Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Day 1
After we visited Montserrat, we drove straight to Madrid. All along the way there were these giant cutouts of bulls by the side of the road. We never really figured out why..
We drove into Madrid and straight to the apartment we were renting for 2 nights. The apartment was stunning! It was right down town, like in the heart of Madrid and it was a huge modern place with three small balconies. It was decorated so well. I wish we had had more time just to hang there!

We dropped our stuff at the apartment then we cruised to Plaza de Toros de las Ventas for a traditional bullfight!

Grant doing his best "Ole!"

We finished the day with churros and chocolate. Mmmmm! That makes any day a successful one in my book.

Day 2 We had debated where to go on our VERY LAST DAY. We wanted to see Toledo, but also Segovia, and we couldn't miss El Escorial.. So, we decided to DO IT ALL! It was the most insane day. We started by getting lost.. and then making it to Toledo! Toledo is one of the oldest cities in Spain. It's set up on a hill and is surrounded on 3 sides by a river. Scholars went there for hundreds of years to study and learn. It became so revered that it was almost holy. That's where the saying, "Holy Toledo!" comes from.

The old Roman gate built buy Emperor Carlos V. 

The second oldest cathedral in Spain. It was complete in 1493 after more than 250 years of construction. There were lots of pieces by El Greco (the Spanish artist) here.

We got headsets and took a self-guided tour of the cathedral. Mark is looking super touristy here. Nice!

The church had a beautiful courtyard!
and there were beautiful, old frescoes on all the walls.

Good news, guys. We spent ten uninterrupted days together and we are still married! Success!!

We found a couple of Quasimodos at the top of the bell tower!

The next stop was Segovia! The home of 2000 year old Roman aqueducts. This was Grant's favorite stop on the trip.  It was so incredible to see something that has survived so many world events.

We followed the aqueduct into the city until it towered above us. We wandered around the beautiful old town and suddenly... TA DA we happened upon the town's cathedral. It was built in the gothic style and was my favorite cathedral of the trip.

We decided that Segovia is the coolest city ever and then we realized that we hadn't even seen the famous palace yet! What??

On the way back to Madrid we stopped at El Escorial - it's a massive palace kind of up in the mountains. Gorgeous. Of course!

That night Grant and I went to a little cafe right beneath our apartment and had our last Spanish treat. Grant got a gofre and I got churros and chocolate. Those last couple of days were wild trying to see everything we could in our limited time, but we just couldn't stand to miss anything! It is a glorious country. Mark and Sam continued their trip around Spain by car, but we need to head back to be parents again. Thanks for letting us crash your trip, Mark and Sam! Adios Espana!


christensen mission adventures said...

Maren, this is such a great blog! I loved all the great pictures of the Spainish ruins with you two, Samantha and Mark. What a wonderful way to keep a journal of your forever memorable trip to Spain. Keep up the blogs! Love you, Mom

Donna Mannewitz Christensen said...

AWESOME pictures!! Thanks for sharing them with us!! Looks and sounds like y'all had the BEST trip ever!! Love it!!