I realize that my blog has been jumping around instead of following the actual time-line of our travels.
So, I'm starting over here. I'm pretending it is week one and I'm going to begin an account of our trip to Spain & Portugal.
We left St. Louis on the 25th of May, traveling to Madrid via Chicago, on American and Iberian.
Since we were only spending 3 nights in Madrid, I booked a hotel instead of an apartment. We stayed at the Hotel Arosa (a Best Western).
The hotel was priced very well for its ideal location in the Porto del Sol/Plaza Major area. It is modern with good amenities. You can check it out at its web site above.
We arrived in Madrid at 08:00 on Saturday the 26th. Took a taxi to the hotel and left our bags at the desk. We decided what we needed most was exercise and fresh air. So we headed straight to Parque del Buen Retiro while we waited for check in time.
The park was on my must-do list because the annual Madrid Bookfair was being held there. The Barnes & Noble Bookseller in me, is naturally drawn to books. In this case, hundreds of identical white tents, filled with thousands of books. In almost every tent sat an author, proudly signing their book for a long line of fans.
The fact that I didn't recognize the names of of any of these authors, served to point out to me the vastness of the book universe.
I took our store's mascot - Bookworm on our trip with us. He sent back dispatches to the booksellers at the store about his adventures. His first was, appropriately, the Madrid bookfair. Here he purchased the first book of the Magic Treehouse series in Spanish.
After the bookfair we wondered through Retiro, enjoying the cool green, the beautiful monuments, the street music, and people watching. Our favorite part was sitting on the steps below Alfonso XII's monument and watching the families and couples in rented row boats on the lake.