I hate it when people make you look at all 300 of their vacation photos, so I'll just share a few pics from my trip.
Madrid is a beautiful city with elegant multi-story buildings. Here is a view of Gran Via, the major street in the city:
We took a day trip to the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a palace and monastery in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 km northwest of Madrid. It's plain exterior belies the rich beauty within.
The perfect place for a hot summer afternoon is the Retiro, a large park complete with boating:
You could not find a better city for visiting art museums than Madrid. The Prado, pictured below, has a stunning collection, including works by Spanish masters Velazquez and Goya. Spain once ruled Flanders, so there is a stunning selection by Hieronymus Bosch and Rubens. I could have spent days there, but had to make time to see see Picasso's Guernica, his anti-war mural at the Reina Sofia and the eclectic but fascinating collection at the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza.
Of course, the best things about any travels are the people. I owe thanks for this trip to my brother Eric and his girlfriend Nancy. Nancy was teaching in Madrid for the month of July and they graciously shared their apartment with me. I had so much fun hanging out with them.
I was lucky to have these two companions. Robbie, on the left, is Nancy's son. Theo is my nephew. They are both fun to be with. And very patient. They didn't complain when I wanted to check out some boutiques!
Nancy's friend Ruchi, who she met when she lived The Hague joined us for a few days. She cooked us some amazing meals from her native India.