Spain Madrid & Toledo 2000.12.31 - 01.03

New Years in Madrid

We were in Madrid this New Years. Walking the streets for about 90 minutes on New Years Eve, we finally found an open restaurant that served a "special" new years menu for a price we could afford. Since we didn't have reservations, we had to wait another 45 minutes. By the time we were seated, it was 22:45. The restaurant was packed, and the owner was trying to server everyone himself. Dinner was slow to come. At 23:45, we had almost finished. We asked for the bill hoping to reach the main New Years party place in Madrid, Puerta del Sol, before midnight. By the time we paid and started running down the street, it was 23:58. Rushing up a deserted street towards the celebration, we heard horns honking, people screaming, and firecrackers exploding. We missed it! Oh well. We made the best of it and kissed in the deserted street. Happy New Year!

The 2 places we visited in Madrid were the Prado and Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Museums. Much of the Prado Museum is devoted to the artists Velázquez, El Greco, and Goya. It wasn't one of our favorites. The Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is predominantly Spanish modern art which we skipped in favor of rooms devoted to Picasso, Dalí, and Miró which we thoroughly enjoyed.

The Internet Café in Madrid that allows floppies and FTP is on Calle de la Cruz at Plaza de Canalejas.

An abundance of information on Madrid can be found at

Day Trip to Toledo

Toledo is an easy day trip from Madrid. The Lonely Planet guide recommends a visit. Apparently, the whole world took their advice.

Toledo was crammed with tourists (in early January?) to the point where we got sick of them - even though we were one of them. The line for the Santa Cruz Museum was daunting. The narrow winding streets were congested with them.

Of the several places we visited in Toledo, one was exceptional. The Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada is well worth a visit, even with the PTS 700 entry fee. The massive interior is lavishly decorated with wood carvings, sculpture, and paintings. See it to believe it.

Approaching Toledo on foot. The quadrangular Alcázar sits atop the hill.

The exterior of the Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada is nothing exceptional but the interior is spectacular.

HomePrevious PageNext Journal PageJournal Index 2000Map of Europe

  Copyright © 2000-2002   Wes and Masami Heiser.   All rights reserved.