Category Archives: Madrid Jan 2015

Our Apartment in Madrid

We only drink wine with corks…You can’t really tell but this pepper is huge

This is the link to the airbnb site posting of the place we stayed in in Madrid:

Some notes about constructions style that most of you probably don’t care about.

1) toilet water is fed to the top right of the tank rather than the bottom left as they are in the states

2) the apartment heating is a modern radiator with gas fed boiler.  The boiler heats all the water both for sinks/showers and the heating radiators.

3) Instead of our typical front door locking door nob and deadbolt, their doors have a lock insert that is inset all the way up and down the door.  You turn the key several times around and each time a dead bolt like protrusion extends further into the door jamb.  The main difference however is that the “deadbolts” are three sets of three deadbolts, one set at the top, middle, and bottom of the door.  Each of the three deadbolt sets has three 1/2 inch round deadbolts about an inch apart.   In addition you have to turn the key to get into the apartment as there is no door nob to turn to unlatch the door.  So three revolutions of the key, two to unlock the deadbolts and the third to unlatch the door.

4) washer and dryer are combined in one unit and frequently located in the kitchen

5) in all of the airbnb posts I have never seen a dishwasher

6) the refrigerator/freezer in our unit was probably a foot taller than we see in the states but a little skinnier as well and very quiet in operation (made by LG).

7) most residences have metal roll down blinds/shutters outside of the windows and they use them, although I don’t quite know why.

8) our fairly new apartment did not have a closet in the bedroom and I believe that is typical.  One buys an amour to put in the bedroom for clothes. -Dave

Palacio Real

Looking up the staircase in the Royal Palace


The Royal Palace in Madrid


Almudena Cathedral faces the Palace


I visited the  Palacio Real (The Royal Palace)  in downtown Madrid.   It was built from 1738 to 1755.  The Spanish royal family does not live here today instead living in another palace on the outskirts of town.  This palace is now used for special occasions.  There was a music room in the palace that contained 5 Stradivarius instruments in display cases (two violins, one viola, a small cello and a normal size cello) which is the only complete Stradivarius quintet in the world.  Another impressive room was the dining room with the table set for what looked like about 100 people.  It is hard to imagine daily life living in this 3418 room 1,450,000 square foot home. -Dave

Reflecting on Madrid


Madrid is a large city, and we only saw a little slice of it, which was probably typical of the rest of the city.  Lots to see and do. The people are delightful and willing to help when asked, and we had blue skies every day.  The only negative I would note is the litter 🙁


The Spaniards LOVE their ham (jambon).  It’s the most common sandwich, and there are many stores that sell just ham and sausages.

IMG_1038The Spanish seem to exercise their right to peaceful protest often. We saw 3 different protests – all very organized.  This one was against some changes (firings?) at the Coca Cola plant.

Ten delightful days into our adventure and we’re off  to Malta, and some musings about low cost air carriers. Laura

Caixa Forum Museum – updated

Added 2 interior photos of the staircases in this unique building, the first was stone, the second steel:



This is a really unique building – the center core supports the building, with most of it cantilevered.  One can walk under it through to the other side.  Note the brick lower 1/2 and the steel plate facade on the upper 1/2.




We toured the museum, and then had a coffee break on the top floor.  From this inside shot, you can better see the pattern cut into the steel façade. – Laura

Images from our Saturday stroll

IMG_1051This is the soccer stadium that is 3/4 mile from our apartment, though it sure sounded closer when the game was going.

IMG_1056Did not see one of these in action, but mopeds, motorcycles, scooters are understandably popular, with the parking challenges.


IMG_1049Nope – we didn’t do it!!  This is a mail box, comparable to our blue boxes. Laura


Misc. Madrid


As I’m typing this, I can hear/have been hearing the constant roar from a soccer match at the Vicente Calderon Stadium – .75 miles away!! – Laura