Madrid, Spain.

Madrid was the last city we visited in Europe. It was only a short flight from Ibiza and it was a key hub for our onward destination – New York.

The Palace and surrounding gardens.

The Palace and surrounding gardens.

It was still hot and steamy in Madrid, shops and their powerful air conditioning providing temporary respite from outside. The city has beautifully ornate architecture as well as many impressive buildings like the Palace and museums like The Prado. We joined a walking tour at Plaza Major to explore the city and we learnt a lot about Spain’s history while admiring the cobblestone streets and numerous squares around the city.

The Toledo Cathedral

The Toledo Cathedral

We took a train to the nearby town of Toledo where Jeremy’s family were staying in a beautiful hotel known as a Parador (which was originally an old manor house) overlooking the ancient town. It seemed like Toledo was a very popular day trip from the city as the train ride, being only half an hour, was packed with tourists reading guide books. We were very impressed with the rail network in Spain, despite the awful accidents earlier this summer.

One of the first stops we made in Toledo was to the grand cathedral whose colourful past meant that it had also served as a Mosque. We had lunch (and a quick dip in the pool) at the resort before catching the train back to Madrid and backing our bags.

We spent almost three months jumping around Europe, experiencing new cultures, languages and customs every week. Even though we knew there was one enormous country still to discover, packing our bags reminded us that a huge part of our trip was over.

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