Thursday, June 16, 2011

The start of our Madrid weekend

Plaza Mayor
If Venice is dreamy and romantic, Madrid is definitely one of bustling energy and vitality.
Its no shrinking violet.  One feels it immediately upon arriving. Madrid is no shrinking violet.   So a very early flight notwithstanding, we couldn't wait to start exploring the city. No siesta for these adventurers!

When we started out, Plaza Mayor was practically empty. So early that the street mimes were still putting on their make up and costumes.  Beautiful as this Plaza may be, it has seen some grisly sights in its day. It used to be a the stage for executions during the Spanish Inquisition and later on, it was here that some sorry bulls met their fate.

We wondered down Calle Mayor with its funky stores and little tapas bars along with other early risers..

Calle Mayor
and found ourselves before a nice looking Mercado filled with gourmet  chorizo and manchego cheese.

Tempted as we were by all the food on display, we hurried on our way and soon found ourselves before the imposing Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena.

Cathedral de Almudena

the interiors of the Cathedral
And just behind was the lovely Palacio Real. Grand as it is, its actually only one-quarter of the original plan. Can you imagine how it would look if King Felipe V was able to complete it as he originally wanted?

Palacio Real
There are some beautiful and lavish rooms in the palace, most notably the Throne Room and the Stradivarius room (so named after their collection of 5 Stradivarius instruments) but we weren't allowed to take photos.

I couldn't resist sneaking two in the Royal armory. Shh...don't tell.
The royal Armory

We were a tired but happy pair when we retired to our hotel for some well deserved rest. 

Stay tuned for the rest of our Madrid adventures...


  1. wow lovely photos :)

  2. It is a great city! I lived there for five years and really enjoyed it. A city where you can be on a traffic jam for one hour at 4am :-) ha ha Enjoy the visit.