After a nice few days in Barcelona, we took a high speed iryo train to Madrid. Travelling at up to 300km/h we covered the over 600km journey in about two hours and 45 minutes, including a brief stop in Zaragoza.

We arrived at the central station, Puerta de Atocha, around 15:30. We then took a Cercanias local train, which was included in our ticket from Barcelona, to get to the airport terminal T4 and then took the 827 bus to Barajas. We walked the remaining five minutes to our hotel, Hotel Clement, arriving around 18:00.

Having checked in, we went out to get some food, settling on a Nepalese place, as everything else was booked out due to it being valentines day. The food was good.

The next day we headed into town with a friend who gave us a good walking tour around Madrid. We started off at Place d'Espanya with a statue of Cervantes in the middle and surrounded by rather grandiose and imposing buildings.

Next we headed up the Gran Via to Plaza del Callao and on to Puerta del Sol. This is the starting point in Madrid for all distances to other towns, kilometre zero.

We carried on to Plaza Mayor. The name is similar to Brussels' Grande Place, but the looks are quite different.

We then headed onto Mercado de San Miguel...

...before reaching the Royal Palace.

These are statues of the previous spanish kings.

It was time for a late lunch, before continuing in the direction of the Prado and a quick look at Place de Colon.

Finally we reached the Prado, which has free entry after 6pm. You need more than the two hours this affords you to cover the whole museum. But I looked at some of the Cervantes paintings, as well as the famous Dos de Mayo and Tres de Mayo paintings. I also spotted the painting of a lady squirting breast milk into a priest's mouth, one which I had noticed over 20 years ago on my last visit to Madrid. But did not spot the painting by Bosch that I noted at the time. Maybe it was on loan to somewhere else. Or maybe it was not actually by Bosch.

The following day I was ill so I didn't do a lot, whilst the other went out. The next morning we flew back to Luxembourg. Not without a minor panic though. For whatever reason my younger daughter's wallet, including ID card, was with my older daughter. Only problem was that we were flying from different terminals at opposite ends of the airport! We realised this at check-in. Thankfully a) the airport has an efficient transfer bus between the two terminals every five minutes and b) my older daughter's flight was an hour later. On the other hand she had already gone through security. Still she found her way out of the Terminal, to the transfer bus, brought us the wallet and saved the day. No one missed their flight! πŸ™‚

One interesting thing in Spain seem to be that you are charged extra (a three Euro supplement per person) to take the metro to the airport. It means for a family of four this 12 Euros on top of the actual metro ticket. So you are easily looking at 20 Euro. An Uber is not much more to some locations from the airport. This makes no sense, I thought policy was to encourage taking public transport. This seems to discourage it.