I hadn’t been to Madrid before and the city has always been a mystery to me. How could one of the most notorious maritime empires have been governed from a landlocked place like this? The geographic location seemed unappealing — no harbor, no impressive mount-range serving as backdrop, not even a noteworthy river flowing through.
But it looks like in Spain all roads lead to Madrid, rather than Rome. So for bridging the distance between Basque Country and Portugal, a stopover in Madrid just seemed convenient. Other than this, I didn’t expect much, but this is what I saw…
Let’s do some Tourism
I booked an overpriced hostel, near Plaza de España. It turned out that it wasn’t far from the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, or Plaza Mayor either. So, expect for a short train ride to the area of El Retiro Park, I explored all of that by foot. I have to say that the city has an impressive vibe. Everything looks big: the streets, the buildings, the monuments, the parks. Not big in the sense of skyscrapers, but in a sense of grandeur that cities at home lack.
The parks in particular. Parque Casa de Campo starts right by the palace and the cathedral and it seems to stretch to the horizon. It’s probably the biggest park in Madrid, but not the only one by far.
Madrid Street-Art Special
I had dinner someplace around the Malasaña quarter, which quite lively at night. I also noticed loads of art on the walls and shutters. So I just had to come back the next day during daylight and have a closer look…