Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Spain - Madrid

Madrid was definitely not a love at first sight like Italian cities, nor did it give me an ambivalent feeling like London.
Only strange feeling I had was that I somehow felt like I've always lived there. It helped that Madrid felt so much like my native Seoul. It is strange why I felt that way, but I felt it nonetheless.
The very first site I saw on foot was the Temple of Debod. An Egyptian temple smack in the middle of the city.
Temple of Debod
Palacio is a royal palace, but since it seems to be younger than any palace I have seen so far, it felt less impressive to my eyes. It was also relatively small compared to some of the palaces in France or Italy.
The Jardin leading to the Palace was quite lovely...
Jardin and Back of Palacio Real
Madrid is full of these little plazas...
We walked without map, without direction in our minds, but somehow, these little plazas found us.

Plaza Oriente
This Cathedral was rather strange. From the outside, it looked almost like an old Gothic Cathedral, but once inside, it is easy to tell that it was not built long ago, but only recently.
Of course, recently in terms of the history of Spain. It is still much older than anything I would find around my house.

Catedral de la Almudena
This is just one of random building in Madrid. There are many such buildings crowding the street. It is fun just looking at the buildings and speculate when and how it came to be.

Madrid Edificio...
No one would believe this beautiful and huge building is nothing more than a post office. It almost seems a waste, but at least the building exists with some purpose...
I have a feeling that such building would have turned into a historical landmark it were to exist here.

Post Office
I believe this is close to the famous hotel Ritz. It looks like another historical building, but this is some sort of hotel as well.
As old as this clock looks, I believe it was still working in perfect order. Something to be said about the craftsmanship of old aged things...

The clock building near Ritz
On my way to Parque Retiro, I bumped into few buildings I thought was worthy of a photo (one being this Bolsa de Madrid), but I have yet to figured out what exactly these buildings are used for...
Parque Retiro was very interesting as well. It is a huge park...even with some unsavory characters hidden in the back parts. It has a really large man made lake where many people partook in boating.

Bolsa de Madrid 
No one would guess what this place is...
It looks something like a indoor garde, but it is actually a train station! Whatever the weather is outside, inside, it is always warm and humid, like a tropical jungle. There is a really quaint little restaurant/coffee shop upstairs that one can relax while drinking cafe solo.

Estacion Atocha
This is supposed to be one of the oldest plazas in Madrid El Centro. I must have bumped into this plaza about dozen times during the walk.
During the day, there were street performers and plaza was filled with people...mostly tourists of course. There are many outdoor tables where one can enjoy food or a cup of cafe.   

Plaza Mayor 

Books and DVDs about Madrid:
Madrid (Eyewitness Travel Guides)  Madrid: A Cultural and Literary Companion (Cities of the Imagination) Historic Walking Guides Madrid

No comments:

Post a Comment