April, 2007: Spain and Portugal - Part I

Madrid and Seville, Spain


David and Karalee Greer celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a trip to Spain and Portugal. We started our trip in Madrid. While we've been to Spain before, we had never been to Madrid.

During our first evening, we went out for tapas in a restaurant near our hotel. At the restaurant, Karalee's purse was stolen, including her credit cards, driving license, and passport. We spent much of our three days in Madrid organizing a temporary Canadian passport for Karalee. Thankfully, the Canadian Mission in Madrid has Carla Goncalves, who Karalee and David call the organizing dynamo. She knew exactly what to do and was polite, patient, and helpful as we worked through all of the paperwork.

David in Plaza de la Puerta del Sol

Karalee in the streets of Madrid

Retiro Mediodia

Mosaics in the park

Palacio de Cristal

David next to the mausoleum of Alfonso XII

Carla Goncalves at the Canadian Mission in Madrid

Spanish Cheeses

Spanish Cured Meat

Sidewalk Leading to Plaza Mayor

Cathedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena

Doorway detail of the Cathedral

Spring Tulips

Steps across from the Palacio Real

Dinner in a tapas bar in Chueca

View of Palacio Real from El Cortes Engles

Karalee in the beautiful atrium of the Madrid train station


We took the high-speed train from Madrid to Seville, a journey of only two and a half hours. While the weather in Madrid had been overcast, the further south we went towards Seville saw the clouds disappear and the sunshine come out. The geography and people of the south of Spain all seemed different than Madrid. The center of Seville is an old walled town, which we explored over three days.

On our second day in Seville, we visited the Bull Ring with the intention of taking a tour. It turned out that it was a bull fighting day, so there were no tours. Much to David's surprise, Karalee said "Why don't we go to the bull fight?" So we did. The outcome of the bull fights is predictable, but the crowds are enthusiastic and the matadors put on quite a show.

Roof of the Hotel Puerta de Sevilla

Gardens next to Alcazar

Sailboat on the Rio Guadalqivir


Lunch near the Cathedral

Walk along the Rio Guadalquivir

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza (bullring)


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