Madrid 2022 (Barcelona day four) – día cuatro

Our quarters were superior to Barcelona by the looks but not acoustics, so after a rather rough night, we started slow and picked us a good bakery for a snack-breakfast. The “PI” was lovely in many ways, disappointed on the absence of any hearty snacks, but the store and people were so nice, we would come back just for that, did I mention the orange juice? That one was lovely!

Then we decided to head for the zoo. In the green outskirts, after a short walk the large area opens in front of you, walk left for lynx and wolves or right for flamingos and tigers… The construction is very heavy on concrete, but smart design allows us to get really close with some animals, like rhinos (behind a few wooden bars) and vultures (behind glass).

A definitive highlight for us to learn about (their sheer existence) were bearcats, cutely sleeping… The wide areal for giraffes, zebras and antilopes was also considerably but should remain a rather concrete heavy memory after seeing BCN later that week. The one I liked least were the wolves quarters, even smaller than the old ones in Vienna, the one reason I did not visit Vienna zoo for a long time, and I cannot image this size would be close to acceptable. The Madrid Zoo’s local aquarium was in my humble opinion rather uninspired and small but with a large (and for kids definitely ideal) Delphinarium next to it… Juli observed besides several school classes we were the only visitors, at roughly 22 degree and direct sun, blue sky and almost cloudless it could hardly get better.

We spend the rest of the afternoon with a quick lunch and strolling the streets for treats, our lunch treat we picked up at the “Oven Mozzarella Bar” – which worked out great and Juli’s supplement aka popsickles we had later at Loco polo.

As mentioned before, the photographically interesting IKONO we skipped this time, but I how if we get back to Madrid, we find time for it. Around 1720 our high speed train leaves the Spanish capitol and takes us back to the one of Catalunya. We shall meet Christian and Manuel there, Christoph for knocked off this morning by Corona herself. A smaller Weekend Busters delegation for BCN than planned, but we’ll try to have a good time nevertheless.

This time the train was significantly less comfortable, noisier and crowded – and still a great way to travel. Picking up the keys to our apartment for the last days in Barcelona was almost an escape room challenge. The sight of the rooms were very rewarding and we are really happy for the location next to Sagrada Familia. We decided after a short break to seek a local tapas place to try Quesa y Jamon. We picked the right place… Excellent sangria with an assortment of cheese and ham that was unexpectedly mind- or more likely taste bud blowing. What a great way to delve into cold tapas. Hasta los andares should become our favorite place in Barcelona for tapas. You’ll see our comeback with some more pictures that should explain why.

Madrid 2022 (Barcelona day three) – día tres

Short night, day bright? At least we leave when the rain comes and we have perfect travel conditions to Madrid!

The ride to Madrid Atocha at up to 302km/h is crazy fast and at the same time: smooth. The landscapes are rewarding and show a variety of hills, different geological cross sections as you perceive how they cut through everything to enable the rails here. A great journey experience, just the local understanding of Silencio is not very strict, so sleeping is not really possible without proper “equipment”.

Our plans for Madrid are easy, relax and see. We originally decide to make a Segway Tour and see IKONO on day one, for tomorrow the Zoo and Aquarium are on our fixed schedule. But our first stop is PLENTY, our breakfast stop. Not far from central Station just behind a few jardins, several nice breakfast spots are close by, we pick some very tasty and enjoyable toasted sourdough breads and are anxious for the Madrid experience which we will try to cover with a bird day pass to recover from yesterday’s steps a bit.

To avoid another 30.000 steps we decide to take a day’s pass for Bird (e-scooter) and curve through Madrid center from trainstation to “Real Palace” and back to the envigorating Retiro park. The later is probably my favorite place in all Madrid. Why? A glass palace in front of water sceneries, an in-city – park waterboat place or just the rose garden we graced from a far or the multitude of small architectural highlights everywhere. Simply a great place to enjoy.

I admit, I like musicals and when Juli suggested to see ‘El Rey léon’ it did not take long to check for some spare tickets and book them. Well, it was well spent. The sheer setting in the theatre was incredible, layers of jungle moving on artists’ heads and costumes that moved lion heads in front of the actors for Mufasa and Scar, not to mention many more details that brought the setting firmly to live. You enjoy it “even” when you do hardly understand a spoken or sung word. Definitely worth the experience.

And while we have neither done a “Segway tour” nor seen “Ikono”, the city is promising enough to come for another weekend in the future – then we’ll do Ikono – and maybe have a Segway tour, or enjoy more with a day-pass on the e-scooters here.

It was soo good!