The Retirees go Abroad – the Iberian Peninsula – Madrid, and the Return to Australia

Our last full day in Madrid. After a long sleep in and late breakfast we took the Metro to Aguellarie and joined the grey line to Puerto d’Angels to find the river running through Madrid. The Manzanares flows from the Sierra de Guadarrama, passes through Madrid, and eventually empties into the Jarama river, which in turn is a tributary to the river running through Lisbon the Tagus. The river when we found it looked almost dry and surrounded by concrete. Kerry googled the name of the river and we found a site pointing out that of all Europe’s capitals Madrid is the only one not on a major river for transport or trade. The site even quoted the famous French writer Dumas when asked what he thought of the new bridge across the Manzanares and he said ” Sell the bridge or buy a river!”. The river has been recently restored by the removal of a freeway which passed over the top of this section (the freeway has been put underground) and the planting of over 400,000 shrubs and 100,000 trees in a 7 kilometre section of the river. We walked part of the new garden area and found the Cafedal Rio. Sitting on the terrace we enjoyed two courses, desert, wine and coffee for under 35 euros – the best value we found in Madrid and in a pleasant location.

Well that is it for Madrid and our trip into Fantasy for the last 18 months. Tomorrow we pack, go back to London, sell the car and return to Australia. It is not without some regret that we return but reality awaits us at home not hopping around the world.

Although I had arranged to sell the car to I was disappointed when they stripped their offer from £269 to £95 after examining the car. Kerry was shitty about this and let the representative know about it. So she phoned the caryard where we had bought the car and when they said they would be interested we drove to Seahaven 20 minutes east of Brighton and picked up in cash £250. Now the car is worth more than that but we could not wait to find a buyer and we were satisfied that we did not have to take the £95 offer. We then caught the local train to Brighton travelling through scenic countryside and had a lovely day in Brighton visiting the Lanes, the casino, the Pier and its penny arcade, and a dress shop for the all-important outfit for the Melbourne Cup – we arrive home on cup day.

We caught the National Express bus to Heathrow and then the U3 line bus to Leonardo Hotel where we were staying all the time being informed by that ex Kiwi/ Australian/Canadian/Pom Diana Bosworth from Nottingham Rotary that Australia had been put to the sword by the Kiwis in the Rugby World Cup final.

Sunday we caught the underground to Piccadilly Circus to visit the shops in Regent St and Oxford St one last time. At last the hour had arrived and we caught the U3 for the last time to Heathrow and despite the attempt by Fate to keep us in the UK (heavy fog shrouded Heathrow) boarded our planed saying farewell to England.


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Retired Australian Lawyer having worked representing the innocent and the not so innocent in Australia and some of the remote parts of the world and having travelled widely through Europe, Western Russia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Thailand Malaysia Solomon Islands northern China, Hong Kong and the UAE So now that I have the time I am writing about my travels present and past. Hope you enjoy exploring off the beaten track.