Madrid-Avila-Segovia-Toledo, Spain

We spent our Christmas vacation in Madrid and it's neighbouring towns. This was our first time to spend Christmas outside of our home base and far from our relatives. It was more lovely than melancholy. Sometimes loneliness would set in  whenever we thought of our relatives and the festivities we missed. But since there were so many places to visit, so much history to absorb, and so many things to eat, we kept melancholy at bay.

We spent 8 days in Madrid and it's neighbouring towns. We arrived at lunch time on the 1st and left on the afternoon of the 8th day. We spent the first 2 days in Madrid and rode the Hop on Hop Off Bus, the 3rd in Avila and Segovia, the 4th day at the Sierra de Guadarrama and shopping (yes shopping is a sport and Spain is one of the grand slam courts...but later on that), the 5th day in Toledo, Madrid again on the 6th ,7th, and 8th with more shopping (some examples of Spanish brands are ZARA, Manolo Blahnik, Mango, Sfera, Springfield, Desigual).

Ok shopping. Man! This topic deserves it's own page in this website! But Briefly, for us living in Switzerland, the high cost of goods puts a brake on the spending urges. Fashion takes a backseat in our budget plan - Insurance and Tuition Fees are kings in this area, they come first. So for us, seeing clothes and shoes in Madrid with prices at a fraction of the prices here in Switzerland is like winning something. I'm not saying the lottery, I haven't won that. We just felt happy buying! And to keep us happy we stuck to the affordable brands.

Where We Stayed

Hotel Petit Palace

Address : Calle Vírgen de Los Peligros 2  Calle Alcala 23, 28013 Madrid, Spain
How to Get There : Two (2) hour plane ride from Geneva Switzerland to Madrid via easyjet
Contact Nos : +34 915321901
Website: http://www.hthoteles.com/es/hotel-petit-palace-alcala-torre-madrid/
Cost per night : 110 Euros (Rate at the time of our stay for room good for four (4)  )
Wifi : Yes, but not so reliable in the room. Fortunately, there are computers in the hotel lobby for guests to use which have decent signals.
Our Rating: Good Value for Money

Where We Dined 1 of 3


Address : Plaza Mayor 23 Madrid, Spain 
Contact Nos : 91 559 1007 
Cost : 12.90 Euros (For the Paella)
Website: http://www.casamariaplazamayor.es
Our Rating: Good 
Wifi : I didn't ask...

We ate Seafood Paella and Red Wine. The Paella was good, but the red wine was better. The red wine was local Spanish wine. Different from our red wines here in Lavaux. Very good. 

Where We Dined 2 of 3

Cafeteria, Restaurant

Address : Paseo Del Prado (Near this address: Paseo del Prado
28014 Madrid, Spain) / Coordinates and exact location on map below:

Contact Nos : Didn't get it
Cost : 20.00 Euros (Set Menu of Beef and Peppers/ Comes with Cheese and Tomatoes)
Reference Website: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1b5dad/
Our Rating: Very Good Beef  
Wifi : I didn't ask...

Where We Dined 3 of 3

Lastress BBB

Address : Plaza Mayor 13 Segovia, Spain 
Contact Nos : See Reference Website Below
Cost : Est. 20 Euros (Set meal of Cochinillo and French Fries and Salad with Cochinillo)
Reference Website: http://www.yelp.com/biz/bar-las-tres-bbb-restaurante-segovia
Our Rating: Very Good Cochinillo 
Wifi : I didn't ask...


On the places we visited, on the food we tasted, on the things we saw

  • Buy shoes and buy the ones Made in Spain, the Spanish are very proud of their shoe craftsmanship. In my opinion, they're very stylish and look very sturdy. I bought a pair of casual shoes. So far they feel great.
  • If you get the chance to take a picture of the ceiling paintings of Luca Giordano inside the basilicas, take photos. For me, they loook more breathtaking than the paintings of the great artist Michelangelo.
  • There are lots of restaurants in and around Plaza Mayor in Madrid and Segovia. Do not dare miss eating the Cochinillo.
  • Stay in Madrid, but DO tour the towns around it especially Segovia and Toledo (other towns are farther and require overnight stays). We always went on tour with Jullia Tour. Their tours are very nice - http://www.juliatravel.com/en/home.html

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