Posted by: Leap of Faith | October 7, 2010

Madrid Memories


We finally reached the end of our tiring but definitely exciting tour of Spain and Portugal with our last stop being the Spanish capital of Madrid.  Our expectations of this bustling city was running at an all-time high specially after visiting its rival city, Barcelona, and other smaller townships in the country. Unfortunately, I guess we were setting ourselves for a major disappointment by setting the bar too high and believing that our tour had reserved the best for last.

While Madrid definitely had it is own distinct charm, the little time that was alloted for us to enjoy its sights (i.e., we were mostly riding on the tour bus) must have contributed to our disappointment.  Technically, we only had half a day to go around the city and discover its secrets. I’m sure had we decided to stay a little longer post-tour, we would have experienced more its culture and unearthed the city’s jewels.

Anyway, I still hope the few snapshots that we took of the place will help convince us that Madrid can still be beautiful on its own – without suffering in comparison to the trendier capital of Catalan. 😳

This beautiful and huge bull arena known as the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas is one of the city’s known landmarks.  Built in 1931 with a seating capacity of 25,000,  this is definitely regarded as the home of bull-fighting in Spain.

What is interesting is how they price the tickets for the bull-fights.  According to our local tour guide, ticket rates depend on how close you are to the bullring and whether you are seated on the sunny or shady side of the arena, the latter, of course, being more expensive.  His tip? To get more bang for your buck (or euro, in their case), get a sunny side ticket on a cloudy day! Smart, huh? 😉

Of course, since this was a famous landmark – and one of the only three stops we did that afternoon – we had to make sure we had a fun souvenir photograph to help us remember it by.

Our next stop was the Plaza de Espana, where this impressive monument dedicated to Spain’s beloved novelist, playwright and poet – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra – is located.

 

I was particularly impressed with the monument’s top section, which featured different women from the various continents reading Cervantes’ famous novel about a man and his trusted sidekick – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

The Man from La Mancha, his trusted companion and two inconsiderate tourists (read: photo spoilers) who decided to relax at the base of the monument. Grrr!

Of course, everyone who visits this city must have a shot in this famed square…

… the Plaza Mayor.  This beautiful and well-decorated facade is the Casa de la Panaderia, which serves as the municipal and cultural venue of this place.

One of the many artists in the plaza who finds inspiration all around.

The artist’s interpretation of the Spanish Dynamic Duo.

As our tour finally came to a close, everyone became sentimental and decided that we needed a group shot to bring home with us. It is difficult to say goodbye but we are comforted knowing that we bring with us many fond memories (and pictures) of our short stay in the Spain and Portugal.

Our dream to visit Spain and Portugal has finally been ticked off our travel list and so we pack our bags once more and go on to the final leg of our trip – the City of Lights. 

For now I say, “Hasta la vista, Espana!” and “Obrigado, Portugal!” – and pray we are blessed to come your way again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lorelee Sy, Keith Sy. Keith Sy said: Madrid Memories: http://wp.me/p7x7v-r8 […]

  2. I need to visit here more often! Just catching up with how you and your family are doing and my gosh there you are in Portugal and Spain! Looks like it was a wonderful trip for all of you even if tiring. So many Pinoy connections to the two countries. Magellan from Portugal, Dr. Rizal studied in Spain, and well, you know the history.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Goyo! It’s been a while – so many things have happened since you last dropped by. Yes, the Philippines has so many connections to those countries and that made our vacation even more interesting.

      I do hope you are well. By the way, congratulations on your new cyber home! Hope to see you again soon.


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