A Travellerspoint blog

Travelling to Madrid

By Ben

all seasons in one day 11 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Today was a travel day from Bilbao to Madrid. It was pouring in Bilbao when we left. We were able to get to Madrid on a route that avoided toll roads which is a fair accomplishment in these parts. It did mean some winding roads and crossing a remote mountain pass. The difference in travel time was less than an hour and the distance was almost equivalent at 400 km.

The weather on the trip was quite wild. We had high cross winds, fog, driving rain, bright sun and more than just a little snow going through the mountains. The temperature went down to minus 3 and rose to 11 degrees in just an hour of driving. Any stereotypical images you may have of Spain just being a dry and dusty land are hopefully now thoroughly shattered.

The traffic consisted mostly of trucks and didn't get thick until we hit Madrid. It was nice to come into Madrid by mid afternoon in the sunshine and a temperature of 11 degrees. The drivers are a little more relaxed here than in Paris but there is a lot jostling just the same. We were blessed once again by the parking angel and found a place close to our hotel to get checked in. Parking is at a premium here. We will be in Madrid for 5 days and it will cost us 100 Euros for parking our Kangoo. The consolation prize is that our hotel-apartment is in a great location and is the nicest place we have stayed in so far. We will be very comfortable over the next 5 days (hopefully not spoiled).

We are in need of a little more Spanish words to help us through but were able to figure out through charades with the parking garage attendant how to get at our car after hours. This morning before we left Bilbao I had to let in the water meter reader which was another exercise in charades and lots of mention of agua, agua, agua.

Abby is feeling a little under the weather again but is putting on a brave face for us all. We hope a good night sleep will help clear things up. She hasn't been up and down for a while but keeps on soldiering on. We have had a fairly low key and relaxing evening.

I am having issues with our laptop and getting connected with the WIFI here. I am borrowing Abby's laptop to post these few words. I hope that tomorrow will bring some solutions. All our other devices can see the wireless network for our building except mine. The odd thing is that I can see dozens of other wireless networks and did see two other connections from the hotel but they have disappeared over the course of the evening. As a result of the problems I won't be posting any pictures today.

Thanks for some comments by a some more readers. We appreciated seeing comments from George, John, Marianne, Sheila, Irene and Sharon G. in the past few days for rounding out comments by our more regular contributers such as Opa and Rob.

Tomorrow we will begin some wandering in Madrid and scope out some places to get tapas and ingredients to make Paella.

My Dad asked about what the economics are like. So far we can say in Bilbao there were some people quietly looking for a donation but nothing to the scale we see in Victoria and in Madrid we have only seen some aggressive squiggie people at the stop lights.

Posted by KZFamily 13:29 Archived in Spain Tagged driving madrid

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14:55 pst 18/11/12
Sounds like you had quite the drive Ben in weather and road conditions, Hope your Kangoo has good all season tires. Enjoyed your museum explanations and I agree not everybody can deal with modern art but this one looks fantastic. My mobile told me I had about ten comments from your posts so will check it out later on, must be all the new contributors. Have to watch what I say ,just kidding.
On the WiFi side sometimes a microwave or like unit can drop it or you are picking up a device like a WiFi printer not a router but it will still register. In your Hotel, ask at the front desk either for the password or best location. Normally in my experience the best signal is around the lobby or restaurants, just a thought.
Now if your Notebook is a MacBook or IPad then you should have no signal issues at all (my selling blip, ha ha).
We have just got back from Christmas present shopping for our grandchildren , down at Mayfair, the mall was not too bad but Staurday might be a differnt issue. I still have to remind myself to get Liz's gift (male hint) but I do have till the 24th. ho ho
On the Museum front, I remember a painting in the National Museum in Ottawa that was a modern art, it was three stripes of colour about 15 feet high by perhaps four feet, that was it. :)
Your parking is about in par with downtown Vancouver Hotels like the Sutton whicj Liz loves as it has a CHOCOLATE Fountain.
I know , somewhere you will post a pictirfe of that desert....
Look forward to Madrid tours by you all , hope health is better for Abby.
Cheers off for a late lunch, see what is in the fridge..

by RobBar

Thanks for such great posts, and we finally became members and are making our first comment! This trip is such an adventure and we enjoy reading about all of the driving/eating/museums/people/weather, etc.
We just returned from a small adventure to Mayne Island for 2 1/2 days as we spent time in prayer/reading/relaxing/walking the beaches. Sunny ferry ride over, and rainy one back home.
Just a little update from CCC- we enjoyed a well attended soup Sunday last Sun. where we shared the joys and celebrations at our tables regarding CCC. It was a big blessings and encouragement to us all.

by KathyHarv

Although I'm having a great time following your trip, I'm a little worried that you won't be able to maintain such a fast pace for long. I hope you have some relaxation time planned soon. That said, if I was in Madrid I would go see Guernica by Picasso at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Las Meninas by Velázquez at the Museo del Prado. I went to lectures about both of those paintings when I lived in Vancouver.

by Jane1

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