|September 5, 6, 7, 8 - Flight to Madrid,
Madrid, Transit to Trujillo, Visit to Trujillo
We left for Newark Airport about 4:30 pm, driven by Angie and Sofia. An uneventful but crowded flight with offers of bribes to take a later flight. (FDB lost his jackknife at the check-in.) Got to Madrid about 9:30 am and took a taxi from the airport.
Nice sunny day, warm but not hot. We had arrive a day early for the Elderhostel and stayed at the Hotel Gaudi (001) which was a quite nice four star. Took a nap and then went to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum for an hour and a half visit, following a quick lunch in the museum restaurant. Some pictures we saw are here. Tired rapidly and went back to room for another nap. Then we took a walk, finding the Plaza Mayor and the hotel we had stayed at on our previous visit. Back to hotel for a very good dinner. (BMB: rack of lamb, FDB: salmon) Then to bed, with our recording of War and Peace, which we listened to for the next month and more. During the day we met Alex Pavia, our Elderhostel coordinator.
The next morning we rose about 9:30 and had breakfast at the hotel. While we were eating the rest of the elderhostelers arrived for their breakfast . Then we went back to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum for another hour and a half session. Very crowded. The city is quite beautiful, with many turn of the century buildings. The Metropole (002) is a commercial building just down the street from our hotel. Then to hotel for a 20 minute introductory session with Elderhostel and a buffet lunch. Then BMB went off to the Prado until about 4:15 and FDB went for a walk and stopped at El Corte Inglese to buy supplies and wine. At 5 we were off for a 1-1/2 hour bus tour of Madrid with a guide. We stopped to see the old RR station that has been converted into a tropical garden and an Egyptian Temple that has been placed in a park. Unfortunately no pictures on bus trip. Then back to hotel for a so-so buffet dinner. Probably all the recent arrivals were ready for.
On Monday morning we were off at 8 for our first parador in Trujillo. This is in the west of Spain, in the region called the Extramadura, which is high a and dry. Picture 003 is scene from the bus of the landscape. 004-005 are views of the Castile at Trujillo as we approached, and 006 is a postcard.
We checked into the Hotel Melia de Trujillo, which is strictly speaking not a parador but is very like them. (007-009). Even before checking in we went for a walk in the town, through the Plaza Mayor and uphill a long way (010-012a) to the Convento de la Coria, which is now the home o f the Sallas Foundation that restored it. There we first had a lecture (013-016) on the Extramadurea by a woman named Pamela who was a last minute substitute for the planned speaker. The lecture showed the lack of preparation and of slides but she was also our leader the next two days and very good then. After the lecture a lunch of paella was served (017).
Then we went back
to the hotel in a light rain. FDB got BMB and others lost but we finally
got there and checked into our room, which was gorgeous. We dried out
and had a nap, and then at 5 were off for a walking tour up the streets
of Trujillo to the Castile. (018-028) Trujillo is a beautiful old city,
with most of the buildings from the 16th and 17th C. It is reputed to
be the home of the conquistadors, including Pizzarro. On the way down
we went into a small museum attached to an old monastery which had a good
collection of historic dresses. (29-30)
At 8:30 we had dinner in a large and noisy room at a single large table. Dinner was quite strange, starting with a fish paste appetizer with shrimp in pastry, followed by pot roast, and then by a simple box of yogurt. It looked like the food budget was only considered as the meal went along.