I had a great time in San Sebatian, but it was time to get back in Madrid. My home base this time was in a completely different area, on the outskirts towards the Airport, but it was located close to the Metro so I could get around easily enough. I set off on the Metro across town getting off at the “Opera” metro stop. Walking over to the Puerta de Sol I came across a couple of musicians, a violinist, a fiddler, and a keyboard player. They were quite good! I called one a fiddler and one a violinist, when they are really the same, it was primarily the style that each were playing that caused me to say this.
As I got to the square,
There was a little commotion. A young couple getting married, preparing to drive off in a Royals Royce, although the Royals Royce had to get a jump start to be able to drive off. Everyone applauded.
Leaving the plaza, I ran across the Monasterio De Las DesCalzas Reales, but it was siesta time, and wouldn’t be open for 1.5 hours so I didn’t get to go inside.
As I walked through the city I passed the “Teatro Reale” at Plaza de Isabel II,
On my way to the “Royal Palace Madrid”, there was a quaint little park or garden (Plaza de Oriente) in front of the Palace.
I chose to go to the Cathedral de Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena de Madrid first.
The Royal Palace Madrid was a nice experience, except you couldn’t take pictures in any part of the Palace except for the entry way.
The armory was incredible. Body armour for men, horses, and children or extremely small soldiers. There were beautiful designed swords and lances. Fancy crafted pistols and rifles that were gorgeous. The rifles were crazy with their fancy designs. Some of the rifles were 10 feet long. All the information was in Spanish, so I am not sure what these rifles were specifically used for.
Walking through the rooms of the Palace was fascinating with the different old décor/designs. The dining room had a table setting for 104. Would hate to have to wash all those dishes! After the palace, I headed back to the hotel.
The following day I was back over in the same area.
The night before I headed out in an attempt to find the Temple of Debod. I was told it is beautiful at night, but after searching for over an hour, I called it quits.
As it turned out, I was only a block or two away from the temple the night before. One of the things I have noticed is that Madrid could use more informational signs. For instance, I had made it to the Plaza de Espana, and there was a sign or arrow pointing to the right for the Temple of Debod. I followed. As it turns out, there should have been another sign on the other side of the park to turn left, but there wasn’t so I walked on past for 4 or 5 blocks. I found the Temple of Debod the following day. I enjoyed it. It was easy to see that it would be nice at night, all lit up.
The Temple of Debod is an ancient Eqyptian temple from southern Egypt, originally built near the cataract of the Nile, near Philae in the 2nd Century. In 1960, Egypt was constructing the Aswan High Dam which posed a threat to numerous historical archeological sites. The Temple of Debod was donated by Egypt to Spain in 1968, at which time the temple was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid, Spain in the Parque del Oeste.
Just off to the left of the Temple of Debod was a nice little park. There was ritual dancing and music, gentlemen acting out sword fencing, while others were lounging in the shade, or playing with their pets.
I couldn’t tell if this was a White German Shepherd or not, but he was cute.
Each Sunday from about 9:00 until 15:00, in the Plaza de Cascorro there is a huge flea market called El Rastro, possibly the most popular open air flea market in Spain. You have the Plaza de Cascorro, and then streets and streets lined with booths, with everything you could think of. There were all kinds of leather goods – handbags, backpacks, wallets, belts, you name it. You could fiind shoes, clothing, draperies, scarves, jewelry, knifes, pots and pans, anything you want. I called it a flea market, even though most of the goods were new, with a high percentage being hand-made. The streets were lined with people.
After El Rastro, I started working my way over towards the Royal Palace Madrid area.
I had decided to work my way back over to the gardens near the Royal Palace Madrid. Along the way I passed the Puerta de Toledo.
I wanted to stop in at the Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande, but poor timing on my part only allowed me to see the outside of the church.
I finally reached the grounds of the Jardines de Sabatini, or Royal Palace Madrid gardens. This garden wasn’t open to the public until 1978. I enjoyed my walk in the garden as I get a lot of pleasure from the outdoors, so when in the city, I enjoy greenbelts, parks, and gardens.
I didn’t get as much done this time around in Madrid, but I enjoyed every minute of it, whether viewing parks, architecture, history, city culture, it is all grand! .