An Awesome Day of Sightseeing.....

Trip Start Apr 18, 2010
Trip End Jul 07, 2010

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Where I stayed
Tryp Gran Via Madrid
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Madrid is jammed packed with things to see and do, and with only one day to explore, I intended to make the most of it. Those of you who have been on vacation with me can only imagine the mind-boggling schedule I set for myself LOL!

I had my Lonely Planet PDF guidebook loaded onto my iPhone and combined with my FALK European GPS map iphone app, I had everything I needed to get around in the palm of my hand. Oddly enough the highlight of my entire day happened by chance. I walked down to the main plaza and the place was packed! Grand stands set up, military special forces guys everywhere, TV cameras manned. Turns out they have this huge ceremony every May 2nd attended by the King, the Prime Minister, and all other heads of government commemorating the revolt between Spain and their French occupier Napoleon. Military parade, speeches I couldn't understand, and even Spanish fighter jet flyovers! An awesome start to the day!

Dos de Mayo Uprising

Next I headed right down the street to the Convento de las Descalzas Reales, one of the oldest still functioning Monasteries in Europe. They open for public tours on a very restricted basis, and after waiting in line for over an hour, I was lucky enough to get the last ticket of the day! Hundreds of people behind me were pissed. This was a real cultural treat. I'm not very religious, but I love history and old stuff. The tour was both amazing, and excruciatingly painful. The tour guide took us on an extensive tour and every room was just filled with ancient tapestries and other religious artifacts. He sounded extremely knowledgeable and described every single item in detail, but I couldn't understand a word he was saying! They had an English book in the gift shop that described everything but I wasn't going to drag that all over Europe. My luggage is heavy enough already.

Convent of Las Descalzas Reales

My next stop was going to be the Museo Del Prado, one of the largest art museums in Europe, but along the way I stumbled upon what turned out to be the Spanish Royal Palace! Screw the art museum, as I said I love old stuff! This place is unbelievable! I don't think you can actually tour Buckingham Palace in England, so this was the next best thing. Unfortunately after all the other day's activities, I got there late and only had 1 hour to see the palace so I blew through the place and really didn't get a chance to absorb all the history and majestic beauty of a palace like this, but I saw enough.....

Royal Palace of Madrid 

As you can imagine after learning the entire religious and cultural history of Spain in under 6 hours I was exhausted......


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evie silvers on

Love your blog. You really have a flair for storytelling. Peter Greenberg look out!

markpritchard on

Very jealous: Spain is one of my top destinations! Are you using iTranz to communicate with locals?

john.babinec on

Madrid is Definitely on my RETURN list so anytime you wanna just let me know. Actually my iTranz software has helped me several times already! Unfortunately I can document it because it's hard to shoot me using it, while I'm using it LOL! I need a third party. I've asked a couple of people but so far no one understands what I need them to do or they just smile and walk away.

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