Like usual, we escaped at the beginning of the fall, this year, too, and looked for a sunny destination in the south of Europe. This time it was a 4 days trip in the Spanish capital Madrid, the residence of the Spanish king and seat of the Spanish government.
Here beats the heart of Spain. But we were less interested for politics than for the sights and ambience of the city. Unfortunately or fortunately the weather was so good that we dispensed from visiting the famous museums like Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza, instead, we have explored almost every corner of this beautiful city. Our Hotel was near the Opera and the Royal Palace and it was no problem to walk or take the Metro to the other famous attractions.
Immediately after our arrival in the late afternoon we took a walk to the Royal Palace. It was a huge impressive building with a beautiful park on the forecourt and all kinds of artists and life entertainment in it. It was very nice and we were happy to see a normal life here, without exclusion zone and prohibitions.
( Click for large image !)
Madrid is generally known for its many beautiful places. At the end of the pedestrian zone of the Puerta Sol, there is the symbol of Madrid, “the bear on the strawberry tree.” It is a very lively and noisy place with much traffic and crowds. From here you can go straight into the old town and the famous shopping streets. Much quieter then is the Plaza Oriente, at the other end of the pedestrian zone where you can find the Royal Opera House. Here is also the best place to have a very nice view of the facade of the Royal Palace.
Like in all Spanish cities, there is also here in Madrid a “Plaza Mayor”. It is a very busy place with restaurants, small shops and galleries, ideal for us to watch the people. Much more quietly, was then our visit to the crypt under the Cathedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena, next to the Royal Palace. The wonderful colonnades, the private chapels and especially the wonderful silence impressed us very much.
You can have a very nice overview of the city and its surroundings from the cable car at the end of the royal gardens.
On our way there we passed the Plaza de Espana with the famous statue of Miguel de Cervantes, the father of Don Quichotte. Very close you can find also the Egyptian “Templo de Debold".
Again and again we were fascinated from the magnificent facades of the Belle Époque buildings which are not only situated on the “Bank boulevard” you can find them everywhere in the city. Madrid is really a royal city.
You can see this also in the many well cultivated parks. The most famous and most popular park is “El Retiro”, the city park of Madrid. It is the green living room of the Madrilenians we have seen this during our long walk through the beautiful area.
But we didn’t reach every
place in the city by foot.
All over in the city you can find something worth seeing, whether new or old, historic and quaint, traditional, artistic, cultural or otherwise peculiar or unique, we had often been surprised at our tours.
Even the railway station here is an attraction, too. The palm garden with its pond of turtles is not only a pastime for waiting passengers but rather a really showplace. Next to the railway station is the memorial place of the victims from the terror-attacks of 11. March. We were very impressed of it.
Sunday is the absolute
main day in Madrid, the whole town is on the road. The main destination is one
of the most famous flea markets of the world, the “Rastro” with over 3000
stalls, a great bazaar atmosphere! We rushed into the hurly-burly, hard to
believe what it’s all offered here, we enjoyed ourselves so much over some of
the many bizarre things that we got to see here.
We liked it very well
here, especially the generosity of the city. Despite of the traffic chaos, you
can always find a quiet, beautiful place. Madrid is really a royal city with its
wonderful buildings, the calm and dignified atmosphere, but even so lively and