So the good news is that we got to Madrid…. we managed to check out of the hotel, catch the train and arrive at our Madrid hotel all on the correct day! Phew!
Madrid Hotel – The Westin Palace…. they tried to give us a room with a ‘city view’, which we booked, however ‘city view’ to them actually meant ‘a view IN the city – in this case of the building across the street which was covered with scaffolding and I was having none of that. So a little chat with Elise at reception and she gave us this view of the fountain. Gracias Elise.
We got ourselves organised and then took ourselves out for a walk. I quite like a botanic garden and Me Jenny loves any sort of garden, so that’s the direction we headed.
First we passed the Prado Museum. We’re right in the centre of the cultural world here….. but I think we’ll probably give it a miss. Culture overload!
While staring at this statue and trying to work out who he is…. I offered, “Do you think he might have been a painter?” Me Jenny, “or a lollypop lady?” Who knows?
The botanic gardens seemed to be going through a bit of a transition period with about 80% of the sections needing a lot of work – weeding and cutting back and planting, etc…. I’m no gardener, but I know for €6 each there should have been a fair bit more to look at….
Here are the highlights…
It was a lovely place to sit and do some contemplating though. There were lots of people laying on benches like this reading books or eating their lunch. Perhaps they pay an annual fee to come in each day or maybe if you’re local, you don’t pay?
Me Jenny appreciating a little orchid in the glasshouse.
Then we came across the bonsai section! (Matt – I thought of you immediately) It’s a bit of a shame that they weren’t sitting against a background of a different colour so they stand out more, but there were a hundred of them. So lovely.
After our visit, we stopped off at a cafe for a quick beer and as we were sitting, watching the world go by, I noticed a woman sitting down at the next cafe with her partner. My immediate thought was that I thought I recognised her and my mind went through that whole ‘where would I know her from?’ thing. Then it hit me – this was a woman that I’ve never met in person and have only seen a profile picture on the website of the celebrant association that we both belong to. She lives in Victoria, so we’ve never met, but we have been on the same conference call (which doesn’t help to visually identify a person!). Anyway, I knew that she was in currently in Spain – to walk the Camino de Santiago, so the chances were higher and the more I looked at her, the more certain I was that it was her. So I approached and said, “Hi, sorry to bother you, but do you speak English?” she answered, “Yes.” “Are you Australian?” I continued. “Yes” she said, more curiously. “Are you Leslie from Victoria?” I completed my line of questioning to a look of total confusion as to who the hell this person in front of her was and her partner commented, “Oh for goodness sake!, she knew somebody on the bus yesterday!”
So I explained who I was and we marvelled at how small the world was and how I have a talent for recognising somebody I’ve never met from a photo I’ve only seen a small handful of times in one of the busiest cities in Europe across the other side of the world from where we both live.
I mean what are the chances of that happening? No seriously, I want somebody to do the maths.
We were all just as amazed as this chihuahua!