We all have these photos … throwback photos!

It’s described as ‘nostalgia-inducing pictures … from a different era of your life”.

Every Thursday we will throw a photo of ‘way back when’ on our blog. Why on a Thursday? Because it’s just a day away from the weekend … and we love weekends!

You are welcome to join in or just enjoy the photos (#TB Thursday).

April 2018 – Madrid (Spain)

In last week’s TB Thursday post, we told you about our short visit to Madrid – on our way back to South Africa after completing the Camino Frances (read here).

And guess what? Exactly one year later we found ourselves back in Madrid. This time after completing the Portuguese Camino. Although we knew we would be tired after all that walking, we really wanted to explore this city a bit more. This time we had 2 days in Madrid. So, we booked two seats on their Hop-On Hop-Off bus and explored Madrid for 2 hours (no walking required).

Leaving from Puerta del Sol on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus

We didn’t get off the bus (as one should probably do), but just enjoyed the views of the city from the top deck.

Driving through Madrid

Decorated roofs

Congress of Deputies (built between 1843 and 1850) and a scenic view

The well-known Puerta de Alcalá gate (inaugurated in 1778)

Back at Puerta del Sol we got off the bus and just wandered around soaking up the atmosphere. We were even treated to some Spanish singers (see video below).

Puerta del Sol

How do they do this?

Spanish singers

After our bus tour, we walked to the Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real), the largest in Western Europe and one of the largest in the world. We considered going in, but there was a long line (and it was hot), so instead we just took a picture and went looking for something better to do … like drinking a beer (what kind of tourists are we).

Palacio Real

Enjoy a beer in Madrid

However, one of our best memories of our second visit to Madrid was seeing Raul again. We met Raul the year before on our first Camino. He and his two children walked with us on the Camino Frances for 5 days and we had a great time together. Raul lives in Madrid and met us for dinner in Puerta del Sol on our last night before flying back to South Africa. What a wonderful way to end our second Camino with an old pilgrim friend!

A night out with our Spanish pilgrim friend Raul

And these are our memories of Madrid – visited twice, but far from seeing everything!


40 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #14

  1. Last time I was in Madrid (boys’ weekend…football, beer and tapas) we found ourselves in a terrific neighbourhood nit far from all the sights yet tucked in a corner where the hidden bars were full of locals. It made a wonderful city even more enjoyable! Glad you love it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s exactly what we did on our second trip to Madrid, too. We hooped on a Hop-on Hop-off double-decker bus and uncovered many secrets of the lively and vibrant city of Madrid without even getting off. It was a great way to relax my legs after lots of walking on the previous day. Plus when you take the bus, you get to know how things connect and where major points on the map are in relationship to other areas. If you’re riding underground, you go below and then pop up somewhere else with no idea how point A connects to point B. It doesn’t help that the Tube map is designed to be aesthetically pleasing, not necessarily geographically easy. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. Oh yes, sometimes the Hop-on Hop-off bus is the way to travel and see a city (we’ve done exactly that in most foreign cities we’ve visited before). And like you said, it gives you more of an idea of ​​where all the lovely sights of a city fit in … and it’s very comfortable when your feet hurt 🙂 . Thanks for your comment Aiva, enjoy your day!

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  3. That’s awesome that you were able to return to Madrid, and this time for longer. Good call on booking a hop-on hop-off excursion after all that walking from the Portuguese Camino. Seems like a great way to see the city and get your bearings, especially since many of the attractions are spread out.

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    1. At the end of our bus tour, we realised we would have walked a ‘mini Camino’ if we wanted to see all the beautiful sights in Madrid! But still … it seems we will have to go there a third time to do a thorough tour of this city 🙂.

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  4. There are times when the hop on, hop off bus is definitely the way to go! And you seem to have seen a fair bit from this one 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful to be able to meet up with a friend in a foreign city?! That’s one reason I value my Virtual Tourist community so much.

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    1. While I was sitting on that bus, I just thought how much beauty I see without putting one foot in front of the other 😄. It was so nice to catch up with Raul – and because he lives in Madrid, he knew exactly which pub he could take us to to hang out with the locals.

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    1. Ons het die sangers vreeslik geniet – ‘n gratis vertoning sommer so in die verby stap! Ek sal nie omgee om vir ‘n derde keer Madrid te besoek nie … ek vermoed daar is nog ten minste 80% van die stad wat ons nie gesien het nie!


  5. I think you deserved to take it easy with a couple of beers! The bus is a nice way to see a great city. Doing it on foot would take days, I should think and fresh feet! Nice that you met up with your friend from the Camino.

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    1. We definitely enjoyed our second visit to Madrid more (it was bad that we didn’t really have enough time to see more of the city the first time). And hanging out with our Spanish pilgrim friend was so much fun! We’re doing ok this side of the world, thanks Tricia. Hope the same with you guys 💌.

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    1. Yes, the Hop-On Hop Off bus was definitely a good (and sensible) choice… considering our “condition” 😉. Raul took us to a real Spanish bar that we wouldn’t have come across on our own … it turned out to be quite an exhausting (but great) night!

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  6. Loved seeing your unique perspective of Madrid, Corna. Especially those top-deck views, some fun angles and overviews. It’s always great when you get to tie in a travel experience with catching up with an old friend. Have you seen Raul since?

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    1. It is true that you experience a city completely differently when you ride in a bus (you see, for example, high buildings so much better… but you also miss the smaller details). It was lovely to see Raul again – he’s your typical Spaniard who can hang out until the early hours of the morning 😉. Unfortunately we haven’t seen each other again after that day … maybe the opportunity will present itself again in the future (we have a Whatsapp chat group and every now and then we check in to hear how everyone is doing).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Hannah, to be honest, we wouldn’t mind going to Madrid again … there’s just so much to see! Berto is doing well – he had a bunch of tests done yesterday and is seeing the doctor later today (we’re keeping our fingers crossed for positive results). Thank you for caring 🌸.


    1. Oh, I would love to see Barcelona one day! Yes, the Hop-On Hop-Off bus definitely helps to see where everything is in a big city… in Porto, for example, it showed us how long it would be to walk out of Porto on our Portuguese Camino 😉. You’re right, sometimes it’s good to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

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  7. I think hop on/off buses are a great way to see a big city easily and you can of course hop off at any of the sites to have a look around. My daughter and I did that in Barcelona after a couple of days of walking around. I’ve only been to Madrid once a long time ago (1979) in March and it was freezing cold and we were totally skint so didn’t see very much at all.

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    1. We love riding the Hop-On Hop-Off buses to get a quick overview of a big city (or even a place like Malta). We then usually get off at different places to explore further. But in both Madrid and Porto (while walking the Portuguese Camino), we just enjoyed the ride. I’d love to see Barcelona – the Spaniards who walked the Camino with us told us they preferred Barcelona to Madrid … but I suppose we’ll have to go and see for ourselves to judge 😉.

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  8. So wonderful Corna, Madrid is absolutely beautiful and I’m happy to get to see some of it through your post, thank you for sharing🌸💕 I really enjoyed the video too, especially watching the person dancing, so festive, thank you for this glimpse of Madrid too.

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed our throwback to Madrid Henrietta! It is indeed a beautiful city, full of history and monuments … and the band playing was a lovely bonus (it certainly captured the festive atmosphere in Puerta del Sol) 🎉.

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