Day 53 - Palacio de Cristal

3 February 2022

Our train arrived at about 8.15 pm. I thought it had a wait before it headed back to Seville. Not so. We barely got the bikes and bags off before the doors shut and it was off.

2 km ride to our accommodation. We don’t do much night riding. Madrid has a fast pulse. It is far more rushed than the other cities in Sapin. It was a fun but hectic ride.

Tried to sleep in but couldn’t. Up early and off to find some good coffee and breakfast. HanSo Café was worth the walk. Great coffee. Good food.

There is a clinic that will do COVID booster shots without an appointment. CMSc Centro. We head back to our accommodation, grab our passports. It is nearby to the train station, the Palacio de Cristal and Museo Nacional del Prado which are on our visit list today.

We are off to a good start with CMSc Centro. They take our passports and start entering our details into the system. Promising. It is not until they tell us the first appointment is tomorrow lunch that it collapses. I think we will be able to get this sorted in Barcelona. Booster shots are now becoming more essential for travel than they were a few months ago.

We head to the Palacio de Cristal. It is in the centre of a wonderful park, Parque de El Retiro. It is a fine, sunny day and the walk is nice. We arrive at Palacio de Cristal and I am a little underwhelmed. Perhaps if it wasn’t after the palaces and gardens of Seville, I would be impressed. Maybe I am a little jaded and over the tourist stuff. Palacio de Cristal was designed by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco for the purpose of the 1887 exhibition, Plants of the Phillipines. It is a greenhouse.

“Just as dogs were thwarted wolves, parks were thwarted forests. Humans loved both, possibly because humans were, well, thwarted.” ― Matt Haig

We grab our train tickets to Barcelona. Estación Madrid - Puerta de Atocha has a tropical garden in its heart. Very cool. We get the standard run-around with train tickets. I am used to it now. Sorted, we are ready to move on.

We skip the museum and head for lunch. I am tired and irritable and not sure why. Lunch was forgettable. Average at best. We head back. I think Shell shares my apathy.

Madrid is beautiful. I feel like I am not giving it a chance. I just want to get back to Barcelona. I am reading my book while Shell takes a nap. Maybe I will get a bottle of wine tonight and drink it on the roof. Maybe not. Very early start tomorrow.

Sorry Madrid, it’s not you, it's me. I hope you understand.

“It was the kind of town that made you feel like Humphrey Bogart: you came in on a bumpy little plane, and, for some mysterious reason, got a private room with balcony overlooking the town and the harbor; then you sat there and drank until something happened.” ― Hunter S. Thompson


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