Day 20. Madrid. Friday 7 October

Breakfast for our stay in Madrid is eaten at a local café around the corner. The owner of the hotel also owns the café. Stunning coffee. Unusual other treats. Breakfast is one benchmark that provides interesting comparisons. The French have never heard of Cornflakes or All Bran (fine with me). In Amsterdam it’s common to have sliced cucumber with your breakfast. Or chocolate sprinkles on your toast. In Germany, muesli reigns supreme (mine had a million different fruits, well only 12 but that’s impressive). In Spain its ham, ham and more ham. There is actually a ham museum here in Madrid. There were over 14 different items on our breakfast menu and only 1 didn’t contain ham. That’s what I ordered – toast and jam. Yoghurt however does make an appearance in all the different breakfasts so far.

First up on the agenda this morning is our segway tour of Madrid with Madsegs. I have always been a bit hesitant about doing this thinking that I would probably demonstrate the 10 different ways to fall off and face plant. However, I took to it really well. Its easy once you get the hang of it. There were only 6 of us (us 4) and a couple originally from Sydney now living in Hong Kong. Our English speaking tour guide loves his Segway. So much so that he has competed in the World Championships and has won them. We were all having so much fun. When we got to the first park, we could up the speed limit, which we all opted to do. By half way through the tour we were going down steps and up and down small hills. He tells us that because the Segs have fat snow tyres on them that we are able to do this and that not many Seg tours can do this. We travelled so much ground over Madrid; it really is a big city. It is also a very beautiful one. I am surprised at just how beautiful it is and wonder why I have never visited here before. The Segway tour was brilliant, it went an hour longer than scheduled and we got a CD will film and photographs at the end.

For lunch Mark and I tried this vegetarian place called Moaz. We saw one in Barcelona and it looks fresh and healthy. We both had the felafel pita filled with a range of salads. It was awesome. Kids had McDonalds. Ryan couldn’t stop laughing, as when he ordered he asked for a Quarter Pounder meal and the girl said, “you want nuggets?”

Tonight we went to a flamenco show at Casa Patas. Very authentic flamenco tablao that hosts amazing flamenco. Seated in a cosy venue, drinking sangria awaiting the performance. There were 2 guitarists, 2 singers, 1 male performer and 1 female performer. It was visually stunning. It was the most amazing night, very difficult to articulate. The passion, the control, the dance, the music, the emotion, the fire. This is flamenco. Everyone in that room was connected to that performance. I was taken to another place. Bonito!


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