segwayA couple of weeks ago my wife and I had the pleasure of travelling around Madrid in a very different way – on a Segway. If you’re not familiar with a Segway, here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

The Segway HT is a two-wheeled, self-balancing, computer-controlled, electrically-powered gyroscopic light-mode transportation device

Computers and motors in the base keep the Segway upright at all times. Users lean forward to move forward, and back to move backwards. Turning is done mechanically via hand control. Segways are driven by quiet, non-polluting electric motors at up to 12.5 mph (10 mph in the
P-series).

Antony Bruce, a Scotsman with a South African accent (or so I thought!), is the owner of Madrid Segs, a company which offers visitors, and even locals, a new way to explore the city. Though the company has not been going long, Antony is an expert Segway user who makes client security a key priority.

Madrid Segs takes people around the streets of Madrid, which means that like most people we had to have a little bit of training beforehand. Using a Segway is a slight shock to the system – you move your body forward to go forward and backwards to stop, turning the handle makes you go right or left – though it didn’t take us long to get to grips with how it worked. Having worked out the basics Antony let us out on the streets of Madrid.

First stop was the Sabatini Gardens, next to the Palacio Real, where Antony gave us a brief history of the Palace and the Alcazar, which stood on the same spot before it. For someone who has only lived in Madrid a short period of time, his knowledge of the city is very good and both my wife and I learnt something new about the city. From here we travelled over to the Plaza de Oriente before heading down to the Almudena Cathedral.

A typical outing on the Segway will take in Plaza Mayor, Madrid de los Austrias, Barrio de los Letras, Prado Museum, Plaza de España and the Templo de Debod and Paseo de Pintor Roasles – a beautiful part of Madrid that most tourists don’t tend to go to. The routes are well thought out and there are few obstacles – Antony has never had any incident with his Segways.

The price of 60 Euros for around two and a half hours includes a ‘pit stop’ for a drink in Plaza Mayor and was certainly worth every ‘centimo’! Antony even managed to take some pictures of us on the Segways and post them to an online account for viewing when we got home.

For more information, visit the MadSegs site or email Antony.

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