Mrs Bear and I take our kids and grandkids on a Spring Break trip every March. After a couple years in Hawaii, we opted for a Spanish – speaking destination so the grandkids could practice their language skills. So we started a couple weeks in Spain by flying into Madrid.
Mrs Bear had been fortunate to have been on a traveling faculty that taught a medical course in Madrid a few times in the past decade. But it is my first visit to Madrid, so I will share some of my impressions.
First, like many cities, the popular tourist spots are contained within a relatively small area, and this lends itself to walking. We logged an average of 5+ miles each day, walking to restaurants, squares, shows, museums, and parks. So my first reaction to Madrid is that it is a very walkable city.
Staying on this theme, I found it very interesting that I was bumped into quite often by the locals. This occurred as many a five times a day !! I will compare this with New York, which has many more pedestrians but rarely results in physical contact. I attributed this to Madridians being very careless about looking in front of themselves. They seem to be constantly distracted by shops or traffic. The collisions are not head – on, but are enough to be annoying.
The streets are quaint, and the architecture is charming. I don’t think it is one style … More of a mish mosh of types, but I particularly liked the balconies.
We toured the Royal Palace, the Prada, and many squares. All were within a mile of our hotel.
Madrid seems to have a “thing” about bears … There were multiple opportunities to pose with brown, black, and polar bears, which given my name, was a nice find. My grand daughter also posed in front of one of Madrid’s symbols, a bear eating out of a strawberry tree:
Which struck me as odd … In the States, strawberries grow from plants, not trees.
My elder granddaughter likes to display her ballet poses, and I’m sure you will agree that they brighten up the landscapes:
It hurts my body just to look at it, but I really can’t stop.
Although the meal times don’t really fit me, I love the style of dining here. Most meals, we found a nice outdoor cafe and ordered tapas to share among us. It’s great people watching, the food is good, and so is the beer.
And since I’m walking so much, I really don’t have to worry about how much I’m eating or drinking !!
Madrid has a real fetish for ham … There was a “jamon” museum down the street, and many specialty shops. My daughter says that our next stop, Barcelona, will offer more seafood options.
I really enjoyed our days in Madrid … Here are some pics to end this entry:
2 thoughts on “Walking the Streets of Madrid”
We had a tree in Australia called a strawberry tree, because its fruit looked like strawberries – they did not taste like strawberries. Perhaps that is the tree n the sculpture.