The reason I was in the area was to attend a work conference in Madrid Spain, so took advantage of the opportunity to have a look around the place.
Madrid is an attractive city in winter, doubt it would be as nice a place to visit in summer where the temp regularly exceeds 36C / 100F. There is not much cover, also explains why the locals escape in August.
As I had no idea where to start decided to hitch a ride on the Hop on Hop Off buses that are all over the place. They are usually not too expensive and provide commentary on the sites you pass in multiple languages. A good way to find out what sites to get off and visit.
Puerta de Alcalá
The Puerta de Alcalá is considered to be the first Triumphal Arch to be built in Europe post the Roman Empire. It was commissioned around 1774 by King Charles III and was inaugurated in 1778
Tio Pepe Puerta del Sol
The Edificio Metrópolis caught my eye due to the statue on top of the cupola. There are 30,000 leaves of 24 carat gold covering the cupola.
The Spanish Farm – Lunch!
If your looking for a nice spot to grab a bite, especially on a glorious winter’s day, the Spanish Farm is a great option.
Traditional Spanish fare using fresh high quality produce and a decent wine list, though I decided to take it easy and skipped the wine (for once).
Monumento a Cristóbal Colón
Madrid’s monument to Christopher Columbus, Cristóbal Colón in Spanish.
Escultura Julia de Jaume Plensa
This sculpture keeps Cristóbal Colón company, it is in the spot where the
Cristóbal Colón’s statue was originally situated. Definitely eye catching.
Church of San Manuel y San Benito
I thought that this was an older than it was, built around 1900, designated a cultural monument in 1982.
Catedral de la Almudena
As sunset was approaching we passed the Catedral de la Almudena is the seat of the Catholic Church in Madrid, consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993.
The construction started prior to the Spanish Civil War, construction was halted from the start of the war until 1950 and was not completed until it was consecrated. Talk about a long build time, would like to see the Variation Register for this place…..
A great day, definitely recommend the hop on hop off bus to get around in Madrid. Looking forward to Day 2 and checking out the Naval Museum.