Madrid, Te Amo

Hallie Bates
March 24, 2014

This past weekend, a few friends and I travelled to Madrid to explore Spain’s capital city. Despite planning the trip in about 3 days and the strike the bus company ALSA surprised us with, everything worked out perfectly, and although we were exhausted by the end, we managed to check everything we wanted to do off our list!


√ Watch the sunset and moonrise from the Templo de Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was rebuilt in Madrid in 1970.

Sunset over the reflective pools of Templo de Debod.

Moonrise over the city.

√ See the Royal Palace of Madrid, the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, lit up at night.

Currently, the Royal Family of King Juan Carlos does not reside in this palace, and instead chooses to live in a more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela.

√ Eat late night churros con chocolate at a small cafe with pictures of Spanish celebrities plastered on every wall.

Churros from a little cafe in town – not as good as Granada’s, but I could still live a lifetime without eating anything else.

√ Visit Buen Retiro Park, one of the largest parks in the city, which belonged to the Spanish monarchy until the late 19th century.

Retiro Park: my favorite place in Madrid!

√ Sit in the rocking chairs at the Crystal Palace, which is made almost exclusively of glass and metal, under the sun.

Crystal Palace – perfect on a sunny day.

The architecture of this place blew me away – it was originally constructed in 1887 to exhibit flora and fauna from the Philippines.

√ Visit an outdoor book market just outside of Buen Retiro Park.

Outdoor book market; each stall had different owners and specialized in different themes (horror, history, science fiction, etc.)

√ Visit the Madrid Botanical Gardens.

Center of the Botanical Gardens.

√ See the Puerta de Alcalá, the huge old gate to the city.

Puerta de Alcalá in the center of the Plaza de la Independencia.

√ Go to El Rastro, the most popular open-air flea market in Madrid.

El Rastro on Sunday morning – I’ve never seen so many Spaniards out on a Sunday!

Whew! It was a big list, but we checked everything off. This weekend, I have a trip to Cabo de Gata, Spain’s largest coastal protected area, with my Mediterranean Ecosystems class, so stay tuned!

~ Hallie

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Hallie Bates

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Hallie Bates, and I&#39;m currently a junior at Bowdoin College in beautiful Brunswick, Maine. I&#39;m an Anthropology major, Spanish minor, and am also pursuing a pre-health track in order to one day attend medical school. I love to run, and can&#39;t wait to explore the trails in Granada and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. I&#39;m excited to get to know a new city from the inside out, and want to visit as many quirky coffee shops as possible, immersing myself in Spanish language, culture and cuisine.</span></p>

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