As I wrIte this I am sitting at the airport ready to leave Spain and head back home. Hours of flying – oh joy and happiness. During my time in Madrid I haven’t spent any time visiting the museums, art galleries and no churches or cathedrals. One might wonder what on earth I have done then. The answer is simple. Walk the streets and eat in bars. To me doing the latter rather than the former lets me see the city rather than view things that are famous and just housed here. I wasn’t so interested in buildings of note either but one building of beauty we saw was in the main park. Those are thunder clouds in the background (my raincoat was moved to the bottom of my pack and just as I predicted, it would rain if I moved it – we got caught this afternoon in a heavy storm.)
Before we walk the streets together, you have to see the apartment Val found for us through Booking.com. We were in the Penthouse located on the 5th floor but unlike Santiago we had a lift. We were indeed in the roof again. The walls in that hallway were padded opening into the ‘bedroom’ which a had a roof window situated in mirrored boxing. Before you got to the bed there was a massive corner spa bath with padded head rests for two and a built in TV connected to a multimedia box enabling you to watch TV in the spa. We wonder if it was porn you could watch for 10 euros.
Val seems to think the general mood of the room was bordering on risqué so went looking for something suitable to wear in the boudoir.
She said she couldn’t find anything to fit!
Personal tour guide knows her way around parts of Madrid quite well considering she has spent some time her studying the linga Franca here. So we walked around with Personal Tour Guide giving me a tiki tour. The areas we were in were like Spanish versions of inner Melbourne. Streets are narrow single lane road with parking on one side only and the narrowest of footpaths. Five or six story residential buildings line the street, each one different to the next.
There are small plazas where people just sit, walk their dogs or sit at cafes. Dogs are very popular here and are regularly walked. The most common dogs are Sydney Silkies/Yorkshire terriers, Westies, Chihuahuas, and Schnauzers. Then there are the bigger dogs. All live in apartments. For the number of dogs we never once saw dog pooh on the ground.
I think the thing I liked the most were the paintings or painted tiles on the ground floor buildings. They generally related to the type of business. Very colourful.
Food is an important of life in Spain and we have had good quality food in Madrid. No salty shoe leather here. Last meal was a delightful mix of vegetarian dishes supplemented with bread and olive oil. Yum.
And now the journey ends. As you can probably gather I have enjoyed my time very much. I like Spain and the areas I have been to. I enjoyed walking my baby Camino. I wouldn’t plan to do it again, but as I have learnt over time, never say never. Impressionable things seem to creep up on you when you least expect them and you find yourself repeating it all over again. But when you are repeating it you wonder how come you got there again when you weren’t intending to. Val certainly has a Camino worm in her head that is crawling around laying plans in the background for a fourth Camino. The easy thing for me to do would be to agree to meet her at Santiago. A nice idea. On the Camino I learnt things about myself so it was a character building experience. If I found that over the 10 days, what would six weeks of walking be like. Give me the strength to resist doing it! I just need to be reminded of the tedious training that goes into being fit enough to do it and, THE memories of albergues. That should be enough to keep temptation at bay. So I hope you have enjoyed my journey as much as I have.