ADIOS TO MAGICAL MADRID
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Monday February 27
Weather: As always, cool morning, bright sunny day.
Perfect touring conditions.
As we put this blog together, we are packed and ready for our next adventure- overnight train to Lisbon, Portugal.
Yesterday, Sunday we experienced weekend Madrid. We are informed that most people in Madrid live in small apartments and so seek public parks, plazas, cafes to absorb the sun and ambience of a lovely day. The city was packed with happy people enjoying the sunny day.
A trip to La Latina neighbourhood opened our eyes to a busy market, apparently the biggest Sunday flea market in Europe.
We were more interested in the atmosphere- people packing into tapas bars, specialising in such delicacies as tiny sardines, varieties of green olives, cheeses, the famous one here being Manchego from sheep's milk and very tasty. Beer is very cheap and most people were taking beer or red wine! We were looking for coffee but decided that we would find a cafe away from the crowds. It was a happy scene.
We spent the afternoon at the Thyssen gallery but only could manage the Chagall exhibition; the gallery is huge and full of wonderful paintings but time is the essence and we felt we could not do the other exhibitions justice.
We visited Museo del Prado, rated as one of the best collections of art in the world and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, a modern art gallery a couple of days ago and drowned ourselves in the works with limited time. With just 6 days in this city you are just tasting the sights and experiences.
The Park of El Retiro was our next destination and it was beautiful- the gardens, statues, lake and crowds of happy people created a lively ambience and we spent time watching the buskers, people boating and sat a while to enjoy the sun and atmosphere.
A little weary, we found the El Retiro subway and headed back to Leganitos and "home".
Observations: Madrid people are slim- countless stairs to climb and pedestrian only access to the city centre.
Madrid is alive after dark and the only danger according to locals is pick-pockets in crowded places. There are cafes and bars everywhere.
Madrid in late winter is perfect for tourists- bright sunny days; remember to wear something light under your coat because it's very warm inside.
So it is adios to another great city where we have had great accommodation, great weather and great experiences.