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Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Sunday, June 27, 2010

This morning we took it easy getting up and ready.  Our hotel was kind enough to take us into town (we are staying out by the airport) and actually dropped us off right in front of Ventas - the Plaza de Toros.  We are coming back here tonight to attend a bullfight.  The building is really big and very nice.  It is in a Moorish style but quite nice.  There are a few statues out front which we took photos of as well as one on the wall by the side that I believe is life size.  We then hit the Metro to go all the way downtown and start exploring Madrid.

We exited the Metro at the Puerta Del Sol to start our trek (we got a walking guide with a couple routes from the Tourist Information Center at the airport yesterday).  We decided on route 01 since it was shorter and seemed to be the shortest of the two but would still take us thru many interesting sights of old Madrid.  While walking around the plaza, we were kept away from crossing the street by police while a member of the royal family drove by!  Anyway, our trek took us through some great pedestrian streets, wonderful 18th and 19th century buildings.  We made it all the way to the royal palace but decided not to enter since the lines were so long and Mom was a little "tired" of castles and palaces.

The walk was extremely pleasant and offered some great photo stops along the way.  Many of the buildings are identified as either from the Hapsburg or Bourbon eras.  Interesting to see the "main" dynasties of Europe talked about in Spain.  It sure was a small world back then ruled by a very small majority!  After a couple of hours walking we arrived back at our starting point, the Puerta del Sol.  We had seen in the distance a couple of times, the typical double decker tourist buses we spoke of in other cities.  We decided to buy the tickets and take a tour of the city mainly to kill time.  It was great.  I know I have said this before but it is well worth the money I think.  I will be going back and hoping on and off tomorrow while Mom takes a bit of a rest.

We returned to the hotel so drop off some of the items we purchased, rest a bit, download the photos before heading out again this time to attend the bullfight at 7pm.  We were both looking forward to it but not exactly sure of what to expect.  We found our seats in record time and yes, they were indeed on the first row right behind the barrier!!  To make things even better, all the Matador's helpers and crew were right below us.  Yes, they would be standing at our feet during the entire event!!  That was a treat since Mom and I are always wondering how things are done "back stage".

The fight was all in the "favor" of the matadors and not the bull.  We expected to see more of a true combat between the bull and matador but it really is always a slow death of the bull.  THis does not decrease the work and effort put forth by the men, but the end always is the same for the bull.  We were glad we went but can now check it off our list and never attend another.

All in all, a good day in the spanish capital.
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