There is the Reina Sofia art museum, where the famous Guernica is housed…
(We went here on our first day in Madrid, the day our flight landed at 7:00am and we were at our hotel by 9:00am, but unable to check in until 1:00pm. In our grungy, up-all-night stupor we walked zombie-like through a couple galleries to see the Dali and Picasso works.)
Then there is la Reina Sofia herself, Queen of Spain, who officially resides at the Palacio Royal in Madrid (but in reality lives somewhere else- the Palacio being used only for state ceremonies.) Our second morning in Madrid, in between rain drops, we strolled to the Palacio Royal.
Some lovely gardens and wooded paths stretch out in front of the Palacio. And next door is the Catedral de Almudena, a very ‘new’ cathedral as far as Spain is concerned, as construction began on it in 1879. While not as impressive as the gothic cathedrals in some of Spain’s other cities, it’s still a church to behold.
And somewhere in the midst of all this is ¡REINA!, the macho compliment, shouted across a crowded market and directed at none other than Jen and I. Yes, at the ripe ‘ol ages of 34 and 35, respectively, we’ve apparently still got what it takes to be the object of Spanish catcalls, or piropos. Sadly, I do not have a photo of the guapos working the fish stand at the market where these piropos were shouted. But here is a picture of the market, some fish, and a different guapo bartender.
Madrid is an awesome city. It’s easy to get around by foot or metro. And with so many different, fun neighborhoods, bars, museums, parks, shops…there’s something amazing to see or do around every corner.
Puerta del Sol
I don’t have any great wide angle shots of the whole Puerta (next time- new camera lens purchase!). In true Spain fashion, two of the main buildings comprising this square were covered in scaffolding for renovation, AND the Tio Pepe sign was gone, but it was still abuzz with activity. And by activity I mean Mexican mariachis (we were mystified by this), street performers, a gala parade, and, days after we left, 22,000 protesters.
(that’s me in line at a tabacos stand, waiting to buy my
pack of Lucky Strikes postcard stamps.)
Sol metro station
We went to el Corte Inglés at least three times. They have an awesome grocery store.
Mercado de San Miguel
This wasn’t the open air produce market we were expecting. Turned out to be the fine-dining gold standard as far as markets go. You could stroll around to the different food stands with your glass of wine or cocktail, order food, and eat standing at a table or wandering around. We ate some delectables there, including oysters (Jen), empanadas (me), and overpriced sangria (las dos), and then picked up cheese, bread, and fish salad for a picnic at Retiro Park.
El Parque del Buen Retiro
Madrid’s version of Central Park.
This was our picnic location. I was too busy noshing to get a shot of the actual picnic.
y mucho más…
Plaza de Santa Ana (lots of great bars and restaurants in this square, and the surrounding neighborhood)
ham museum, directly across from our hotel (this is a chain, but a MUST if you’ve never been!)
even the metro stops are beautiful
First thing the morning of May 2, as we were leaving our hotel (well okay, it was probably noon or later), we walked out the door and smack into this parade in celebration of the festival day of the community of Madrid.
I love these buildings right near the Palacio. I would like to live here:)
I love Madrid; I think it’s a beautiful place. So much more I could post, but so little time!