MADRID IN THE SWELTERING HEAT – II . . . If Heat Had Teeth

I had booked a 3 hour-bike tour with Bravo Bike Tours. David, the tour guide, is 100% Spanish but he spoke with a decidedly British Accent. David was quite knowledgeable of Spanish History and the relevance of the sites we visited. I can only remember a few of the places we have seen but one of the memorable spots was a narrow street where Miguel De Cervantes had lived.casa-cervantesCervantes wrote “Don Quixote” in 1605 and 1615. The work of fiction is considered seminal in the development of the Modern fiction writing.

There were about 20 more of us riding on modern bikes. Unfortunately, I wore shorts that hung rather loose that gets getting caught on the saddle of the bike every time I dismounted that I fell in one of our stops making me look clumsy. As we rode along, the temperature rose to 39 degrees and it was only 11 a.m. We went through a number of scenic spots which included the Parque Buen Retiro.800px-Paseo_de_la_Argentina_(Retiro,_Madrid)_02

The most notable structure in the Park is the Palacio De Cristal which was built in 1887 to house Flora and Fauna from the Philippines. It  is now home to various art exhibits.1200px-Parque_del_Buen_Retiro_PalacioCristal03

At this point, the temperature has soared to 39 degrees and it was only 11 a.m. We biked through a number of spots which included the Plaza Mayor that was the site during the Spanish Inquisition of a number of Auto da fe, a cruel public ritual conducted by the Catholic church in which penance is openly displayed by those accused as heretics or suspected of practicing witchcraft and ultimately executed on the same spot.

Plaza_Mayor_3_lados_pano_cilindrica

We rode on going through a number of spots negotiating busy streets heavy with vehicular traffic. There were a number of streets that challenged my fitness ability with the rising slopes that induced muscular pain along the leg and calf area. My heat addled brain no longer registered the name of the places we stopped to view as my visual cues to stimulate memories were in the photographs I have taken with my cell phone that was stolen by one of the citizens of the city of Barcelona. We made it through in one of the busiest streets, the Gran Gia, without anyone of us meeting our final destiny.

Gran Via

Gran Via

We stopped in one of the outdoor cafes where we were being refreshed with drinks of our choice before heading back to Bravo Bike Tours to return the bicycles. Altogether, I recommend the Bike Tour with Bravo Bikes but not during the summer months as the unbearable heat with the physical exertion can be a real challenge to one`s fitness ability and particularly for those with cardiovascular health issues.

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