Thursday, August 7, 2014

Places to relax in Madrid

Parque del Buen Retiro: 
Retiro Park is the most well-known park in all of Madrid, and it offers fountains, shade, and even a man-made lake to row boats on.
Above is the Crystal Palace, which is located inside the park and is free to enter. I did not go in, because I heard that it gets brutally hot in there on summer days, but it looked like an interesting place to visit.
You can see a surprising amount of wildlife in the middle of Madrid... In just a short time in the park, I saw more turtles in one pond than I have ever seen before, ducks, fish, and frogs... also, all sorts of dogs. It was like a mini safari or something.
 In the middle of the park, there is a statue of a fallen angel; presumably Lucifer... Now, some people find it disrespectful to keep a statue of Lucifer in a public park in a very Catholic country, but I do not really think it is meant to be taken as devil worship.
The Palace Gardens:

After visiting the Palace on a nice hot Saturday afternoon, my friend and I decided to venture to the Palace Gardens, which are open to the public. The manicured hedges and trees offered us the shade that we so desperately needed in order to hide from the sun, and it also provided cover for canoodling Spanish lovers...Beware.
Plaza de España:
Although not my favorite spot to sit and rest, Plaza de España is a nice place to pass through. There are places for photo ops, as well as nice shady spots to walk through.
 I often passed through the plaza on my way to the main shopping street, Gran Via. My friends and I also found a little market that was set up in the plaza on a Thursday afternoon, which sold handmade goods and clothing. I bought a pair of "Jasmine" pants, which look a lot like the pants that Jasmine wears in Disney's movie, Aladdin.
Parque del Oeste:
This group of photos is from one of the nights where my friends and I went to Templo de Debod to watch the sunset, along with half of Madrid. Apparently, this is a very popular place to hang out after dark, and people bring picnic blankets and romantic bottles of wine.
It gave us a beautiful view of a city as well as a stunning sunset. During the daytime, Parque del Oeste is a massive patch of land with lots of paths for running, a rose garden, and a cable car that can bring you all the way to the other side of the park, on the outskirts of Madrid (I covered this in a previous post).

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