My weekend in Madrid

My first visit to Madrid was in 2007. The memories are hazy, but there was a sense that it was a city that I would revisit one day. It was too vast a place to absorb in a solitary trip. I felt joy when Aer Lingus had a sale in September – a return journey cost a hundred euros. As I was still on my post pandemic travel binge, I booked my flight and accommodation. I would be making my triumphant return to the capital of Spain between the 9th and 13th December.

Along the way I acquired some travel companions. I am comfortable as a solitary traveller but am amenable to some company on the way. I will book my trips in the expectation that I will be a sole wanderer and if I acquire some companions en route then this is a bonus. In the end it was a group of four – two who were travelling on Ryanair at 9.30am and two (myself included) who were taking Aer Lingus flight EI0594 at 17.30 that evening.

In the days pre departure, the forecast from Madrid looked ominous – it was an unseasonably wet December in Spain- with persistent rain forecast for the duration of our stay. The temperatures were mild, but the rain promised to be constant. So much so that a few days before take-off our travel numbers were reduced to three. Disappointing but it was still going to be exciting. Among us we have agreed that the Saturday would be spent exploring the ancient city of Toledo. Located about an hour by train from Madrid, this was a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most historically significant towns in Spain. I had almost visited back in 2007, but the shenanigans the night before rendered me unfit for purpose on the day of travel. It was finally time to rectify this. A return visit to the Prado Museum was also on the cards. This was a ‘must see’ for both my travel companions and as such I was willing to participate.

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