Saturday 8 June 2013
We booked a taxi from Hostel Tabanqueta to the train station and boarded an AVE to Madrid which took under an hour. Have I sung the praises of Spain’s national railway, RENFE, loud enough yet? When can we have something like this in Australia? Perhaps we need to send all the bureaucrats from our Roads and Traffic Authority to re-education camps in Spain so they can learn how to put parklands and bike paths through the centres of cities instead of infernal freeways, and so they can learn what a fabulous railway system looks like and how it ought to be run. I now understand trainspotters a little better: Spain is a great example of public transport “porn”.
We arrived in Madrid without much ado and settled into another fabulous apartment, this time on the second floor of a building within walking distance of the metro station Tirso de Molina. As it turned out, the apartment was so well-placed that we had no need to use the metro during our entire stay in Madrid: all of the attractions that we visited were within walking distance.
The remainder of our first day was occupied mostly by prosaic tasks such as shopping and washing. The more you move from city to city, the more time you spend settling in, packing up, and in transit. This has influenced our plans somewhat for upcoming segments of our journey. It seems that Spain is pretty fabulous wherever you go, so you might as well pick a base and stay there to minimise the opportunity costs of shifting from one accommodation to the next.