Friday, July 1, 2011

The final days in Madrid

I can not believe I am already leaving Madrid- these past 2 weeks flew by. Yesterday, after taking care of some business at the train station, I walked around the Buen Retiro Park some more and finally got to see the Crystal Palace. Before finding the palace, I stumbled upon the rose garden. After reading the map a few dozen more times I finally found the palace. It is such a beautiful structure with such calm, serene surroundings. If I ever do come back to live in Madrid, I will be spending every Sunday reading under a tree near the Palace. Right now both the Crystal Palace and Valzquez Palace in Retiro are being used as museums by the Reina Sofia. While the Valzquez Palace featured a wonderful artist named Leon Goulb, the Crystal Palace had much stranger modern art that simply consisted of eery music, dirty windows with scribbled notes someone had made on the dusty windows & a large platform in the middle of the palace with screens showing images of the city and a slide to get down to the ground on.
After looking at the art musuems, I continued my walk through the park and ended up on the other side with the Puerta de Alcala. Known as the Plaza of Independencia, the arches are in a sense a door to another part of Madrid. After more walking (I am so sore today!) I finally made it to the National Library where I looked at some more exhibits before heading to Serrano to window shop. This area of town is essentially the Rodeo Drive or Madison Avenue of Madrid.
Since all I could afford to do was window shop, I hoped back on the metro and finally sat down for the Menu del dia. Since lunch is typically the big meal here (except if you are living with a host family like I am), restaurants offer three course meals for roughly $15. While I have been cheap this entire trip, yesterday I treated myself to a nice, leisurely meal.
Today, on my last day in Madrid, my plans are rather lazy. I am so glad I got to have a true feel of the city and discover so many parts of it. With the Gay festival this weekend, I am sure I will end up in Chueca tonight before I head for Alicante for the weekend. Hopefully I will be able to post by Monday but my new homestay in Pamplona will most likely not have internet.
Oh well! The joys of a new adventure!

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