Day 10 Valencia to Madrid

Wednesday  Dateicon  10.8.2016  Tigericon  360km - Total:3583km

First rain day of the trip.
It starts out a bit cloudy before the flood gates of heaven open up, I stop at the first available opportunity and close up all the ventilation on the gear but eventually not even that is enough.

The gear still does what it's supposed to do so I'm not getting wet but the rain is hammering down in such a ridiculous quantity that it floods parts of the road and in the opposite direction sand is washing out in two out of three lanes.
Even though the road is partially flooded people are still driving like aquaplaning is just a myth used to scare children so I soon realize I need to get off the road because regardless of my own riding I'm still in a real danger of becoming a statistic on someone else's tab.

I manage to wrestle the bike up on a traffic island under the roof of a gas station and proceed to drink coffee at a rate that would make even a sloth fall asleep.
Somewhere around three quarters to an hour the rain have shifted tempo several times and with the support of a weather app on the phone I need to face the fact that I'm not going to get out of it unless I stay here all day.

I get back in my gear and head off.
I'm fretting the decision but the rain makes me skip a scenic route on the N-320 which I had looked forward to a lot but with this weather I wouldn't have enjoyed it anyway and if the description of the condition of the road is anything to go by it probably wouldn't be the safest detour in this weather either.

The clouds doesn't disperse until I'm in Madrid and now it's to late to go back.
I check in to hotel El Coloso and the receptionist asks if it's ok that my room is on the sixth floor even though the lift only goes to the fifth?
I accept because it didn't sound like there was a real option anyway but I'm silently grinding my teeth because I'm sure that I without any competition whatsoever have the most complicated luggage of all the guests in the whole building.

And the route to the penthouse room was ridiculously complicated but man, what a room!
This isn't even a room, this is bigger than my first apartment. It has a hall, a living room with a desk, a bathroom with a bathtub and a king-size double bed in a spacious bedroom.

I manage a few hours of exploring in the city and the only building I manage to get into is the cathedral but that was also without a doubt the most beautiful building of the trip so far.
The neighbouring royal palace is obvious even from the outside that it will be worth a visit so I put that at the top of my itinerary for tomorrow.

Ok. So I was a bit grumpy about the maze-like route through endless halls to get to the room but in the end it was definitely worth it.

Exploring Madrid.

San Miguel market dating back to the turn of the century.

Plaza Mayor

Almudena cathedral. Bravo! Exelente! Magnifico! Esplendido!

The palace

The palace garden, Sabatini Gardens