July 22

Quicktrip: Madrid


Earlier in July, my friend Jose and I went to Madrid. Summertime in Madrid is busy, and the crowds of people could be a little intimidating. However, Madrid has some amazing attractions, too. As the capital of Spain, the government buildings are built to both last and impress, and I was certainly impressed. People in Madrid are generally pleasant and friendly, even in the tourist-laden areas of the city. While the temperatures soar in the daytime, the evenings are cool and dry and perfect for sitting outside at a terrace restaurant with a cool beverage in hand.

However, as with most capital cities, Madrid is expensive. While the hotel and the metro were reasonable, the food in the city was pricey. The variety of food for vegetarians more than made up for the price, though, and I really appreciated the options available for my consideration.

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As a bonus, there was an El Greco exhibition in the Prado museum, and we were able to see some of El Greco’s paintings that I have only seen in textbooks for so many years. Yes, I did take an illegal snapshot, but only without the flash and just to demonstrate how awesome the exhibit really was.

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Overall, Madrid is definitely a great destination, and the architecture, location, and sheer variety of activities means that being bored in Madrid is a choice. This city is a bustling center of friendly people!

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Here are a few pictures of Plaza Colón, and yes, that is Christopher Columbus. Pretty amazing!DSCN5314 copy DSCN5316 copy DSCN5317 copy

So much more to see! Madrid is very green…DSCN5323 copy DSCN5324 copy DSCN5326 copy DSCN5329 copy DSCN5330 copy DSCN5331 copy

The mail building…DSCN5334 copy DSCN5335 copy

This means “Garden Street”…. without a garden in sight!DSCN5336 copyThe first words of the classic by Cervantes, Don Quixote: “In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to remember, there lived not long ago one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old shield, a lean old nag, and a greyhound for racing…” DSCN5337 copy DSCN5341 copy

The symbol of Madrid, which is a black bear standing to eat from a madrone tree.DSCN5344 copy DSCN5347 copy

Ahhhhh, King Carlos!DSCN5349 copy DSCN5353 copy DSCN5355 copy DSCN5357 copy

The view outside of our hotel.DSCN5359 copy DSCN5361 copy DSCN5364 copy DSCN5365 copy DSCN5370 copy DSCN5385 copy DSCN5386 DSCN5389


Cervantes, Don Quixote, el Greco, Madrid

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  1. Beautiful pictures Christopher! I always enjoy reading of your adventures. I was surprised that you couldn’t take photos in the Prado museum. One of my surprises from traveling in Europe has been the number of museums that do allow photos (no flash, of course).

    1. Hi, Jill. I don’t know if we could take have taken pictures or not, but the guards were a little eager in the exhibit. Regardless, seeing these paintings was a definite highlight, since El Grego is my favorite painter.

  2. Hi, Christopher. The pictures are amazing. Since I haven’t learned to speak Spanish, could you tell me how easy it would be to maneuver in Madrid speaking only English? Take care!

    1. Hi, Gale, that’s a good question. Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia are all pretty easy to travel with just English. Each of these cities has a good tourist base that reinforces the need for English in businesses working with the public. Plus, most hotels have international staff that are fluent in several languages. If you are interested in seeing the tourist attractions in Madrid, then you are going to be able to communicate pretty easily. For some of the outlying towns and smaller cities, speaking only English may be a challenge.

  3. It sounds like Madrid was a great adventure for you, thanks for sharing with all in the work a day world!

    1. Madrid was indeed pretty amazing! Don’t be fooled… I am still in the working world, just on a different schedule. You may have noticed that I am not posting as much as in the past, and that is due to time spent working for a large educational company as a contractor and putting hours into dissertation development for my PhD. I am definitely managing to squeeze in some travel, but as long as I have some internet access, I can work from pretty much anywhere!

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