Early start and we all met up at the airport easily, then a good flight (whole row to myself), long walk through Madrid airport to the metro and a short stroll to find our apartment. It’s lovely! Very palatial - the 6 of us have an en-suite bedroom each! We settled in then headed out to explore the city. Found a fabulous tapas/lunch place where we feasted on boquerones (with ‘olive spheres’!), tomato, mozzarella and iberico ham, tortilla, avocado and tuna, fried aubergine with delicious tomato and walnut dip, artichokes and iberico, and the local speciality ‘squid sandwich’, both mushroom and ham croquettes (and probably some other things I’ve forgotten!). All delicious!
Then we went for a perambulatory tour (helped with the 23,000 step count today!) around the city - the Plaza Mayor, Royal Palace, Cathedral, and general meandering and taking in the sights - the city is full of wedding cake style elaborate buildings and beautiful wrought iron balconies.
Shopped a little on the way home but no luck with shoes here either. Loved all the ham shops and little bars and cafes (plus a ‘sombreros’ shop and a ‘diego’ (fan) shop looking much more traditional).
We all needed a little rest after our early start and so much walking, but then we were trying to get out in the evening. We planned to go to a market for dinner but it was packed and not what we expected so instead went to a little place that mixed Asian and Spanish food in an inventive and very tasty way. Slow service but another great meal and lots of chat (as there’s been all day!)

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