Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Last Rainy Sunday in Madrid Shared With Friends

Sunday, 27 November, 2016:

This was the start of our last few days in glorious Madrid as we return home to almost equally glorious Camarillo this coming Thursday.

First, we got news of who we are going to see play this coming Friday when our son Mike and I make the five hour drive up to Santa Clara, California for the 2016 PAC-12 Conference Championship American Football Game. Unfortunately Andrew can't make the game.

 Looks like a good one

Saturday night Colorado beat a solid Utah (8-4) team 27-22 to win the PAC-12 South.

It will be fun to see the Huskies play for the title and to share the experience with Mike and a whole bunch of Husky alumni friends.

Go Huskies GO!

Happy on the American football front, Laurie and I started the one hour process of walking to our Metro station and then riding on three separate Metro trains to get to our destination, the Opera Metro stop near Plaza Mayor to meet up again with our Swedish friends who were in town for the weekend, Johan Hammarqvist and Uffe Palmbrink.

We met them on the Plaza Mayor and instantly went to a bar for a round cafe con leches and a tapas to properly start the day.

Afterwards we headed to an iconic Madrid bakery . . .

La Mallorquina
located right on Puerta del Sol

 So many choices

We settled for an assortment
of delicious cookies to share on
our wondrous wet walk

 We saw the Royal Academy
of Medicine

The entry to the . . .

The gardens behind the Palacio Real

Drowned rats George, Laurie, Johan
and Uffe at the Temple Debod

We had to wait in line for about 20 minutes to get into the Temple Debod that was a 1968 gift to Spain from the Egyptian government as thanks for Franco's aid in the Aswan Dam project to save historical artifacts like this temple from the now rising waters behind the dam.

The line was slow as only 17 people at a time are allowed inside the temple.

When it was finally our turn to go in, we discovered some amazing carvings that date back to 200 B.C.

An offering

Looks Pharaonic

Another offering

 Not sure what he is holding

Ancient details

Definitely a Pharaoh being
catered to

It's a . . . . ?

Hologram of a Pharaoh

A large wall covered with hieroglyphs

 Laurie was all onboard
with this concept

The information card stated that it was Adikhalamani offering a necklace to Osiris and Isis.

No, not that Isis.

Touchdown Egypt?

They do have an American football league in Egypt that currently has five clubs.

Plaza de España's
Christmas Tree

I just liked the look of
this green building

A tribute to Spanish Gastronomy

I'm ALL in on this one!

We were now on our way back to Plaza Mayor where Uffe and Johan's hotel was located as they had a 4:00 p.m. plane to catch for their flight to Copenhagen, Denmark and then the one hour train ride back to Hässleholm in Skåne, the southernmost part of Sweden where they live.

Chocolateria San Gines
has its own church?

It begged the question as to which came first, the fabulous chocolate and churro establishment or this church just around the corner?

Probably the church, but I guarantee you that the Chocolateria de San Gines is better attended seven days a week.

We said our farewells
on the Plaza Mayor

It was really great to see them over the last few days and share memories both old and new.

Having friends like these all over Europe is easily the best part of our EuroBall experience.

Lots of people today on Plaza Mayor

The weekly El Rastro flea market starts on the Plaza every Sunday and works its way out into the adjoining neighborhood. Of course, this event attracts lots of Madrileños and tourists alike.

We always stay on the Plaza Mayor to check out the stamp and coin collections that are for sale. Today I purchased a few peseta bills from Republican times before the start of the Spanish Civil War.

The opening this weekend of the annual Mercado de Navidad on Plaza Mayor selling all sorts of Christmas related items, plus it being the start of the Christmas shopping season, added to the crowd size too.

Laurie loved the Christmas balls
turned into grape clusters

Plaza Mayor
always a majestic scene

 While Laurie was shopping,
I decided to take a closer look

It was a fine watch maker at work

Plaza Mayor Crowds
ebbing and flowing

Our goodbyes having been said and a little more shopping having been taken care of, we needed to get back to the Metro as we were meeting friends at La Casa Grande for dinner.

Still, it seemed like we just had to make one more stop . . .

Where you ask?

It was cold, we were wet
so, really, there was only
one option . . .

 The Chocolateria de San Gines

We felt better.

The Puerta del Sol
was busy too

Once back in Arganda del Rey, we shared another incredible meal with Osos Rivas President Enrique Martín Alonso and his family which included wife Yvonne, sons Jorge (Osos Rivas WR) and Jaime (Osos Rivas Lineman) and brother Ricardo who coaches our Alcobendas Osos feeder team.

With Jesús, Bere, Luna, Camila, Laurie and I added into the mix, we had a full fun loving group in the house!

Before we got home, everyone got together with a whiteboard and made a list of topics that were strictly off limits to discuss during the afternoon. Good concept, I liked it!

 Duck Paella with Wild Mushrooms

Enrique was the main chef on this one . . . WOW!

The mushrooms were incredible!

As if the paella was not enough, Jesús also made some chicken fajitas that hit the spot as well.

Follow these two dishes up with slices of chocolate-beer and carrot cakes plus some cookies we brought back from our visit to the La Mallorquina bakery on Puerta del Sol.

All of this put me into a food coma but not before watching our bumbling, beloved Los Angeles Rams drop another one.

Blown out in the Second Half
at New Orleans

The Saints improved to 5-6 while our Rams dropped to 4-7. One more loss will clinch our clubs 12th consecutive non-winning campaign.

Our last winning season was the 12-4 2003 season that ended with first round playoff loss.

It's been a long time.


David said...

Horrific oversight not to get the Hell Hounds into your reference to Egypt's football league.

George said...


Unfortunately, when I checked their website, the Hell Hounds were no longer listed as a team.

I think we need to do something to Make Egypt Great Again! This is an OUTRAGE!

David said...

They still have an active Facebook page that says they held tryouts on Nov. 25, so I think Egypt Is Still Great.