Madrid

Or, I Like What You’ve Done With the Place

We liked Madrid.  From the first drive through in our taxi to the first walk around from our hostel, we knew we were in a city with a great vibe and feel and it was someplace that we wanted to be.   I think our taxi driver was a little surprised to have two such people oohing and aahing in the back seat but he got into the act and told us about the buildings as we passed and what else there was to see and do in the city.

Neither of us had been to Madrid before and no matter how much research you do or how many guide books you read nothing beats being somewhere and experiencing the sights and sounds for yourself.

Madrid is the capital of Spain with a population of 3.3 million.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is the capital of Spain with a population of 3.3 million in its city center. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The Royal Palace is not lived in by the Royal Spanish Family.  They live elsewhere in a larger place.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The Royal Palace is not lived in by the Royal Spanish Family. They live elsewhere in a larger place. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is the third largest city in the EU after London and Berlin.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is the third largest city in the EU after London and Berlin. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is a very walker friendly city.  It's a good thing too since they love their chocolate!  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is a very walker friendly city. It’s a good thing too since they love their chocolate! © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Due to its economic output, high standard of living, and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial center of Southern Europe.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Due to its economic output, high standard of living, and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial center of Southern Europe. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is the 10th most livable city in the world and is considered the among the 12 greenest European cities.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is the 10th most livable city in the world and is considered among the 12 greenest European cities. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Some of the business establishments are decorated in tiles.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Some of the business establishments are decorated in tiles. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

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Statue of Queen Isabella I of Castile. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is the fourth most visited city in Europe with over 7 million visitors a year.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid is the fourth most visited city in Europe with over 7 million visitors a year. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid has a modern infrastructure but it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid has a modern infrastructure but it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The King in Spain has no government power.  He is a leader in status only.   © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The King in Spain has no government power. He is a leader in status only. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The nerve center of the city is the Puerta del Sol, starting point for the numbering of all city streets and all the country's highways.  If you stand in the middle of the square you are also standing in the center of all of Spain.   © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The nerve center of the city is the Puerta del Sol, starting point for the numbering of all city streets and all the country’s highways. If you stand in the middle of the square you are also standing in the center of all of Spain. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Cibeles Palace: City Hall of Madrid, cultural center of capital and iconic monument of the city  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Cibeles Palace: City Hall of Madrid, cultural center of capital and iconic monument of the city. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Eating Tapas is a big deal here in Spain.   © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Eating Tapas is a big deal here in Spain. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid was founded in the 9th Century.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Madrid was founded in the 9th Century. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

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Madrid is a major center for international business and commerce. It is one of Europe’s largest financial centers and the largest in Spain. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The Cathedral of Santa María la Real de la Almudena is the episcopal seat of the Archdiocese of Madrid. It was built during the 19th and 20th centuries.  It was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on his fourth trip to Spain on 15 June 1993, thus being the only Spanish cathedral dedicated by a pope. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The Cathedral of Santa María la Real de la Almudena is the episcopal seat of the Archdiocese of Madrid. It was built during the 19th and 20th centuries. It was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on his fourth trip to Spain on 15 June 1993, thus being the only Spanish cathedral dedicated by a pope.
© Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

We only spent four nights in Madrid and we already know it wasn’t enough.  We will return.

Florence Lince

http://www.about.me/florencelince

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