From A Coruña I said my goodbyes to the family that I had just met and spent the week with. They all came to say goodbye to me at the train station, how sweet of them! From there I took a train to Madrid where I would meet up with my study abroad program. We stayed in Madrid for two days and here are some of the sights we had the chance to see while we were there.
Stop number 1: Royal Palace of Madrid. This palace has 2,800 rooms inside. The palace looks over the park and its white facade is absolutely stunning. The commissioned artist of the king during the time was Diego Velázquez, who actually lived in an apartment close by.
The city is a little hilly so some buildings are slightly elevated which is really nice because you can see large parts of the city from different areas. Since Madrid is a large city there is a variation of architecture and look throughout different areas , some parts looked like typical, large city streets; a tight mix of shops and business buildings. Other sections had so much age to them and the architecture was beautiful. As the capital of Spain, many government buildings are in the city. As well as two large fountains which are each designated to a fútbol team, one for Real Madrid and the other for Club Atlético de Madrid. When the teams have victories they celebrate at their fountain. Madrid is home to the Prado Museum which contains numerous works of artists such as Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, and Domenikos Theotokopoulos better known as El Greco. During our museum tour, my art history class knowledge surprisingly kicked in from sophomore year, as I recognized more of the works than I thought I would. The most famous of Velázquez being Las Meninas. Unfortunately, they don’t allow photography in the museum but textbooks did not do this work justice, so if ever in Madrid, I encourage you to check it out.
Madrid is also one of the most botanically elite ( tried to think of an interesting way to say the buzzword green here, sounds fancy right?! ) cities in Europe with numerous parks. We went to the Parque de Madrid, the largest one in the middle of the city. It’s very well maintained and it’s HUGE. We may have gotten a little bit lost in here but that’s okay.
The view from the hotel.
Royal Palace of Madrid
Mercado de San Miguel, one of the main markets in Madrid.
Had to have a tostada while here, I had one with avocado aioli and shrimp.
Jamonerias (ham stores) are everywhere! No surprise as ham is one of the most consumed meats in Spain. Used for charcuterie, sandwiches, and more. Yumm! Looking forward to trying some different types while I’m here.
This is one of the oldest restaurants in the world, it dates back to 1725.
Oh the streets! The beautiful, narrow, winding streets.
We also stopped in Plaza Mayor. It was built originally starting in 1617, then after years of fire damage rebuilt in 1790 as what it is today. The statue in front is that of King Phillip III of the 1600’s.
This marking in one of the squares in Madrid marks the very center of Spain.