Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The day began with another guided walk through parts of Madrid. One of our stops was the old market where they sold meats, fish, fruits, vegetables and assorted other things. I haven’t a clue as to why Linda took this photo, but I’ve used so few of her photos that this one just begs inclusion. On a good day I take about 300 photos while she takes 30. I’ll let you decide if fewer photos means a higher quality of subject material.
I take back everything thing I said. See how she has captured the very essence of what makes man the superior of the human species. The fabulous form of this grouping, showing strength yet sensitivity, an inclusion of intensity that underscores their greatness. What a photo, one that proves Linda is a truly wonderful photographer.
Now the other side of the story. This is inside a convent where the nuns make what are arguably the best sweet treats in all of Madrid. The reason for the looks is because our wives are in the other room where the treats are being passed out and we were afraid they would eat them all. Explaining Linda’s photo’s are just like explaining a great painting. Sometimes there is great story behind them, and other times you can’t make any sense of them.
Churros and chocolate. Chocolate so thick you can eat it with a spoon. I won’t say just how much Linda ate, that would not be nice, though I was allowed to eat this churro provided I shook off the chocolate after each dip. Sometimes Linda treats me so nice I can hardly believe it myself. I did think that her using her finger to wipe out the cup was a little over the top, but sometimes the Appalachian hill girl in her still comes out.
Deciding she was thirsty after having to eat all those churros and chocolate, Linda made our next stop a table beside a square where we people watched and Linda slacked her thirst with half this pitcher of sangria. I had thought that we would trade places when it came to the sangria, she taking a glass and posing for a photo, and me drinking the rest of the pitcher. Not going to happen, no way, no how. That woman sure does like sangria.
Lest you think all we do is sit around wonderful old squares and drink sangria, here are some of the performers we were watching while sat at the edge of this wonderful old square drinking our sangria.
And yes, we did figure out how the seemingly impossible is achieved. Think realistic fiberglass casts that body parts are placed in. Believe me, there is nothing like a pitcher of sangria to get the brain to working in ways you never imagined to solve the seemingly insolvable. You didn’t want to see a bunch of photos of the insides and outsides of old buildings and more statues than you knew existed, now did you? Because that was what the rest of the photos we took today were about, and this isn't a travel blog, it's a Bob blog.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
It was back to Madrid today, where the morning was taken up with a guided sight seeing walk. Lots of history in Madrid, not all of it good. Seems like it mattered what your station in life was, and whose side you were on as to whether the good old days were good or not. What’s that saying, those who yearn for the good old days and want to turn the clock back are likely to die the same horrible death they did the first time around back then.
That doesn’t have anything to do with the photo, but it has been a couple of days since I went off on a tangent, and the Catholic Church did so many horrible things in Spain that I won’t even mention the Church today. Back to lunch: cod tapas, fried pieces of cod and cod coquettes. A wonderful white wine for Linda and a vermouth for me, both from the barrel. We are definitely eating too good. And paying virtually nothing for it. It is unreal how inexpensive good food is in Spain.
In the afternoon we visited even more churches. They seem to be on almost every corner, and horror of horrors, it isn’t enough that they charged the parishioners to get out of purgatory, some now make additional money charging visitors to look at the inside of the church. Needless to say, our shadows never darken those interior, that is unless it is one that the tour is going inside, and even then we paid in the sense that the money we paid to take the tour is paying our entry.
I’ve decided that this is going to be a food day. Cheese, goat and sheep cheeses by the window full. No! No, Linda you can not buy a piece of each. Has that woman ever changed. The last time we were in Europe she would run the other way if I dared even look at goat or sheep cheese. Now I look at one of those cheeses and she is getting her money out. Maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that doesn’t mean a grizzly bear can't develop a taste for almost anything. And you know what a hungry grizzly can be like, or at least I do.
We absolutely loved this wine we had with dinner. You can even see Linda checking up on me to make sure I took a good photo of the label.
The back of the label. It’s all Spanish to me, I think it says something about this being a great wine. The other reason for the label photos is because it is imported into the US. They said something about the label being somewhat different as this was private labeled for this restaurant, or at least I think that was what they said. We hoped that between the front and the back maybe we could figure it out.
During the meal the four of us at our table had gone through two bottles of wine when I realized Danny was the only one drinking wine at his table. He drove a very hard bargain, but in the end I was able to purchase a 3/4’s full bottle for .02 euro. Since the wine was furnished with the meal I thought he made out great. He thought I should pay more, but being the great guy he was, and he really was a great guy, he settled for all I had in my pocket. Note that I was careful not to tell him that my money pouch was in my other pocket. It’s little things like this that make being on tour so much fun and make for great memories.
Monday, October 1, 2012
AVE is the name for the fast trains in Spain. We had taken one into Barcelona, but the REALLY fast AVE in Spain is the one from Barcelona to Madrid.
The entire trip wasn’t at 300 kph, but it was easy to tell when it got up to that speed. I don’t know for sure what that is in mph, but the way everything was flying past out the window, it was mighty fast.
We didn't stay in Madrid when we got off the train, rather we had our first trip on our tour bus, heading off to Segovia. It is always amazing when looking at what the Romans did, and in Segovia what they did was still standing in remarkable condition. I can remember reading about Roman aqueducts in those history classes many years ago. Now we were seeing one and it was far more impressive than I had imagined.
Next it was off to the castle, and on the way we came across this. Some people get all bent out of shape worrying whether they look like a tourist or not. We never did learn exactly why the Romans left Segovia, but I have to wonder if wasn’t because they saw something like this walking the streets of town.
This for our grandson Zachary who likes knights in shining armor. Looks like grandma likes knights in shining armor also. And here I always thought I was her knight in shining armor, even if I might be getting a worn around the edges. Looks like I’d better be on my best behavior or I could be replaced by someone who would never interrupt Linda when she is talking.
Dinner was group meal that features roast suckling pig. Skin, lots of fat which was more like liquid grease than solid fat, and accompanied by all the wine you wanted to drink. Needless to say, one of us enjoyed the meal a lot more than the the other. I think there is a meaning to the fact that there was a fire extinguisher behind Linda in this photo, but I had so much fun that night that I haven’t a clue as to what it might have been. I know she didn’t take the fist plane to Las Vegas for a quickie divorce so I couldn’t have been that bad. Don’t you just hate when you can't even remember just how much fun you had.