DAY 12a

MADRID ~ Exploring The City (Madrid, ESP)

Tuesday July 18th, 2017

TODAYS MILEAGE – 2 miles or 3 kilometres
TRIP MILEAGE – 13,296 miles or 21,398 kilometres

I made the 1 mile (1.6km) roundtrip to Saigón Lavandería (laundry/dry cleaners), admittedly I was a bit heavier on the return leg, as I collected the laundry a few of the group. If you're in need of the service, Saigón Lavandería did a weeks’ worth of laundry for me for less than what the hotel wanted for a couple of shirts, shirts & undies. Their full service was only a couple of Euro's more than the self-serve laundymats that I came across - so hang the expense.

Being the top bloke that he is, Fredy agreed to join us for a bit of a "Tapas & Tipple" walkabout in which he'd introduce us to a few of his Madrid favourites. First stop was Museo del Jamon (ham museum) just up from Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun), where we sampled several varieties or porcine perfection that melted in your mouth.

From there it was a leisurely stroll over to El Escarpín to sample some of the regional wine of the Asturias called Vino de Calidad de Cangas (Quality wine from the land of Cangas) or simply Cangas. We were introduced to the theatre & ceremony in pouring Cangas correctly, into what turned out to be paper thin scotch tumbler sized glasses. How do I know the glasses were paper thin you ask??? While gripping the glass in preparation of pouring myself, it literally shattered from my firm grip and disintegrated in my hand, drawing blood in several spots ….. but hey - what's a bit of "claret" while out drinking with friends??? Be Happy

We wandered down one of the numerous little side streets and happened upon Bar Iris in which they serve brilliant Gin & Tonic's in bird bath size glasses. I tried two, one with fresh grapefruit and the other with fresh pomegranate and whilst an unusual combination, it was both refreshing and smooth in drinking - great combos.

The final stop for the evening for most of the group was Mercado de San Miguel (San Miguel Markets), which I had visited earlier in the day for lunch. Wandering around the market at this time of the evening certainly had a different feel and vibe about it. It was less hectic, fast paced and rowdy as experienced earlier in the day, but still just as crowded. Maybe it had to do with being patronized by the "dinner crowd" so to speak, rather than those in the restaurant trade.

A few of us decided to park up at the Taberna Andaluza Restaurante for a couple of cervezas on the way home, before the girls dragged us into the Amorino Gelato Al Naturale (artisanal gelato maker) for their fix.

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