Saturday, November 5, 2016

Laurie's First Full Day in Madrid

Friday, 4 November, 2016:

Laurie awoke quite chipper with nary a hint of the feared Jet Lag that usually accompanies a trip half way around the globe, proud of her.

After a coffee at La Casa Grande and bidding good morning to Jesús, Bere, Luna and Camila, we were off to introduce Laurie to the varied wonders of Arganda del Rey before heading into Madrid to buy Laurie a Tarjeta Dorada.

The Tarjeta Dorada is the RENFE Senior Discount card that makes train travel in Spain incredibly affordable for those of us in our Golden Years.

But first, the wonders of Arganda del Rey . . .

Wood Carving above the door
of Iglesia San Juan Bautista

 And another

Laurie wanted to enter Arganda del Rey's ancient church and who was I to argue as my job was to protect and serve her.


Jesus needs Communion?

Same BVM, different version

The Iglesia's intricate, ancient
locking mechanisms

 And another

 Still shaking my head over this
monument on church grounds

Laurie wondered exactly how old the Iglesia really was and I did too to be truthful. I spied a small sign next to a side door and approached it to see if perchance it gave any clue as to the age of this fine structure.

No luck there but while I struck out, Laurie was now talking to a young gentleman. Who was this man?

It turned out to be Padre Samuel
the young pastor of the Iglesia

He was helpful, full of knowledge about the Iglesia and happy to show us around his historic church.

The Iglesia dates back to the 1400s as it turns out.

I asked him about the Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera monument. There is a list of names on it of those from Arganda del Rey who died during the Spanish Civil War. I asked Fr. Samuel if the names were of all the dead from Arganda del Rey who fought on both sides. A little sheepishly he said no, only of the Nationalist casualties. To review, the victorious Nationalists were led by fascist General Francisco Franco and were whole heartedly backed by the Catholic Church in their efforts.

In the picture above, we are in the Iglesia's sacristy that Fr. Samuel graciously showed us without being asked.

We both liked Fr. Samuel as he was warm, personable and enthusiastic. He invited us to come to Mass and we surely will attend before we go home to California.

It was time for lunch so we stepped across the street to have a great dining experience at . . .

 La Tertulia

Two cafe con leches, a tortilla Española, a ración of ham croquetas and a couple of Clara beers hit the spot for the both of us.

Fully sated, it was on to Madrid . . .

 We walked by Arganda del
Rey's pleasant Central Park

But American football
is ok, right?

Laurie in the Park

Depicting Armanda del Rey's
annual Running of the Bulls

The BVM is HUGE in our town

The Jungle at the Atocha
Train Station in Madrid

Waiting for our turn to buy
train tickets

With our Tajetas Dorada in hand, we opted to purchase train tickets on the high speed AVE train to Salamanca for a day trip on Sunday, a rare day off during out time here.

The AVE will get us the 125 miles from Madrid to Salamanca in only 90 minutes.

Rest by the Opera building

We purchased our tickets after a bit of a wait and then started to walk in the rain. We ended up in this café on Plaza Isabel II for an adult beverage and a break in our walking routine.

 A little wet but fully into our
wedded bliss mode

Even though we had had a huge lunch, there is always room for . . .

 . . . Churros and Chocolate!

Laurie in front of the
Chocolateria San Gines

Time to board a somewhat
empty Metro for the trip home

I still had a Junior practice to tend to at 7:00 p.m.

Jesús was taking the Senior team to a Team Building Retreat in nearby Ávila for the weekend.

I was staying behind in order to help with the Junior practice tonight and with the Stings practice in Guadalajara Saturday morning.

Also, it was deemed as a good career move on my part not to abandon Laurie on her first weekend in town to go to the retreat.

Gracias Jesús!

Soggy Juniors Post-Practice

Head Junior Coach Carlos del Amo is seen here talking to his troops. Their first game is a week from this Sunday on the road against Los Cuervos, a team from another part of greater Madrid.

Another GREAT day to be in a state of wedded bliss!

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