Whilst being in Madrid last weekend for a lacrosse training camp (blog post to follow) we ended up having a morning free to rest/recover from the previous night's antics/etc.....so I dragged my lovely host C out of bed early to be given a whistle-stop tour of the sights of Madrid....
The story goes something like this- when they were first looking for ruins and stuff in Egypt there was Italian, an Englishmen and the Spaniard....one day they came across the tomb, but it wasn't grand or special enough for the pizza lover or the pie eater, so the Spaniard took it. Literally, Piece by piece the entire tomb was moved from Egypt to a park in Madrid. Pretty impressive stuff eh?
The only Mosque in Madrid with a beautiful tiled dome glinting in the morning sun. At some point in Spain's history both the Muslims and the Jews were kicked out, with the Alhambra being the last place where they fought with resistance, hence all the muslim influences in that region.
The national palace, equivalent of our Buckingham palace, except that the Royals don't live there now, preferring their pad in the country.
Funny story - when they built the palace, they didn't know how to put the statues on the second floor...so had a multitude of extras statues...what did they do with them? Place them in the park for all too enjoy. Notice something wrong/odd/freaky about this guy?
The Almudena Cathedral, pretty over adorned with statues don't you think? There's a ridiculous amount in this photo alone!
My wonderful friend and guide for the day C told me something interesting about statues on horses. The amount of hooves not on the ground relates to the manner in which they died. If the horse is rearing-the rider died in battle, one front leg in the air - the rider was wounded in battle and died consequently, no hooves in the air - the rider died outside battle.
This bear and the Madroño tree is the symbol of Madrid. Back in the day, the fruit that this tree bore could only be eaten by royals/nobility. The statue aims to symbolise the Madrilenos as the bear, also wanting to eat the fruit and therefore wanting more from life.
Where do you keep your chariot and driver? Up on the roof? Yep, thought so!
Epic view of the city from atop the Circulo de Bellas Artes.
Pretending to be a romantic couple, we snuck inside a 4* hotel and straight into the lift to the top floor....to be greeted by this fantastic view out over the roofs, so so difference from the appearance at street level. It's a picture of such normality; there's laundry hanging, astro turf, satellite dishes...
The well-known Don Quixote and his loyal sidekick adding charm to one of Madrid's numerous parks....of which Valencia greatly seems to be lacking!
I had an awesome morning and we managed to see so much of the city with great local knowledge and history tit-bits from the lovely C. One day I will return and make a proper assault on all the tourist offerings, but until then I have these sunny pictures to hold dear a great day!