Posted by: travelrat | May 5, 2008

Arrival in Madrid; Departure for Montfragüe

Madrid 19-20 April 2008.

As I’ve said in previous posts, Vaughantown programmes start with a ‘Tapas Party’ to meet and greet the ‘Anglos’, as the English-speakers are known. Last September, I almost missed out … by the time I got there, all the tapas had gone. Thankfully, there was some wine left.

This year, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake. My hotel this time was only a couple of stops down the Metro line, and I wasn’t going to ride the Metro in from the airport; I was going to ride on the shuttle bus which I booked through the hotel. This, ordinarily, is a rather expensive way of doing things, but I only paid €11. Comparing notes afterwards, I guessed that it must be subsidised by the hotel in some way.

But, all went well; I guess now I know what Fernando Alonso does on his day off! Until we got to central Madrid, where a demonstration was taking place. What’s it about? I asked. The driver, I think, didn’t want to tell me, because he suddenly forgot how to speak English. Judging, though, from some of the rude things they were saying about the King on some of the banners, it was probably a Republican movement of some kind.

I did make the tapas, though … only 15 minutes late!

My hotel was the Best Western Arosa, on the Gran Via, and what can I say? It wasn’t their fault that just about every police car, fire engine and ambulance in the province drove down Gran Via all night, at ten-minute intervals, with their ‘blues and twos’on!

So, when we boarded the bus to Montfragüe in Eduardo Dato Street the following morning, I wasn’t feeling much like talking to the Spaniards, as we’re supposed to. Fortunately, most of them went in their own cars, so I could go to sleep with a clear conscience!

To learn more about Vaughantown, see my entry at; to learn everything about Vaughantown, click on ‘Vaughantown’ in my blogroll.


  1. Sounds exciting, demonstration and all. I am a big fan of tapas. Delicious!

  2. Any chance you might incorporate a Vaughantown programme into any planned future trip to Europe?

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