Spain Journal – Part 3

On Friday afternoon, May 8, two van loads of us left the beautiful scenery of the retreat setting and headed for Madrid, five hours away.

On the way we stopped in the town of Almansa to see two sights. The first was the Catholic cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The cathedral has five statues of Mary, with a special focus on “Mary of Bethlehem.”

For the second sight we walked up to the Castle of Almansa. Up is the word. The castle is situated on a tall crag of rock. We walked 284 steps to get to the top. Yes, I counted them.

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Then on to Madrid, arriving at midnight. We got to bed at 1:00 AM. That is not late by Spanish standards, but this American is wired differently!

On Saturday we walked through the Main Plaza (Plaza Major).

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There we met an old friend.

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Next, we checked out the shopping areas, and I bought T-shirts for my grandsons and myself. Then eleven of us had lunch at a restaurant that displayed some of their specials on an open table.

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I did not choose roast pig. Instead, I contented myself with gazpacho.

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As you see, this is (cold) tomato soup with garnishes. I supplemented this simple fare with samples from the plates of several of my friends!

Next several of us went to the famous Prado Museum. We had only a short time to spend there, so we started with at the well-known paintings by Goya. It was worth it.

Near the Prado we saw beautiful fountains and beds of flowers.

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In the evening we rode with the Bundys and Chris Sharp to another town to meet Antonio and Aida. He is a Spaniard, a former priest, author of books on philosophy and the Anabaptist movement. and the pastor of our church in Hoyo, which is small town about 12 miles from Madrid.

It was so enlightening to hear Antonio and Aida tell of their search for spiritual reality and their discovery of a meaningful relationship with Christ.

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