Madrid Spain Talk of the Bay
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May 16 – 20, 2012 | Madrid, Spain

Traveling half way around the world was, to say the least, long and even included a stop-over in Munich, Germany.  However upon arrival in Madrid we knew it was worth the trip.  Our hotel, the Santo Mauro, a gorgeous home for four days is a smaller hotel elaborately decorated with traditional Spanish flair. Located in the northern part of the city, everything from the reception room to the gathering hall the décor reflects the Spanish culture with brilliant red fabrics and white accents filling the 20’ walls. A beautiful iron spiral staircase and tiny 3 person lift transports guests to their rooms.  The gardens, just outside the backdoor, are filled with trees, flowers and comfortably intimate seating areas.  Breakfast is served in the library and dinner in the small but elaborate dining room. Needless to say we enjoyed our stay.

The capital of Spain, Madrid, is a business oriented city with a flair for fashion. Hustling and bustling the city is filled with beautiful architecture, lush green gardens, tree filled parks with wonderful picnic areas, Vespas of every color and cell phones to match. Fashion also plays a wonderful part of the everyday life.  There are boutiques and shoes shops galore. 

Museums are located throughout the city; we visited the Museo National de Prado, located near the center of Madrid. Home to a collection of more than 3000 works of ‘heavy hitter’ artists from across Europe; Goya, Rafael, Greco it also boasts one of the largest collections of paintings by Reubens. 

Our favorite tourist visit was the Palacio Real, the royal palace. Elegant and elaborate only begin to describe this 2000 room castle. Filled with amazing artwork, tapestries, gorgeous room-sized rugs and furnishings from centuries ago this piece of Spanish history is alive and well as heads of states still meet and come before the King of Espana in the very hall we visited. 

As for dining and entertainment; we tried everything we could. We feasted on a variety of tapas, paella, sangria and wonderful crianza (old) wines and watched the proud and extremely energetic art of flamenco dancing.  

Next stop is Malaga, along the coastline. 

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