creek
beautiful pictures.
Your kind, we had better opportunities as the trip progressed, the best is yet to come.
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:57 AM   #53
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How were you navigating over there? Did you have the use of a GPS?

I hear a GPS through Madrid is useless since the major highways are under ground! C'est vrai?

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Old 12-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
How were you navigating over there? Did you have the use of a GPS?

I hear a GPS through Madrid is useless since the major highways are under ground! C'est vrai?

Si es la verdad

We had the European maps loaded in the Zumo, so it was really easy. Your right about Madrid though, we really hadn't realized it until we got stuck on the underground perimeter, we ended up taking the first or second exit after missing ours (8 km later), and made our way through city traffic with the aid of the GPS again.

Our way out of the city was also the same we ended up doing a 15km detour, I wanted to avoid the perimeter, while the GPS kept on pointing me in that direction.

It was all good, we got to see more of the city that way.
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:53 PM   #55
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Madrid or as they say Madriz



Madriz is the largest urban agglomeration we sampled since leaving Amsterdam, and what a place it is. Smaller than the city of Toronto with a population of almost a million more than the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), add hordes of tourists, and you have a pretty packed, and busy place.



As we rode into the city, I missed my exit towards the center from the perimeter, which borders the capital mostly in the form of a tunnel that does not favor GPS reception, hence if you miss your exit (puerta) you go for a long tunnel ride to the next exit.

The city never stops, and that’s on a cool and cloudy Monday evening in May with nothing out of the ordinary going on in town.



Madrid provided mixed feelings, it just did not make us feel as good as other large European capitals we now well. True we only have spent 2 and a half days in the city, but it was dirty, lots of garbaged not picked up, paper waste lying in the streets.



But full of contrast, I think it’s the kind of place, which you love to hate. The center, where most of the sights are located is dense with restaurants catering mostly to tourists that are fairly expensive.



The shopping district is sensational with large multilevel stores, especially Corte Ingles, Jackie's favorite, and countless boutiques offering anything you can possibly imagine, and than some. As we dawdled the streets, we could hear many European languages being spoken.

Una cerveza fria por favor



"Come on Valentino times a wasting, and it will be dark soon and the shops are gonna close"



"But... but... I gotta rest a bit, and by the way where are we going to put all this stuff"



Madrid is a truly international capital. The Y shape intersection created by Calle Gran Via and Calle de Alcala, reminded us of Time Square minus the high-rises. If you can’t find it in Madrid, you don’t need it.






Plaza de España


On the cathedral front, Compostella still leads the pack. The great cathedral of Madrid build facing the royal palace was impressive, but did not match the sights of our two previously visited cities. The hostel we stayed in was, clean, low cost, and served its purpose well. Located centrally from all the sights, it was great to be able to stroll the busy streets of the capital.

The Palace of Juan Carlos



Jackie felt right at home



The Cathedral



From a different angle



Truly a capital





We walk through los Jardines del Campo del Moro (the royal garden)


After taking a wrong turn we were refused one of the reserved exits, and had to make our way back to the public access.





The highlight of our time their was the 6 hours we spent at the Museo del Prado, where we got a chance to get better acquainted with among others, Rubens, Velasquiez, Bosch, El Greco and of course Goya.



Jackie in very distinguished company


The masterpieces exposed took us through the years from 1100 to 1800, it was a cultural delight.



We went for canas and pinchos after the visit, and we had an unpleasant argument with a rude server, she was convince that stupid and tourists meant the same thing, regardless of the fact that both of us speak Spanish and argued that both the order requested and the price charged was off.
No big deal, typical of big city life.

This boutique across from the museum had quite a nice front


Although the temperature reached 20 C during the day, the evenings are still cool with sporadic rain showers. We are actually surprised that the weather has not warmed up more, folks are telling us that this is atypical for this time of the year.

No problem we are heading south anyways.

Last evening we went out to have dinner in a restaurant called the Museo del Jamon, although the food was good, half way through the meal we encountered a extra portion of protein in the form of a visitor from of a small diptera, maybe it was a member of the simuliidae family? First it was Jackies turn, than a few minutes later I also found a fly. Chef must have left the windows of the kitchen open, maybe they need to get some screens or something.



The server and cook both came to apologies for our entomological encounter and offered us our bottle of Rosé.

That was Madrid in a nutshell.

How I feel



Tomorrow we have a quick ride to Toledo, a UNESCO world heritage site, where we booked two days in a four stars hotel near the old city, again using lastminute.com. 85.00 Euros for both days…
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 12-10-2008, 06:06 PM   #56
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Thanks for the tour of the heart of the former empire! The king's got himself a nice crib..

Bring on Toledo.. (not Ohio! )

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Old 12-10-2008, 08:54 PM   #57
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I just found this RR and got caught up and all I can say is WOW. This is truly a unique and spectacular RR. Thanks for sharing your incredible journey with us. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment .
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:27 PM   #58
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Fantastic trip. I grew up in Germany You are making me homesick! Keep it up!
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:39 AM   #59
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Barcelona

Gimme a PM if you guys haven't been through Barcelona yet, maybe we can meet for a drink and a walk or ride around.

Cheers, great report, Dominic
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:18 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTomcat
Fantastic trip. I grew up in Germany You are making me homesick! Keep it up!
Wait til we get to the German part


Quote:
Originally Posted by DominicDomingo
Gimme a PM if you guys haven't been through Barcelona yet, maybe we can meet for a drink and a walk or ride around.

Cheers, great report, Dominic
We loved Barcelona, muchas gracias por la invitation, but we were there in early June
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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