Spain and Portugal


Well, I’ve been not very diligent as I left “The Springs” on July 27th and arrived in jolly old England on Sunday, the 28th. It was decided that it would be the day we celebrated Suzie’s birthday, so a lovely lunch was scheduled in Bray at a great Italian restaurant. Finally, the seven of us arrived… that being Michele (the middle sister), Gareth, her husband, Ben, Michele and Gareth’s son, Ann, myself, Robert, (Suzie’s husband), and the honoree, Suzie. It was a great lunch…!!!

Between that arrival Sunday and today we managed to consume numerous bottles of wine, an appropriate amount of vodka and get in three games of golf at Badgemore Golf Club. All of this in preparation for our August 1 trip to Madrid.

The most interesting thing I can say about the flight down to Madrid was that is was two hours long. The Madrid Airport (new in the last few years) was fabulous. We were met by our driver, Angel, who transported us into Madrid with a running commentary on the local area. We finally arrived at our apartment and were informed by Angel that the agent was on his way but would be here in 5 minutes. Now, as many of you know, we had a ‘not so good experience’ in Paris regarding a rental. So now, here we are, straddling five suitcases and standing on a street in Madrid, with memories of things past. After about twenty minutes, Ann saw a “Hotel” sign up the street and decided to check it out. Just as she did, Alex arrived with the keys to the apartment, accompanied by much wisdom about the place. When you rent a place online for a one month period is becomes somewhat of a gamble. The take very clever photographs and you’re not quite sure if your not renting “Buckingham Palace”. The place is wonderful and very modern. A great living room that overlooks the street, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a well equipped kitchen. Photos will follow in the upcoming blogs.

So, now we are ensconced and both exhausted from a six am start and at 10:20 pm about to call it a night. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the “granny cart” and our venture in Plaza Puerto del Sol.

I’m attaching a couple of shots from our balcony. One looks a half a block to the Plaza Puerto del Sol and the other in the opposite direction. I must say, a fabulous location.

Regards from Madrid, Annie & Bobby



It appears we are adapting to the Spanish culture as tonight we enjoyed dinner (some of us) at the exotic hour of 10:00 p.m. Actually, as we walked to the Plaza Mayor the sun was still shinning and it was around 9:30 p.m. However, before we left the apartment I snapped a picture of the street merchants selling their wares below our apartment. At that time were Skyping friends in England and Vancouver. By the time that all ended, it was time to have dinner.

Dinner was not a huge success at least from Ann’s point of view. She ordered a glass of white wine and water with gas. What she ended up with was a glass of champagne. So much for translation…!!!

We then walked back to the apartment and on the way found a wonderful open market that may be the place to have dinner in the future. I’ve included some photos of the place which looks very interesting. I’m also including a photo of some anchovies just to please my brother-in-law in Nettlebed.

Back to the apartment for some wine and cheese and then an early night (Spanish style) as it is getting close to midnight here. I’m including a couple of shots of Ann at the computer and then at Plaza Mayor and then just before dinner.

Regarding the pictures of the market, etc., those I will include in future blogs…. Incidentally, in receiving blogs from various travelers, I notice they do a disclaimer… that is if you would prefer not to receive them you can bow out. If so, just let me know and I’ll drop you from our list of “Journey recipients”.

Love from Madrid…. Annie & Bobby