We were met off the plane at Madrid airport by a virtual welcoming committee of members, including a banner and cameras! Ringleaders were Javier Peinado, Benjamín Bruña González, Javier Gonzalez Esteban and Juan Espino Marquez. Their enthusiasm was infectious and by the time we reached central Madrid we were really ready to get started.
|Our reception committee pose with us at the airport on arrival in Spain.|
|The event poster designed by Benjamin Bruña González|
The hotel was a super-heated modern Hotel-Pension with large and comfortable rooms. Derek's even had an exercise machine! We had a brief interlude in which to refresh ourselves and rest and then we were off on the town! Derek and I went for a short walk to explore our surroundings and came across the Don Quixote memorial - a fabulous bronze group of the master and his faithful retainer, Sancho Panza.
|Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Madrid|
|Outside the Prado Gallery, Madrid|
|The huge statue of the great painter Velazquez, who is abundantly represented in the Prado's collections!|
Like most national collections, it was impossible to see everything, but we gave it a good stab!!! Later that afternoon we all adjourned to an American Diner with masses of atmosphere, owned by another member of the Star Wars Madrid Club, and were served the hugest hamburgers I have ever seen! (And I tell, you, having been around the States and elsewhere, I have sampled some giants in my time! LOL!!!).
|Tommy Mel's Classic Diner, Madrid|
|Not my best side for photographs, but I attempted to eat it in the hand! An idea best forgotten! :o)|
After dinner, the seemingly innocent proposal was made that we visit a tapas bar or two, we set off in a group of about 6 or 7. One or two tapas bars turned into a bar crawl! It felt like an English pub-crawl, but this was a dash around central Madrid's bars and cafes on foot, all serving tapas and booze! Walking on a stick can be exhausting, but this really was a march of heroic proportions for me and, had I not been afraid to break someone's back, I would have begged for someone to carry me! :o)
|Stuffed to the gills and yet more dishes required sampling - at least, so my feeder said! I was fit to bust and exhausted, both conditions clearly visible above! LOL!|
We visited the red light district and Madrid's oldest cafe/bar, as well as a traditional Spanish cider bar, where Derek demonstrated his natural ability to pour a drink from a bottle held above the head and into a glass as low as possible. All this to aerate the drink. But it was delicious! As we progressed, others met up with us and we ended up in a bar/disco with a rowdy bunch of local late-night drinkers.
|Tongues akimbo, the motley crew drank on!|
The bar-crawl at an end and all well-oiled, we were returned to out hotel and a night of oblivion in exhausted sleep :o) The next day, it was round to Atlantica Comics and set up ready for signing autographs. No sooner than the door opened and we were busy!
|Only my hand is visible - poised to sign again as the crowd grows and Derek takes a break to view the contents of the shop.|
|The Rebel Legion award! Que la fuerza te acompane!|
|Derek and I receiving our Honorary Membership to the Rebel Legion, Spanish Base.|
|The gigantic meringue! In spite of diabetes, I had to try it - absolutely delicious and flamed with brandy!|