Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scorching Madrid

Thursday morning came very early for me as I needed to ride the Metro to Plaça de Catalunya then board the Airport bus and finally navigate the Barcelona Airport's check-in and security systems before my flight to Madrid.

Due to the controversial nature of my trip, I've decided to divide my day in Madrid into a two blogposts. This first one will be my usual touristy type while the next post will deal with the controversy. 

 Madrid is Spain's Capital City

I started my day in Madrid
with a healthy apple 

Of sorts . . .

In a stunning upset,
I resisted these

Properly nourished, it was time to first find and then check-in to my hotel. It was located between the Puerta del Sol and the Plaza Mayor at the very center of Madrid. The problem was that I needed to find one street off of Calle de Mayor to get to it and I couldn't.

Simple, I walked into a bar, ordered a caña and asked the bartender if he knew of Calle del Marques Viudo de Pontejos where my hotel was located. He said that he had never heard of it.

No problem, I would walk a little further to . . .

Plaza Mayor and ask again 

At a restaurant on the east corner of the Plaza I conferred with two waiters who also had not heard of . . .

My hotel's street

They did refer me to the Tourist Information office in Plaza Mayor about 70 meters from where we were standing for help.

Which I got.

My Hotel

It was located on the street behind the bar where I asked for directions. As for my two waiters, my hotel's street was about 40 meters from their restaurant's side street where the street changes names.

I love these rustic quirks in the Spanish people.

Again this was a budget hotel, much nicer than the one in Barcelona, with an excellent location!

After checking-in and freshening up, it was time to continue the process of the dark side of my excursion.

I re-boarded the very convenient Madrid Metro system at Puerta del Sol for the short trip to the Metro's Line 4 Colón stop to find . . .

My bullfight ticket broker 

This must be the place

Yes, the Feria de San Isidro 

My Ticket to the Corrida de Toros

Sombra = Shady Side (GRACIAS A DIOS!!!)
Tendido Bajo 10 = Section 10
Contrabarrera = Against the Wall
Puerta B-C = Enter through Gates B-C


With my ticket safely in hand, I now had several hours until the Corrida started to see some of Madrid's sights on a scorching afternoon that made Barcelona look mild. It had to be in the high 90º F/ 33ºC range, at least.

One of Madrid's many statues . . .

And another

These two were on the grounds of the Biblioteca Nacional.

Victory Wreath

A Majestic Round-About

I need a hat!

A kid with a spear, not good 

A dressy penguin

Madrid can be very formal at times, casual at others.

Parque del Buen Retiro

At one time, this park was the private domain of royalty. In the late 1700s, King Carlos III decided to give this 300 acre park to the people of Madrid.

On this hot, hot day I decided to enjoy his gift to the commoners.

Nice lake in the park

Rowing a boat in this heat with no cover did not sound like a good idea, so I didn't.

Retiro Park Fountain 

I definitely wanted to jump in.

I didn't.

More Retiro Park Fountain Art

What's this . . .

A perfect place to beat the heat!!!

San Jerónimos Church

This church is located next to the Prado Museum.

Francisco de Goya 

Goya's work is the star of the Prado Museum. His statue looks at the Prado's main entrance.

Goya people at the base of his statue

Beats me . . . 

It looks like Rio Mesa and Madrid
have joined forces to create
an Antifascist Zone 

If only Franco were still alive to see this.

The Post Office Building, I believe
Great Spanish Architecture 

It was now time to start heading back to the hotel to get ready for the Corrida.

Cooling off at Puerta del Sol

With the Bear on Puerta del Sol

I am now sporting my new Spanish National Team hat complete with one gold star signifying their 2010 World Cup victory.

Roman Chariots

Rome was big here back in the day.


Everybody knows that.

Great Architecture abounds 

It was time to get something to eat before heading to the Corrida, but where . . .

La Taurina near Puerta del Sol

Of course, the perfect spot to get into the Corrida mood!

Especially with their interseting decor,
nice hats

So, I had a great day in Madrid, but now it was time for a little controversy.


David said...

The post office shot reminds me: Whatever happened to your campaign for a more attractive post office in Camarillo?

George said...

Still need federal funding.