February 4, 2008 Madrid Running off to the Circus!

Sleeping in is a good thing.  Our day was totally unplanned and began with lunch at an Italian restaurant.  The coolest part was the menu was in English!  Oh and the fact the restaurant was open at 2 in the afternoon was quite refreshing.  Most places seem to be closed for Siesta and it’s hard to fins a late lunch place.

Having no idea where and what to see we decided to take an open top double decker bus tour.  Only thing was it began to rain and the idea of paying to get wet was not high on my list of thing to do.  Being quite inventive we decided to follow the bus and stay dry in our own van.  Each time we approached something that looked important we asked “Gypsy” our GSP to tell us about “points of interest”  in the area.  Using this basic theory we saw the Palace Real, Bank of Espana and way too many fountains and squares.

Next stop was to find a shop to buy a bottle of Rum and some mix.  Turns out they don’t have many place that sell booze!  Good news was we saw a Circus and when we went to the gates we found out we only had minutes to wait before the curtain went up. We rushed to buy VIP tickets and headed into Plaza de Toros (the bull fighting ring) where the big top had been erected.  

I have always loved Circus and dreamed as a child to run away and join one.  This was as close as I could feel.  I was a foot from the Ringmaster, could smell the sweat from the acrobats and the elephant dung!  With a huge glass of Rum and Coke in hand I sat though the Circus with a feeling I can not easily describe.  I even almost saw a man shot from a cannon!  (Long story … but funny)

Following the Circus we headed to find more food and drinks and ended up in a nightclub district called Sol.  We went to several clubs including a pirate themed bar and one devoted to Mona Lisa.  

A really fun thing happened while walking down a street in the club area.  I was trying to impress a couple of pretty ladies by vomiting some cards from my mouth when a man rushed across the street and very excitedly tried to explain he had seen me on the Norwegian Jewel in the Summer when I was sailing from Barcelona.  We took a photo together and I signed an autograph and headed off the see if we could crash a private party for Spain’s Motion Picture industry. That didn’t work out so we called it a night and caught a taxi back to the hotel.

It was a perfect evening, followed by a perfect dinner, followed by the most peaceful nights sleeps I have ever had…What a great evening … I will remember it forever …  

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