For the past four days we have been in Madrid, and it was easily the biggest city we've visited. We took a super fast AVE train there and it could go at top speeds of 280 km an hour! It made a 7 hour bus journey into a 2 and a half hour journey! Once we arrived at the hotel we decided to visit the Retiro park which has a man made lake, historical statues, and the Crystal Palace, a former green house that was created in 1887 to house exotic plants as part of an exhibition on the Philippines, which was then still a Spanish colony.
We also walked around town a bit and took some pics along the way.
We walked to a market where we saw a huge pile of cherries and we also saw many street performers along the way, muscicians, costumed people etc. but these two people were one of the coolest.
The second day we went to the Palacio Real, (Royal Palace) where the Spanish royalty have all lived. We weren't allowed to take many pictures inside, but I got some anyway ;) This is the palace.
The first room we went into was the royal pharmacy which kept everything used for making medicine a long time ago. There were hundred of jars of roots, etc filling entire walls. There was even an Alchemist's room where the mixing took place.
Inside the palace there were many grand rooms with large chandeliers and paintings on every ceiling.
In most of the other rooms there were guards and I couldn't sneak any pictures, but there were multiple throne rooms, and a huge dining room that was probably as big as my house or bigger.
Afterwards we rode the metro (first time ever for my sister and I) to Gran Villa, a street with many old buildings and shops kind of like 5th Avenue in New York. Here are some of the buildings.
The third day we went to two art museums. The first one we went to was the Reina Sofia named after the current Queen of Spain. It's a modern art museum, and we saw some very bizarre things (just google James Coleman) among them a whole room that you have to go down to the basement to enter, that is completely dark and loud booming noises are emitted from. It's a creepy atmosphere, but once you get completely into the room all it is is clips of boxing on a tv. Throughout a lot of the museum I was completely confused. But the highlight of the museum was Pablo Picasso's masterpiece illustrating the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, Guernica. It was probably the largest painting I've ever seen.
After that we went to The Prado, an art museum with more traditional artwork, including many works about the Bible and Greek mythology. But the highlight of this one was Las Meninas painted by Diego Velazquez, and was one of the more famous paintings in the museum.
At the end of the day we went on a cable car ride across a large park in Madrid, and we could see most of the city from it.
And that was it in Madrid, a great stop on our trip. We have only a week left in Spain and we are going to try to go to some more places before we leave.
on July 22, 2012
from the travel blog:
Spain Trip 2012
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