A final farewell

Trip Start May 06, 2009
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Madrid,
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Madrid was the final stop on our trip, and was a great city to finish off. We stayed right in the heart of the city. Our hotel was on Gran Via, just across the street from Plaza Espana. We got to our hotel, and headed out to the Prado museum immediately. It is one of the best museums we have seen on the trip. It has a large number of El Greco paintings. He has become one of our favourite artists. It also has many by Raphael, Reubens, and Durer. We left around 7pm, and went for a walk through the city. It has a large city feeling, much like Paris. We walked toward Puerta del Sol, stopping at a few bars. One of the bars was a bull fighting bar. It had about 15 bull heads mounted on the walls, as well as capes and swords. The photos were amazing, and we saw bulls jumping into the crowd as well as one bull chasing a cat that got loose in the ring. After that bar, we went to one called Lupita's, near our hotel. We watched soccer (Brazil vs USA), and had a giant 1/2 chicken platter. We packed it in early, and got some rest. The next morning, we crossed the street to the Museo de Jamon. This place is just full of amazing meat. It had over 200 prosciutto style cured hind legs hanging on the walls. We had breakfast, and walked to the Royal Palace. The palace is enormous, and has over 2300 rooms. This is where they host the world hide-and-seek championships, with the best 10-13 year olds in the world. Sometimes, the games can last over a week. A few years back, one kid was never found. He was presumed dead, but was awarded the championship posthumously.  After the palace, it was on. We walked, and walked, stopping in every bar we saw. This got out of hand pretty quickly. In Madrid, you go into a bar, order 2 beers, and they give you a small plate of free food. It may be olives, sliced meat, cheese, paella, and eve sausage with peppers and fries. It only costs between 2 and 3 euro (for 2 beers). We kept going until we got back to our hotel. We must have stopped at 10 different places. It was super fun. By 2pm, we were drunk and had to pass out for a while in the hotel. When we awoke, we needed espresso to clear the cobwebs. We took the subway to the Sol stop, and headed to a place we had found earlier. We had snails, lomo con queso, and Fanta soda. We walked through the city, and had a gelato. We went to our hotel early, and got some rest for our flight. We got up on the 30th, and took the subway to the airport. As usual, our flight was delayed, but we arrived in Toronto in the late afternoon, and were happy to be greeted by Paul's parents. It's great to be back and we'll have to share all of our stories with all of you who have followed our journey. The blog will stay up for a while, and you can go back, and see anything you may have missed (especially graphic bull fighting photos). We hope you have enjoyed accompanying us on our trip.

Love, Paul and Juliana.
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