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I forgot to mention an important topic of conversation with M. and B. while we were waiting for Luis in “Stop Madrid”.

B. being a passionate recreational photographer (like Manfred and I) “confessed” to us that she had taken the photos of yesterday’s Madrid walk in too small a resolution, she might – she said – have changed the camera setting from “large resolution” (suited for A2 print-outs) to “medium” by mistake; the sad thing, she had envisioned quite some of the picture motifs in A2 print.

I can relate and being a good travel guide and being trained to always be on the solution side of things, I offered her to “re-walk” yesterday’s itinerary, while Manfred and M. go and pick up the rental cars. We had planned not too leave Madrid too early as Oropesa is only 1h30 away and not too much to be seen and discovered there.

So, that is what we did… no time to sleep in. All rise and shine at 7:30am, breakfast at 8:00am and B. and I on our way at 8:45am again.

To make things more interesting and to add a new perspective to the walk – we did it in reverse order (without the food breaks at “Casa Labra” and “Mercado San Miguel” of course) –

walking past “Casa Labra” to “Sol” taking a right turn into “Calle Mayor” up to “Plaza Mayor” (which looked even more beautiful early in the morning), over to “Mercado San Miguel” to then cross “Calle Mayor” to dive down to the “Teatro Real”, to take a left turn towards “Palacio Real” and “Plaza de la Armeria” (I have never seen this place so empty as that morning). And while we walked, B. could re-take all of her photos (and I guess take a gazillion new ones). “La Almudena” from outside and inside – over to “Jardines Sabatini” and to “Templo de Debod” where the tourist crowds had started to show up – every order of walk has its up- and downsides. Señor Cervantes on his monument was already waiting for us at “Plaza España” equally surrounded by hordes of tourists ignoring fences around the lawns hoping to take a good snap shot of the famous Spanish writer and of his literary heroes: Don Quichote and Sancho Panza. Walling up “Gran Via” to board the Metro line 1 to Atocha Station, where we were supposed to rendez-vous with Manfred and M.

Like at the lunar missions back in the late 60ies early 70ies, the lunar lander and the orbiter connected at 12:45pm successfully and as scheduled. NASA would have been proud.

The actual plan was to visit “Museo de Reina Sofia” my favorite museum in Madrid. But quite frankly the museo was swarming with pre-schoolers and 1st graders, might have been “Museum day” at Madrid’s Kindergardens and Primary schools.

Although we decided not to expose ourselves to so much “child-ness”, we did watch – with quite some amusement – the coming and going of groups of children, all dressed in their school uniforms, or with one of those luminicent yellow jackets you have in your car for emergencies; all having name tags around their necks.

By the way: I think highly of the Spanish school system and I do believe that Germany can learn something here!

So, instead of immersing ourselves in the beauty of contemporary art (beauty, that is always in the eye of the beholder, as we all know), we took the Metro back to “Sol” and indulged in “raciones” of “Pulpo a la Gallega”, “Jamon Ibérico” and “Bacalao” at “Casa Parondo”, just around the corner of “Room Mate Laura”. Quite a feast that was.

Our new travel companions – a Seat Ibiza and a Skoda were patiently waiting for us at level -1 of the parking deck at “Plaza Descalzas”, ready to be packed with lots of suit cases and ready to embark on the journey.