I’m no stranger to the cities and villages that crisscross the Iberian Peninsula. I never tire of them, so you will find that several of the write-ups in my Tenerife blogs relate to the trips Jim and I have made to Spain, Portugal, and France.
I have also visited Andorra but only once, that was on our honeymoon. I remember crossing the border and being ordered from the car. I climbed out with ‘attitude’ and wearing shorts. However as soon as a machine gun was pointed at me, I meekly stepped into line and did as I was asked. Those were the days of Franco and I wasn´t going to argue.
It was looking at old photos that made me think I could tell you about a few of our travels through Spain, which we have done over the years. The towns we have stayed in won’t be in any particular order other than probably alphabetical, which is the way I found the files on my laptop, but for the most part these are all within easy reach of Madrid.
On one visit, we stayed at the AC Hotel Coslada. We chose this because of its convenient location less than 10 minutes from the airport. After getting around the one-way systems, the industrial estate and large shopping centre, we found the hotel tucked down what appeared to be a dead end road. Those 10 minutes had taken us almost an hour. We have stayed in several AC hotels, the rooms are modern, clean and the free minibar is a bonus. This one in Madrid is ideal for those passing through but nobody should stay there if they want a convenient location for visiting Madrid central.
Although I ADORE Barcelona, I’m not a lover of Madrid. I find it dirty, and I am always wary of crime although invariably there seems to be a high police presence that many will find comforting. I like street art but rather than seeing outdoor art galleries some places appear little more than ghettos. As an animal lover, I’m not attracted by the Plaza de Toros, despite the beautiful mosaics, the homeless people, the Royal Palace or the horrendous traffic whose noise and fumes pollute the air. I’m not interested in football so the Estado Santiago Bernabéu does nothing for me, however, I do like to people-watch in the Plaza Mayor. Overall, and I know many will disagree, Madrid for me could be any city anywhere, there is nothing memorable, or romantic that makes me want to stay awhile.
As it happened, we only wanted a one nighter hence our choice of hotel, then it would be off to a Parador. We have stayed in these many times over the years. Fabulously luxurious hotels often located in historic buildings such as castles. The upside is there are always offers to be had particularly if you are over 55. So for the next few blogs I will tell you about some we have stayed in.