Madrid (Shamefully Late)

Suddenly, we’re in Sevilla.  That’s four stops after Barcelona, the last place I left my blog. I’ve fallen terribly behind schedule after a bit of travel exhaustion in Madrid, as well as our last stop having non-free WiFi. But back to the subject of Madrid, anyhow!

We exited the underground metro station straight into the cheerful chaos that is Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s primary, bustling, tourist-centric plaza. During the day you’ll see costumed folks posing as super-creative “statues,” Spanish residents protesting or cheering on their election candidate, and a constant flow of people, and at night the activity continues in a more “glow in the dark” form.  And from there we set afoot across the city.

Literally. Madrid is amazingly pedestrian-friendly after the city spent significant time and money to make it just that, and it’s clear the effort was successful. From Puerta del Sol, many of the major sights – and sounds – are very accessible, and weary feet will find the metro helpful, if sometimes a little hot and crowded.

Admittedly, the bustle of Barcelona followed by Madrid wore this traveler out, but my tired self still left both cities impressed and perhaps a little surprised at the pedestrian/tourist friendly nature of each

Highlights from our stay in Madrid:

  • Real Madrid vs. Bilboa – futbol match (we bought our hotel owner’s extra tickets)
  • La Guernica, Picasso’s massive, show-stopping depiction of war (in the Reina Sofia museum)
  • Retiro Park, a beautifully-landscaped park near the museums
  • Tapas nights on Calle Cava Baja (highlight: Taberna Los Huevos de Lucio) and Calle de la Cruz (highlight: Casa Toni)
  • People-watching in Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor

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