Today, we had a short tour of Madrid’s main attractions. We had the privilege of seeing el Palacio Real (Royal Palace), which we found out has 6,500 rooms! Yes, I said 6,500 rooms. Does the royal family live there, you ask? Nope. Not anymore. So the twelve of us are tempted to spend the night there … how can they refuse us? It isn’t like they have a lack of space 🙂
Across from the palacio is the city’s main cathedral. Our guide was not impressed by it, saying el catedral in Toledo is más hermoso (basically, way prettier!). I have to agree. We then walked up to the Plaza del Sol. It was the main marketplace back in the day, and now is a major tourist attraction with many cafeterías y tapas bars. It is a beautiful plaza and the surrounding area has many interesting and fun shops, or tiendas, and cafeterías o restaurantes. It is definitely el centro de Madrid.
There is a plaque on one of the streets that literally shows the center of Spain (and Madrid); apparently, they can use that plaque to judge how far away other cities are based on the center of Madrid. Pretty cool.
After our quick tour, we ate at a fun and trendy mercado (market). It had lots of different options, from paella to olive kabobs to helado (ice cream) to chocolate to queso to chorizo (sausage) and more. I tried the paella. ¡Muy deliciosa!
For the rest of the afternoon I played travel agent with some of the girls as we planned our trip to Barcelona next weekend! Then got some fresh air on a run through el Parque del Retiro. It is gorgeous! Almost like a Central Park.
And after my exercise I went to get some helado con mi hermanita (little sister), Sofía. She is so cute and very intelligent. Luckily she can understand my Spanish and puts up with my umms and pauses! We talked in Spanish the whole time and had a wonderful time together.
Tomorrow, vamos a Segovia (We go to Segovia.) I hear there is a castle-like structure, and that is enough to have me rearing and ready for the next adventure.