Today is a holiday in Madrid. There must be a million people on the streets.  There is a lots of military pomp, soldiers marching by the review stand near my hotel, and five planes flying overhead. The weather is beautiful and life is good.  I am always delighted to have a day off when I am in a city to just experience ‘being here’. Madrid’s downtown core is beautiful—great old buildings, wide avenues, a magnificent palace with a living monarch, and a great ‘old town’

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