Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Walking tour Madrid

one of the crazy characters Plaza Mayor
I must have been really exhausted from my trip I slept for almost 12 hours I woke up at one point but soon went back to sleep. I decided against paying for breakfast at the hotel since it was 8 euros and went off in search apparently breakfast is hard to find in Madrid despite several restaurants, near my hotel none were serving breakfast so I settled for McDonald's about a block away. I was able to get a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich on a round toast and had bacon with yummy cheese and it was cheap 1.95 euro.

colorful Plaza Mayor

King Philip III Plaza Mayor

It was very cloudy and looking like rain but I set off looking for The Plaza Mayor as I hoped to take a walking tour if it cleared up.  I first headed off in the wrong direction and then asked the guy at the news stand where the Plaza was, good thing I was way off base. I finally found  the Plaza it was a bit of a hike close to 30 mins as the first part was very uphill and with my knee I had to go slow. The plaza was first built in 1617 and burned down 3 times, it has been used for bullfights, public executions. 

 I went into the tourist board to get some info on tours to places I was interested in and when I came out the sun was coming out and the skies were clearing so I decided to book a walking tour I choose Sandeman's Free Tours as I have used them in other cities in Europe. You take the tour and then you pay based on what the tour is worth to you. I lucked out and my guide was Edward and he was very good. We walked through some interesting areas of Madrid and our guide told interesting stories and he even had a few people step forward and act out some kings of Spain. At one point we came upon the Madrid Cathedral and it looked beautiful against the sky, which had cleared up.  We took a little break in a restaurant and continued our walk.

After the guide left us I headed back to the Catedral de Santa Maria Real de la Almundena and went inside. It had an altar that you had to climb stairs up to.  I sat and looked around for awhile before I decided to climb the stairs. 

Catedral de Santa Maria Real de la Almundena

quite a climb

Beautiful doors

I then walked over to the Palace but there was a sign saying they were closed for several days due to state event so I never got back to look inside.  I walked around and then over to the Plaza De Oriente which had a equestrian statue of King Philip IV. There are 44 statues of Spanish Monarchs around the square. The Statues were originally designed to be installed on top of the palace but it was decided they were too heavy.

Fountain at Plaza DeOriente
King Philip IV
I saw there was a park behind the Palace and somehow managed to climb down and walk around it.  I started to get hungry as it was late afternoon and I had not eaten and I had a nice chicken Kabob with salad and then walked back through Plaza Mayor and then back to my hotel.  Going down hill was a killer on my leg. 

gardens behind the Palace

The Palace of Madrid

back of the Cathedral

tile on a wall

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