Muxia to Home. Day Seven

Written on July 18, 2012.

It’s a travel day. During “travel mode” I find that I turn my will and my life over to the care of the unknown:). Lisa, Vern, and I leave on a shuttle from the hotel. As the driver was helping us unload our backpacks he noticed the scallop shell hanging on my bag. In Spanish he said, “I have walked the Camino de Santiago 3 times”. His smile was so big and bright that I knew that he was happy to share, just for a moment, that he too was a Pilgrim.

Lisa had an earlier flight and was leaving from a different terminal than us. We had time to relax, have a snack, and update the blog.

Our plane to the first stop in the U.S., Miami.

This is the monitor that we watched in Madrid.

Arriving in Miami after clearing Customs and Passport Control.

I love this floor at the Miami airport.

By the time we arrived at the CitiGarden┬áHotel near the San Francisco Airport it was 1:30 a.m. We needed sleep more than we needed food. This is a great hotel near the airport that provides free shuttle service between the hours of 4:14 a.m. to 12:44 a.m. The CitiGarden also has a park’n fly program. The website is: citigardenhotel.com. I feel that this hotel is one of the best kept secrets in the Bay Area.

Muxia to Home. Day Six.

Written on July 17, 2012.

The first place we go today is Plaza Mayor. We love to see what is going on. The perfect place for a fun photo!

Vern, Me, and Lisa looking our best!

Today we are exploring areas of the City that we drove past on the bus tour last weekend.

Open air double decker bus.

The Cathedral is beautiful from the outside and even more impressive from the inside.

One of the main cloisters of the Cathedral in Madrid.

A section of the ceiling.

I'm enjoying the walk from the Cathedral on the side of the street with the most shade. Fortunately for us there was some wonderful music on that side of the street also.

Thank you for the music!

After dinner we attended a free concert at the Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande Madrid. A choir from the Rottenburg Cathedral….Rottenburg, Germany performed. The young women had angelic voices. I thought that the best effect was when they formed a circle under the dome…it sounded beautiful! The organist who accompanies the choir has won many awards for his playing. After listening to him for a few moments I can understand why.

 

Muxia to Home. Day Five.

Written on July 16, 2012.

Another day to sleep in! We really are on vacation. We take our time waking up and go to the first floor for breakfast. The plan today is to not have a plan. Just walking around Madrid is entertaining, day or night. The days have been so warm that many sidewalk cafes have misters, (water sprayers), to cool off their customers. I bought a pair of jeans yesterday, today I have to buy a belt to hold them up. I find one right away. It seems that Vern, Lisa and I are ready to do a little shopping. We go from store to store and from cafe to cafe. We have now moved into a room for three people. It is a large room right above the street.

There is an incredible market not far from Plaza Mayor. It is full of local specialities and one-of-a-kind delicacies. We enjoy looking at all this market has to offer.

M & M Market, Madrid.
Specialty hams at the market.
Cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.
“Eye-catching” windows above a shop.
 
In Madrid a person can walk 10 minutes back to their hotel or take 3 hours to get there. A corner can change several times a day. The same artist or vendor will probably not be in the same location the next time you walk by.

Muxia to Home. Day Four.

Written on July 15, 2012.

 

Vern, Lisa, and I had breakfast at the hotel.Yes I said breakfast…not toast and coffee, but yogurt, eggs, fruit juice, and cereal. There were other foods also available at the buffet. We took our time eating and relaxing. We then left to find a double decker bus to ride in. We paid 20 euros each and were able to ride on the bus all day. If we saw something we wanted to explore or take a closer look at we could leave the bus any time. Headphones were provided and you could choose the language you needed.

We went to our room and rested. I was anxious to wear a different pair of pants so I went across the street and bought a pair of jeans. A different pair of pants after 3 months!

We felt rested, walked a short distance and returned to the bus for another part of the tour.

In the evening we returned to Plaza Mayor. It was now Sunday evening. The scene was completely changed from Saturday evening. Massage chairs and vendors of every type of product lined the streets. There were a few musicians, but not the variety that we saw the evening before. There were many young men running around trying to sell toys that they would launch with a rubber band many feet off the ground.

The fountains and landmarks of Madrid are beautiful and unique. Here are just a few of the landmarks and attractions that we saw: I have only added titles to the structures that I am sure of.

Edificio Metropolis.
Royal Palace.
 
 
 
A Camino marker on a Madrid Hotel!
 
Madrid is an interesting city with attractions and interests for every style and taste!

Muxia to Home. Day Three.

Written on July 14, 2012.

Walking from our room toward the bus stop I feel so much! I feel so grateful to have been able to spend time in Santiago. Also, I know that all of the encouragement that I have received and given is just a small example of what I can experience in my daily life.

We board the bus for the airport…next stop: Madrid. We will take a plane to Madrid where we will meet Lisa from Germany. Lisa, Vern, and I became friends while walking the Camino in 2009…since then Lisa has been to our home in California, and we have been to her home in Germany. We will spend 4 days together in Madrid. Our planes are scheduled to have a time difference of 2 hours. Our plane is delayed and Vern's checked in backpack is misplaced. Lisa's plane is delayed due to a flat tire. The result….we come in just minutes apart!

Lisa and Vern at the Madrid airport.
 

We check into our hotel and take a rest. We walk around Madrid. Madrid comes alive around 10 p.m. Plaza Mayor is a large plaza. All four sides are lined with shops and cafes with outdoor dining. Street performers, mimes, musicians, religious processions, and bands are everywhere in the plaza and downtown area. It is Saturday night. It is a perfect place to celebrate after a long distance walk.

Lisa and Vern with a street “artist” in Madrid.

Vern and Nancy in Madrid.
A street performer.
 
This performer has something in his mouth that makes his voice sound very high and squeeky. Children are attracted to him. Their parents give them I euro coins to put in a basket in front of the “baby”.
People are amazed and puzzled by this illusion.
A giant bubble blower in the middle of the Plaza Mayor.
 
This is my favorite street performer. Everyone was having a lot of fun with him.
The creativity and innovation of these performers is amazing. I enjoy walking through the plazas and streets. I bring plenty of euros so that I can feel comfortable taking photos and interacting with these artists.