We had a long, hot, jetlagged, but enjoyable first day of our adventure. Our 'hostal'is on a side street off one of Madrid's busiest streets so we were thrown right into it. At first we were unimpressed - crowded, dirty, Starbucks and Burger King - and of course the exhaustion didn't help. But we relaxed and cleaned up at 'home'and then ventured out to a much more beautiful stetch of the Gran Via with old buildings, and we wandered around Madrid's largest park. We are aware of what happened in London and are paying close attention to the news. The heightened alert across the EU may make the other cities safer for now. Hope everyone is well. We will try to post some pics manana.