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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Delegation to Madrid

View across Puerta del Sol in Madrid's centre

Three weeks time in downtown Madrid. My work place was located a bit more north, in Tres Cantos, so just around the corner. That offered some time to explore the city's beauty. And the metro station was in 1 minute walking distance from the hotel in the capital's north. Excellent!

Catedral de la Almudena at night

Madrid itself is famous for its nightlife. People are going out to the restaurants, bars, clubs or lounges on every day of the week. Quite an impulsive life, in Madrid. As soon as the clubs close, the first bakeries and cafes open up already. And where every you go to have lunch or dinner, almost everything is worth trying. Taps, burgers, fish, just to name a few. A three course lunch menu always comes with a good red vine, if you allow yourself to have a glass or two.

View north-east from the hotel at sunset

One thing Spain is famous for: The ham! Stores can be found across the whole city, supermarkets are selling and almost every restaurant is offering the air dryed delicatesse. So I bought one of those 5 kg ham things and brought it home to have something for dinner.

Heaps of stores selling ham, so called "Jamon", in the city

I got some visitors, too. Jouni, from Finland, spent a weekend with me there. So did Antje during the last days and we strolled around, joining the Sandeman guided tours which took us through the cities' history.
In Madrid's north, you can find the hiking paradise "La Pedriza". Manzanares el Real is a good starting point to hit one of the numerous hiking trails, or to have a coffee.

Manzanares el Real and La Pedriza in the background

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Spaghetti Napoli along the Amalfi Coast

One week holidays, with lots of thoughs where to go, but no final decision. A long time I was not sure to travel at all. Home sweet home, why not?!?! Heaps of things that could have been done there as well. But yeah, not acceptable after all. Thus, I booked a flight to Naples, less than 24 hours before departure. I've found a bike store, too, offering racing bikes for rent. So it happened I got this Bianchi machine! Cool man. After 5 kilometres, I've just been outside the cities centre, I've got a flat tire. Damn! What a start - perfect! Thanks god they gave me the puncture and toolkit. From then on, no more challenges, except the mountain itself. I made it, found my way through hundreds of tourist, and foot climbed the last metres to the summit. Time to relax and chill out, before going down to Sorrento.

The next day, I had the highlight ahead - the coastal scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast with its rugged coastline and small villages built up in the mountains. A scenic look of exceptional rarity. Thousands of Chinese tourist must have think the same. I've found a place to stay in Maiori and had the so far best clambs ever. Thumbs up! On the last day, I had more than enough time to ride back to Naples and exploring the city with its chaotic, hectic rubbish-strewn life. But still, it had a certain flair which said: "Look here, I'm interesting on my own way!"