The kids in the room next to us we're up banging off the walls until 2 am. I finally got to sleep shortly there after. Good thing is... we slept in, 9. Up showered and a wonderful leisure breakfast. Then we secured our taxi for tomorrow morning before venturing off on our first attraction - the Palace Real. I had no idea where we were staying was only four blocks (or so) from the Palace.
It was 12€ for admission. It was very hot in there and getting around wasn't that clear. I mean, I and Elena thought we understood the markings and barriers but apparently not as well as we thought. And then, sometimes we had to show our tickets and sometimes not. When we reached the library area - the area I was interested in - there was a ramp to one door, but it was closed. A short walk ahead there were stairs and the door was open so....we assumed that was the door we were to go in. NOPE!!!! A security guard quickly corrected us...in Spanish... but motioned us to use the ramp. So...up the ramp we go. I opened the door. We were in the library, enjoying the books on display (by this time about 8 other people had followed us in) when we were 'attacked' by another guard - ticket...ticket he kept repeating and so...into our purses we go digging for our tickets. We pulled them out; showed them to him and were just about to continue looking when he said ''No good - leave'' and pointed us to the door. By this time I'd had it. Thankfully Elena was feeling the same and so we used the facilities and left. It was somewhat disappointing.
I get the royals are still living there and there are must be restricted areas but...if we needed another ticket to get in that area...there should have been a ticket kiosk there, or the guard at the main entrance could have asked to see our tickets instead of nodding us in. Then the second guard, she could have asked to see our tickets when she was directing us up the ramp to the closed door....AND....if the library was not part of the main admission...there should have been someone at the door monitoring the tickets BEFORE people entered. As it turned out before we were too far into the court yard, there must have been about 12 others who had also been escorted out. In my pea sized brain...(as that guard asking people to leave) I´d be thinking royal staff/security wasn't doing their job and I should be looking into this. As I say...that wasn't the first time that we had a similar experience there...I didn't need the stress and in wasn´t that interesting either.
So we headed over to the Cathedral, thinking we´d take a look in the church...6€. I said to Elena...I have an issue with paying to go into a church but if you'd like to go I am cool with it. We both thought paying an admission fee to go into a church was something we were not interested in doing and so...we left. It's not the 6€ that was a turn off...it's the fact it is a church! I don't believe anyone should pay to visit a church. But, that is my opinion only.
From there we walked on through the same park area as yesterday, but further down the road to the next museum we were interested in; Reina Sofia - contemporary art from the late 1800s to mid 1900s. Before we reached the museum we saw our third McDonalds. Tired, hungry and hot we decided to stop for bite. Ok...Micky Ds is't a great choice - and it wasn't that good but... it did only cost 3€
Finally we reach the Sofia. Works done by Dali, Picaso, and others were in this museum using mediums such as sculpture, movie, photo and painting (and more). It was quite different from the work we enjoyed yesterday. I noticed people were taking photos of the work and so I asked, may I take photos - yes but without flash was the reply I got. And so, when I saw something I really liked, I shot it. Until....this lady comes running over with a horrid scowl on her face, speaking quite loudly...'no photo'. While she was flipping out on me, others (with the iphone) were snapping like crazy and so I smiled and said - no flash. I realized real quick I better shut my mouth or else.... As my visit continued, it would seem, some were allowed to take photos while others were not and I couldn't seem to figure out the rule. It was really staring to bother me (must be the 'just' or 'fair' thing in me) but some people got quite nasty when they were told no, while others were snapping away. I've a ton of photos I've taken and I wasn't about to risk them to prove a point. But, even though the museum was brighter and cooler than the palace and offer far more variety of art work then those of yesterday, it became very uncomfortable for me to stay. So...we finished that floor and left.
The blazing heat from the sun was intensified when it bounced back of the the sweltering pavement as we began our journey back to the hotel. We often sought refuge in a shop here or there. Elena was very excited to finally purchase her authentic Spanish shawl. The prices were surprising to me, but it was the one thing Elena really wanted and it truly is a beautiful piece of art. A wonderful choice El. I don't know how much you know about this article of traditional clothing but they are very different than those in the tourist shops. They are made of real silk, square in shape and hand embrodiered and are costly. The one Elena chose is a cream coloured silken piece with a periwinkle blue embrodeired design - mostly flowers. And boy is it heavy.
Our day started about 10am and with the exception of a brief 30 minute break to confirm our flight information, we were getting tired. No wonder....it was almost 6pm. We returned to our room for the night - well sort of. While Elena worked on her journal and blog, I packed and skyped with my family. At 9:00pm we went down for supper. It was nice. We just ate at the hotel here...goose pate, fettuccine Alfredo, grilled cod, crepes, creme caramel, wine, water and a cappuccino. I marvellous guitar player filled the air as we reflected on the past 18 days. Leaving Toronto flying into Madrid to Santiago; taking a taxi to Sarria where we walked 111km through fields, mountains, villages, highways and hamlets back to Santiago. From there a bus ride to Finisterra where we sat at the edge of the world. A bus trip back to Santiago, then a train ride through another a very different geological terrain to the heart Madrid and now...it's the evening before returning home. One more journey to make.
Tomorrow we will be up at the crack of down. We´ll make sure we've packed everything, have breakfast then check out as we wait for our taxi to take us to the airport. We have planned to leave quite early to ensure we can arrange to have our walking sticks packed and included as our checked luggage. By 12:40pm we should be on our Air Canada Boeing 767 flying westward over the Atlantic ocean for the next 8.5hrs heading for Toronto. If all goes as planned we should arrive at 3:15pm. After clearing Customs and collecting our luggage, who hope to find our hubbies waiting for us. About a 90 minute drive to Elena's and another 45 minutes later and I too should be home.
With the exception of 8 short days, I've been away from home since June18th. I was in California where I attained my certification as a Soul Coach with Denis Linn and then...you've been with me as I completed my Camino de Santiago de Compostella. Now it is time to be with my family and prepare to put my skills and experience to work. I´m not likely going to blog an entry until Wednesday, when I'm finally home and a bit rested.
In the meantime, I want to say thank you so much for your continued support, prayers, encouragement and thoughts. I am so honoured to have each of you with me as I fulfilled a promise to myself. Thank you!!!
Blessings to each and everyone of you. Love Carleana¨
"Don´t dream your life; live your dream!"