Does anyone fly to Madrid in the daytime? They must but we never have. We always leave near dinner time and the evening and night fly by as we go six time zones into the future. We arrive in early morning and always start with a café con leche in the airport café. A quick walk on the moving sidewalks takes us to the subway and with a few transfers we are coming up for air in the center of Madrid, la Puerta del Sol. I have photographed the dramatic view from the subway exit before but this time I photographed the stairs themselves, covered in an ad for Talavera.
Lack of sleep makes the first day especially dreamy, a mode that is especially suited to securing the local currency, swapping out our SIM cards for prepaid versions and buying a pocket knife, one with a corkscrew, a sacacorcho in Spanish. The last item we took care of on the sixth floor of Corte Ingles, an old fashioned department store similar to Sibley’s.
Back at our hotel in the Chueca district we tried to find a soccer game, Atletica was playing, but the station’s broadcasting rights were too rich for our place. We decided to go out and walk around and stopped for some Pimientos de Padron. Sometimes there is a hot one in the bunch but this was the hottest batch we have ever had. This promises to be a good trip.