Part 3: Miami Closeout and Madrid Day 1


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The Trip

Our last day in Miami was spent hiking around.  We went to the Lincoln Street mall, which was huge, and then walked around the area to see the sights.  Our flight was around 7pm, so the balance of the day was preparation for the flight.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

This sweet young thing fancies herself as a model.  She was cute, but her buddy was using an iPhone which is not the best vehicle for photos.

We continued walking until we hit Biscayne Bay.  The cranes at the port of Miami are visible in the distance.

There were some very nice condos next to Biscayne Bay.

We returned to our hotel via the Lincoln Street Mall and spotted this cool "thing".

The flight to Madrid left Miami at around 7pm and showed up around 10am (Madrid time).  The Madrid airport is huge, but very modern and very clean.  Customs was non-existent which was a surprise.  Gladly, we did not need a visa which was good because we did not even check.  Our hotel was downtown and we had a nice view out of our balcony.  Above is the tower of the hotel.

There was a theater across the street from the hotel.

Our hotel was on "The street of the dangerous virgin".  Aren't they all?

Classical statues on the roof of the building across the street from our hotel.

While headed to the Plaza Mayor, we passed this private casino, the "Casino de Madrid".  Ornate and exclusive.

Interesting statue.  The folks on the right are watching the street performers.

Lots of young folks sitting around.  The fountains seemed to provide a focal point.

Another "famous dead dude"  on a horse.  That quote is an infamous line from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" when Ted is asked by the history teacher about Napoleon.

The plaza reminded me of Trafalgar Square in London.  I have no idea how this fellow "mounts up".

A river of tourists on the move.

More street performers.

More variations on a theme.

Nearly all the buildings in the area were "mixed use" where the ground floor was commercial and the upper floors were residential.  Note the nice colors and details in the iron work on the balconies.

We passed a specialty store with many kinds of custom hams.

A river of humanity on the move after work.

There was a very large police presence on the street.  Above, Steve chats with one of the officers.

Being springtime, the trees were in bloom.

No trip to Spain would be complete without a pitcher of Sangria.  We got pleasantly buzzed while eating tapas.

And speaking of buzzed, the Plaza Mayor was filled with drunk futbol fans getting ready for the big soccer game the following day.

Look at the trash on the ground from the empty cans.

Futbol hooligans is the correct term.  They were singing in unison (sorta).  There was a heavy police presence complete with riot gear.  These guys were hammered.  As it turned out, trouble happened later that night after we left the area.  The BBC stated:

Leicester City fans were charged at and subjected to what appeared to be an unprovoked attack from Spanish police, a BBC journalist has said.  BBC correspondent Phil Mackie said he witnessed the scenes in Madrid, where Leicester will play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final.  He said he met supporters who had been left bruised after being hit on the head, arms and knees.  The Spanish press reported that eight Leicester fans were arrested.  Some fans were hit with batons and bundled into police vans, the correspondent added.  Mr Mackie told 5 live the trouble happened in the Plaza Mayor, in Madrid, where Foxes fans had been told they could gather.  He said: "I got down [to Plaza Mayor] and found a number of young Leicester fans with bruises, who had been hit on the head, arms, knees and a couple of them dazed. Some of them drunk as well.  "As I was talking to them there was a charge. Police officers just charged a group of Leicester fans who were, as far as I could tell, just walking past and chatting to each other.  "Three of them were pushed to the floor and hit with batons and bundled into the back of vans and taken away."  Aaron Richard Howells, who was in the square, said there was a lot of good-natured singing from supporters, but some younger fans got too close to police with their chanting.  He said: "We [witnessed] police targeting groups of people, smashing beers from tables, and even them throwing chairs towards the fans, as well charging with batons and riot shields."  However, another supporter who was in the square said some ticketless fans told her they liked to make a nuisance of themselves and "expected trouble later".  Spanish newspaper, La Voz de Galicia, reported that eight fans had been arrested following clashes with police and that riot gear was used to disperse about 300 supporters.  Leicestershire Police said it could not comment on what happened.

Notice the painting on the walls.

Another "famous dead dude" on a horse in the middle of Plaza Mayor.

As is frequently seen on chain link fences in Paris, love locks are meant to show a couple's undying devotion.  Right up until they are divorced, of course.  As they say: "Love is grand.  Divorce is a hundred grand".

The side streets to Plaza Mayor were awash in folks checking out the sights.  The paseos were lined with ornate brick and stone buildings.

There were a number of nice fountains near the plaza.  Note the intricate ironwork on the balconies.

There were a number of government buildings close to Plaza Mayor.

This church was close to the plaza.  Note the impressive carvings above the entry way.

An impressive tower, but clearly contemporary due to the brick work.  I do not know if the church was refurbished or if this is original.

The interior was equally impressive.

A sea of people out cruising around.

A night view from out hotel.  The banner on the tower in the center of the photo above says "Refugees Welcome".

Central Madrid has plenty to see.  We were surprised by how many folks were in the area given that we scheduled our trip to be "in front" of the high-season.  It appears that the combination of Semana Santa (Easter) and the futbol game were the large drivers on tourists.

Tomorrow, we hit the bricks to see the tourist spots.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2017, all rights reserved.
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