19. Sep, 2021

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SUNDAY 19-09-21

I wish now we'd used the bedroom window more often to cool things down. We had it open last night to get the heat out of the vehicle as it had been around 26°C during the day, and I closed it at about 03:00 as it was then too cool to leave open.

This morning, just after eight I heard what I thought was a generator running, and assumed that one of our motorhoming neighbours was thoughtlessly running one for some mains power. Then I heard what sounded like a balloon burner going off several times. Impossible  I thought, but decided to look out of the cab window anyway. And there it was, a full sized hot air balloon almost ready to take off. I put some shorts and a T shirt on quickly and went outside. The Chef watched from the cab windscreen. Quite a spectacle and all before breakfast.

Today was a bit of a rest day in that we were going to wander around more of Aranjuez and get something to eat later on. As we wandered round we passed the Tourist Information Office where The Chef got in to conversation and then next thing we knew we were making our way over to the ticket office for a tour of the Royal Palace. The man at the Tourism office wasn't sure how much our tickets would cost us because after Brexit we may not be considered eligible for a European discount, but we could always take our passports with us and see what happened. I told The Chef I'd pay full price rather than plead for a discount. As it happened there was a ticket machine just before we passed through the scanners in security and so we just bought two 'Reduced' tickets at four euro's each instead of the normal nine euro's. After security we had our tickets checked before entering the main part of the palace, and all that young lady wanted was to scan the bar codes on the back.

In we went, and it was all rather nice. How the other half lived. Annoyingly there was no photography allowed once we had climbed the stairs to the main accommodation. I did managed to get three photos I think, quite clandestinely as I had to look for the security cameras in each room plus the location of the security staff who had us all under their watchful eye the whole time. So the pictures aren't that good but it was the best I could do.

After the tour we made our way 'home' for a cup of tea and a biscuit before setting out again, because our palace tickets also entitled us to entry to a museum located by the side of the river on the edge of one of the gardens.

When we arrived it was obvious we were going to play a game of cat and mouse again as I was told 'No photography'. It was a museum of royal barges, and the main attraction was a magnificent ornate barge built about 1680. I'm sure the male security guard was certain I was up to no good and intended to take a picture, but he was a bit too good at his job and was continually hanging around that area trying to catch me at it. Unfortunately I had to give up on that one which was a shame, though I did manage one quick photo of another in there. What I had spotted was that some of the barges had tiny open portholes facing the outside, so having left the museum I walked around the building until I reached those portholes and stuck the camera in - click, click, gocha! But I didn't have any luck with the loveliest of the barges as its space didn't have a porthole.

All in all we had a very pleasant afternoon out and it only cost us eight euro's.

Then it was time to eat and we thought we'd go back to the same place we ate at yesterday. Unfortunately by the time we arrived he had closed so it was off to Burger King, though rather reluctantly. It filled a gap but wasn't an enjoyable experience. It was like trying to eat in the middle of Euston railway station, what with the general noise plus feral brat Spanish kids running amok.

So that was Aranjuez. The Chef said she was pleased we came back for a second visit and had stayed the extra day. I told her I was too, and we'd come here for two reasons. Firstly to stock up before going in to the sticks south of here, and also in the hope that we could tour the palace which I hadn't expected to be able to do what with Covid and social distancing problems, so I was especially pleased we came back.

Tomorrow it's off to the supermarket and filling station and then we're off to the countryside. Hopefully they'll have a Wi-Fi connection there.