Boats, Palaces and Poorly Synchronised Diving
After a fairly intense day of basketball, the girls were very much looking forward to a recovery and cultural day.
After breakfast at the hotel, we set off on the bus to the city of Madrid where our first stop was Retiro Park, we headed to the lake where people were boating and after scoping it out, we fancied our chances.
So we set off, note to self some were better at rowing than others, but after a few laps around the lake, a few bumper-car-like crashes, the girls really picked it up.
After enjoying the sights of Retiro Park we wandered towards the Gran Via which is the main shopping strip within Madrid, comparable to our Oxford Street in London. The girls dashed in and out the stores, NYX was Ben’s personal favourite, but we also saw the likes of Nike, Adidas among other favourites. PS. Tamara seems to only buy winter clothes as if she is preparing for a tough winter. Who knows maybe she is on to something.. Some of the girls did pick up some bargains, finding tops for as little as three Euros.
We then did what I shall call the “step’o’meter” challenge as Ben lead us to Lunch, enough said! We sat down at Five Guys which definitely filled a spot.
We were picked up promptly and headed to the Royal Palace.
When we got there and walked in, Tamara had to practise some of her GCSE Spanish, as the guard cautioned us to not travel in a group among the palace and to keep our voices down. This conversation probably took four times as long as it would have done in English but we were off. The rooms within the palace were incredible, the level of meticulous detail continued to surprise us room after room. This even included the (or should I say “one of” many) dining rooms within the palace. This dining room seated 55 people at the table alone and that didn’t include the economy class seats that surrounded the perimeter of the room. The girls and I joked about sitting down at opposite ends of the table and having to phone each other to ask when dessert would be coming out.
Some of the ceiling decor was incredible, but one in particular just looked as though the painter had really just had enough, so he just used whatever paint he had left to create an abstract sky, am I right Cassie?
We attempted a couple screens to get some photos, the girls weren’t as successful as Ben, as you can see! After the tour we were lead on to a large open courtyard that was surrounded on one side with huge stone arches that looked out on to a fantastic view.
A short walk back to the bus and we were on our way back to the hotel where we grabbed our swimming stuff to take a refreshing dip in the pool. The girls showed off their synchronised diving (needs some work), 10 for effort, 3 for entry, 6 for style. As the sun was going down we headed to the local shopping mall where we grabbed some tapas, browsed some stores, before heading back to the hotel to put our feet up.
Back to business tomorrow!