I last visited Madrid twelve years ago when I had come alone to explore Spain. My first impression of Madrid then was how monumental in size it was in comparison to the more manageable Barcelona. My impression remains the same. Madrid is all urban expansiveness and a beautiful metropolis. I was there for work related reasons and I am glad I had the opportunity to revisit this city once again. It's beautiful and regal. Imposing and inviting.
The city is more impressive than I remembered it and many of its historical buildings have been refurbished. The city exudes pride in its conservation of Modernist and neo-Mudéjar buildings.
You can easily find tapas everywhere making eating an easy task anywhere in the city. I recommend the San Miguel Mercado or San Anton Mercado lined with tapa and drink stalls. A popular street for tapas and active night life is Calle Cava Baja where you can find La Chata. I didn't taste their tapas, but it gets good reviews on the internet. If you make your way around the Chueca barrio, it is another reommended place for food, drinks and funky stores.
|El Retiro Park onced belonged to the Spanish Monarchy. The king decided his subjects should be allowed to enjoy the park as well.|
|The tourist and the artist.|
|Puerta de Alcalá|
|Palacio de Cibeles|
|Plaza de Cibeles|
|Barcelona is not the only anti-bullfighting city.|
|We ate great pasteries here in the upstairs part of the bakery. We had our merienda with groups of elderly ladies sitting in nearby tables. La Mallorquina is 120 years-old!|
|One of the arches leading to Plaza Mayor.|
|Tapas on Calle Cava Baja.|
|This is by far the biggest bomba I have ever seen. It was not very good.|
|Plaza del Sol|
|There are Micky and Minnie Mouses everywhere working the tourists.|
|This is the balcony where KingFelipe VI came out to wave to his subjects. I hate that word. The building looks shabby and run down.|
|I love magnolia trees.|
|A bike in the Chueca neighborhood.|
|Here's where I said buenas noches to Madrid and returned to my hotel.|