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Madrid Monday

I have tickets to SF through Zurich. Wednesday. The tour shall be over, let the era of free or cheap rent begin.

Del dia: wanted more paella, but seems to be a two person thing? Will try scrambled eggs and chorizo, and churrasco a la parrilla, which I think is something grilled. Google translate autodetects churrasco as Portuguese for barbecue and is clueless about it as a Spanish word.

Chorizo looks like blood sausage, and don't have the spiciness I associate with chorizo. I was wrong about rotos, the eggs are sunny side up.

On arrival, the churrasco is some sort of chop. I can't tell which animal from the flavor... I probably couldn't anyway, but there isn't much flavor. Fatty, bony, and hard to cut or chew. I notice it took 40 minutes for anyone else to come in to eat, and that person has trouble walking. Everyone else is at the bar. I'm just going to skip coffee and dessert and escape.

Some bathrooms in Madrid, including the one here, have motion detector activated lights, so it can go dark on you while you're on the toilet... No soap or hand-drying equipment, oh that's reassuring about the hygiene of my food.


Casa de campo park, half an hour out by subway. Zoo is here, if I want to pay €18. Big park is also here. Zoo has a pool with trained dolphin shows, I could see a bit through the fence.

Zoo entrance. Do I want to pay $30 for another zoo? Apparently not. Walked, caught bus, got idea that bus was going away from the city, where I have no maps, got off at the train station I came out of.

Old guy started talking to me on the station, basically "aren't you cold?" He's 88 in a heavy jacket, I have my sweatshirt around my waist. I told him I was from California in the states, he said he'd been on ships up and down the coast. And Gulf of Mexico too?

Different, more direct train back. Tempted to ride it into the north. Temptation killed by constant loud whine on the train. Principe Pio and a large park abutting the palace, then.

Big train station! Transfers to big trains. Not super fancy but nice. Row of restautrants, and free public bathrooms, no 30 or 50 cent charge. Nice change. Still no water fountains.

Big park: campo del moro. WC near "cave area". Hoo.

Haven't seen caves, though part of the park is roped off. Might have seen a cloud of bats. Then again it seems early and light for that, it was followed shortly by a cloud of small birds.

They're aggressive about closing times in Spain. The archaeological museum closed at 8, but they were chasing us out at 7:45. This park has staff drivingaround half an hour before, telling us to head for the exit. And there's a sign saying the same thing due to park size. But it's not that big, especially if you go straight to the exit... Now someone walked up to me where I was sitting to wave me over. In London they don't start shooing you until the listed closing time. Here, I guess it's the time that the staff want to leave.

Meowing white cat inside the gate.

Back to the train station for a cerveza place with cheap montaditos, Cerveceria 700 Montaditos, a word I haven't seen before but which I guess is another word for tapas, canapes, etc. Small glass of wine, white in my case, for €1.50... Wine eh. Montaditos turned out to be small sandwiches, like about the length of my hand but narrower. Not bad.

Taking one of the Circular buses whereever it goes. Off my map, but circular is circular, right? ... But sightseeing by bus at night may not be the most productive idea. It's a smart bus, announcing stops and final destination, and inside and outside temperature. I managed to find us again on my big map, then bailed at a metro station. What with all the walking in the stations, and now waiting 5 minutes for a transfer, I wonder if I'll have saved any time; first semicircle was only 30 minutes.

There was a very pretty fountain at Plaza Republic Argentina. Lots of fountains in the roundabouts, but this one seemed particularly nice.

Lots of roundabouts, called glorietas in Spanish, abbreviated Gta. Which I learned tonight from the circular trip. Many of them have arches instead of fountains in their centers.

Someone serenading the train car.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
They're doing the garbage early -- midnight instead of 1am. Or maybe they forgot to fall back the clock.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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