Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Windmills Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:57pm

Since we're in La Mancha, it seems only fitting that we'd see some Don Quijote sights. Sadly, the Don Quijote Museum and Library in Ciudad Real was closed for renovations, so we only got to take a few pictures with the statues of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza outside. Next we headed up to Consuegra, a small city with a hill nearby on which Don Quijote once spied a small army of giants (windmills).

We got to see the inside of a windmill. The most surprising thing was that the entire top of the windmill is rotated to make the blades face into the wind. There's a chain and pulley system that allows two people to move 6 tons or so of windmill cap. We spent some time hiking around the other 12 windmills and the castle (closed for siesta while we were there) and looking at La Mancha from above.

We had an excellent meal in Consuegra, with a Manchego cheese-tasting that spanned the aging cycle from fresh to semi-cured to cured to cured in oil. I think my favorites were the youngest two. I also had some delicious pork loin in almond sauce, while Adrienne had a spinach and chickpea soup with a matzo-ball-like thing in it.

We'd decided to not try to do a sightseeing side trip to Toledo. It seems like the kind of place we'd really need to spend more time in to appreciate. So our next stop was Madrid. There was only one tricky spot in the drive, right at the end, where we had to drive across a pedestrian-only street to get to the parking lot recommended by our hotel.

We spent the evening wandering around near the royal palace and cathedral. We have tickets for a dance performance at the Teatro Real in a couple days that we hoped to be able to pick up tickets for, but the box office was closed (the night's opera performance had already begun). We were planning to go to a sandwich place for dinner, but we ended up in the Mercado de San Miguel, which turns out to be the tapas equivalent of a high-end food court. We had oysters, cheese sandwiches, olive skewers, paella, fish pastries, yogurt shots, and arroz con leche (rice pudding). I tried the local muscato (very nice), vermouth (somewhat terrible), and amontillado (weird).


Vermouth... Quincy (Anonymously) Friday, 15 March 2013 12:24am

is not for drinking!