Sunday, 9 April 2017

A trip to Seville: day one: Madrid

This year's rowing camp is in Seville. Ole. For reasons I dimly remember I chose to fly to Madrid, stay overnight, and get the train to Seville tomorrow. I'm at the hotel Eurostars Plaza Mayor, which is in a side street not too far away from said PM. It's fine; the room is clean and has Wifi and all the rest is just detail.

Miriam kindly drove me down to Stanstead; we got up before 6, went downstairs to discover that the noises in the night were indeed E and Mdy ensconsing themselves in the living room. Quick b'fast pick up back remember backup-printed boarding pass and we're off; it is a misty morning with clear skies and the orange sun rises as we drive down to a clear day. Couldn't it be raining here? Security, the traditional theatre, is crowded but everyone has got used to the pantomine so it is efficient and quick: 15 mins through. They don't query my I've-checked-its-legal 4.5 cm Swiss Army miniknife.  I have time for a coffee to relax then onto gate and a pain free boarding. The flight is full, I have a window seat, and read Hayek: tRtS. See Brian and P as they board later.

Land. Well, here we are, but where are we? I have totally not done my homework: I have no idea where in relation to Madrid the airport is, and I've failed to pre-load Maps onto my phone. Sort that out with airport grotty free Wifi and discover town is ~15 km SW. Well... I could walk. Why not? It's a sunny day and I want to see the place. Maybe it's too hot outside. Checks. No, it's fine. Let's go!

As usual, escaping the immeadiate environs in the right direction turns out to be the hard part, especially when it involves crossing the usual sorts of roads near airports, but I get there via some interestingly wild grass in the central reservations.


The route in starts off well; pleasantly shaded through pines. Of course lots of it is city too. The one bit I do rather regret is this:


That's the gates at the back of the Parque Quinta de los Molinos. Sadly, there's only one way in and out, so my detour into it became a dead end, the more so because of course I did climb the gate and squeeze through the gap you can see and go to the far wall and circle round it and eventually found a corner I could climb (with bees in the stonework!) but alas the drop down the far side was just a bit too big.

The GPS trace of the walk in is here. It took 3 hours, time well spent. Seen along the way: old folk playing boules; purple trees; small bars just like in France but I kept on going.

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