About the Post

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My name is Scott and I like to travel. There I said it, wow that does feel better. There is probably a program for my affliction somewhere. I am what I would consider a Normal Guy. I am a native Arizonan, sometimes we are called “Zonies”. I am in my mid 40′s and enjoy a great life. I am self employed and have a wonderful daughter and Partner. Although I would say my life is a fairly normal one, I am also quite lucky in that I have the ability to travel and enjoy the world, I enjoy learning about other cultures and experiencing the world around us. I want to be right upfront about the type of travel I enjoy and the type I don’t. You will probably not ever read a story of about me backpacking my way through the serengeti during the height of summer, nor will you probably read any stories of me sleeping in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton in Paris. I am not a budget traveler, nor am I an uber luxury traveler, I fall somewhere in the middle, where most people fall I believe. I started this blog for the sole purpose of sharing my stories, my views and my excitement for traveling around this world with my friends, family. However it doesn’t stop there for me, I also wanted to make friends with others around the world, those who travel and those who dream of travel. Blogs and Websites evolve over time, mine will no doubt expand over time as well please come back and see what has taken place. However if you have come to my blog to schedule a flight or a hotel, this is not the place.

Almudena Cathedral of Madrid

Plaza Mayor

We left Phoenix at 8:30 a.m.,  landed in Madrid at 9:45 am., the following morning, now that is a long travel day.  Of course that has more to do with the fact that Madrid is 9 hours ahead of Phoenix.  While I was enjoying my sunny days in Spain, you were enjoying your dream filled nights at home.  I should be very tired, however I am wide awake, I suppose it is the excitement and adrenalin flowing through my body.  I can already tell this is going to be a tough day, I have always found it is best to just spend your first day trying to acclimate to the local time.

Petite Palace Posada Del Peine

The International Airport in Madrid, which is called the Barajas Airport; and is one of the top 10 in terms of traffic in the World, this is one busy Airport.  And big, it takes a bit to navigate your way to and through Customs.  By 10:30, we are in a cab and on our way to our Hotel, The Petite Palace Posada Del Peine.  The location of the Hotel is excellent, about 100 yards from the Plaza Major one of the largest squares in Madrid and a sort of center of Old Madrid.  From here we can walk nearly anywhere.  After dropping off our luggage, we find a small cafe to have some coffee and mid day snack.  It’s a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, a nice mid 70’s, just gorgeous.  As is the case with a lot of cities in Europe, Madrid is a late riser.  You can feel the energy of a city coming to life, but not until around 9 or 10 a.m.

Today is a day of getting some bearing as to where we are and what we want to do while we are here, to understand how to get around.  We did not venture too far from our hotel today as the day is half over, so I thought.  After getting all checked in, even taking a short Siesta, which is quite common here; we were off again.  This time for a nice walk to the National Cathedral (called, Almudena Cathedral) and the Presidential Palace.

A little history of the Cathedral

Almudena Cathedral

Almudena Cathedral is the cathedral of Madrid, Spain. Dating from the late 19th and 20th centuries, Almudena Cathedral is very new by European standards, and its traditional-meets-modern design reflects its youth.  The site on which Almudena Cathedral now stands was originally occupied by Madrid’s first mosque, then by a church dedicated to one of Madrid’s patron saints, Santa María de la Almudena.

Almudena Cathedral

Plans for a grand new church began in the 16th century after King Philip II made Madrid the capital of Spain. But construction was constantly postponed due to various political issues and opposition from the powerful archdiocese of Toledo.

Finally, in 1868, Madrid received permission from Toledo to construct a new church dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena. Construction began in 1883 based on a Neo-Gothic design. The first part to be completed was the crypt, which contains a 16th-century image of Madrid’s patroness the Virgen de la Almudena.

Ceiling, Almudena Cathedral

A year later, in 1884, Pope Leo XIII created the Diocese of Madrid, giving Madrid a bishop and raising the status of the new Almudena church to a cathedral. The building plans were updated to reflect the elevated status of the building.  Construction on the cathedral progressed slowly and came to a complete halt during the civil war of the 1930s. The process began again in 1944, when the new architect introduced a Neoclassical style that would match the Royal Palace next door.

Almudena Cathedral was completed in 1993 and consecrated in person by Pope John Paul II that same year. A statue of the pope in front of the cathedral commemorates the momentous occasion. The cathedral was given another publicity boost with the sumptuous wedding of Prince Felipe and Doña Letizia in May 2004, the first such royal event in nearly a century.  The bright interior of Almudena Cathedral is based in the Gothic style, but modern and modest compared to most Spanish cathedrals. Its “pop art” stained glass windows were recently revealed to be copies.

Although lacking the architectural merit or historical significance of other European cathedrals, Almudena Cathedral is nonetheless worth a visit due to its uniqueness, its modern beauty, and its sheer size: it measures 104m long and 76m wide, with a central dome measuring 20m in diameter.

Organ Pipe, Almudena Cathedral

By the time we arrived back to the Hotel is was nearly 8 p.m., so what do you do at that time?  Well, you go find a place to have dinner and drinks, Sangria to be exact.    Finding  a place for dinner is not as easy as it would seem, every place is packed, eventually we find somewhere to eat. In this city, like  most European cities, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner run much later than what we are used to here in the States.  In Madrid we have found breakfast to be around 9-10 with lunch following around 3-4, then finishing up with dinner from 9-12 midnight, and for good measure, you throw in a siesta in the afternoon.  Someone please tell me how can we get our country to adopt this plan?

By this time of the day, I am dragging as is the group, they don’t admit it, but I can see it on their faces. Well it is back to the Hotel to get some sleep, it is almost midnight and I am beat.  A good nights sleep is all I need to get myself on the right time zone, tomorrow there is much to do.

Happy Travels


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