My latest encounter with Madrid…..

Well I was back in one of my favorites cities in the world last week, Madrid.

It is difficult to explain it, I lived here for four years in the 70’s with my late Mom, and started to come back often after graduating university in 1982. Even more after moving to France in 2003. The city always has that special nostalgia about it, no matter how many times I come as soon as landed in Barajas or entering the inner ring roads by car, Madrid comes alive in my mind.

This time was a 3 day event for business my company send me there, it was by the south on the highway to Valencia. The welcome was great and was able to share some moments with my colleagues in Madrid. Looking forward to come back already.

I took off from Nantes airport in Bretagne (yes), after always a rest night at Oceania HOtels Nantes airport, direct fly to Madrid Barajas T4 terminal on Air Nostrum regional of Iberia. The flight was delayed 35 minutes no surprises as I expected it. Landing was smooth, and immediately got my combinado pass at metro to go to line 8 to Colombia stop and change to line 9 to Sainz de Baranda, where my hotel was. The ride was smooth easy and very nice,not crowded at all.

My hotel was the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon, at Pez Volador 1, off the corner with Calle Doctor Esquerdo. This is a four star hotel with live music ,TV, pool, the works in a very nice complex, hightly recommended.

I immediately took off as my friend was already waiting at the lobby, and went to search a place to eat, funny we end up at Cerveceria Cruz Blanca just down the road at Calle Doctor Esquerdo 157. This was a great choice, the food was delicious, and the service very nice and attentive. I had my patatas bravas, eggs with morcilla, and piquillos red peppers with codfish, plus a nice beer of the house -2,and a nice vanilla, red fruits cream concoction with a expresso coffee, my friend had similar things ,all for 47 euros for the two.

I did my duties of the job and for lunch the colleagues had told me the Cruz Blanca above was a great place to eat, and it did show. Recommended. We went to eat at the industrial park resto Gran Via where we had paella and nice house beer again, this time the local guys paid.

The next day I stay with old friends at their home so I keep it that way. For lunch my colleagues took to resto San Jordi in a commercial center by the conde de casal metro stop at line 9, and we had morcilla with eggs, love it, and mero blanco fish with a nice house green salad, rose wine from Castilla and a local beer as apero, plus a delicious milk cream flan, that was recommended and it was great, then expresso coffee and again the locals show their color to pay for it.

I finish doing walks all around calle doctor Esquerdo, walk to Retiro park edge, then Plaza Manuel Becerra,and back towards Calle Alcala. This is where I lived, and unfortunately saw the area a bit dirty and some characters ,of course all change . Anyway the feeling of walking these streets again was hard to describe in words….great:

My travels from hotel to office were handled by the locals with their cars so,just wait a bit as traffic and heavy rains did occur, the rain was unexpected the traffic is a way of life now there.

Finally the last day came back with the Director of the local branch to the airport, and took off again on Air Nostrum of Iberia, well not really took off as it was delayed 1h30minutes!!!!!!!! with only coffee serve yikes!! at least the trip was paid by the company lol!!

I landed at Nantes, and had my car waiting at the parking lot P1, the ride home was smooth and hardly any traffic being so late, arriving home by 1am and ready to go to the office by 9am before heading into the major holiday here of All Saints Day or Toussaints. More of that in Versailles later.

For now here are some photos of this trip. Enjoy Madrid, or as we say Madrid to heaven in a hole in the sky to look down on it every day ::)

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