We had a very brief holiday tacked onto the end of a business trip to Madrid during the week ending 18 January. Having spent the entire trip in and around two hotels along Paseo de la Castellana we liked Madrid, but were unaware of the range of sites to visit. We had taken a tour of the Bernabeu soccer stadium and also visited the Prado Museum and, while both were very impressive, neither would have tempted me to make a return visit.
On a whim I had booked a Segway tour, having really enjoyed another Segway tour we had taken in Chicago a few years ago.
Segways are fun and are a great way to travel around a big city. You cover a lot of ground and really get a feel for the city (much more than you would on a bus trip). The royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, the Crystal Palace at Retiro Park, and the Debod Temple were particular highlights. Unfortunately, we were unable to actually enter some of the sites, but they were very impressive from outside!
Dori was a very good, informative guide. She really enjoyed the fact that we were having fun on the Segways and Madrid has lots of places where you can enjoy them. Unfortunately, a lot of the footpaths around Gran Via and other streets are not that well suited to such machines and you really have to be on high alert (particularly as the locals have a habit of stepping out in front of you and then coming to an abrupt stop). However, you can't blame the tour guides for that!
My only advice would be to ask the company to ensure that they help people dismount (or ensure that people are comfortable with the technique for dismounting before starting the trip). Unfortunately, I ended up having a very heavy fall when another Segway crashed into mine. Thankfully I fell well and only suffered bruised ribs and some slight muscular damage. If I hadn't been able to control my fall, the outcome could have been worse.
However, if I get back to Madrid, I will be able to know great places to visit because I took this Segway tour. I'd recommend the trip to a friend (and it is a great workout for the calf muscles).
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