Day 6. Exploring Madrid

Upper Palace Gardens, Madrid
Upper Palace Gardens

We checked out of the Wo Homitel apartment at 10.00 am.  It had been a good choice of accommodation in Madrid, centrally situated yet quietly positioned just behind the Royal Palace and only a short walk from two metro stations.

Retiro Gardens, Madrid
Retiro Gardens

Our final morning turned out to be warm and sunny, in fact, better than we had experienced throughout the trip.  We took advantage of this warm sunshine, stopping for beers at an attractive terrace near the Banque d’Espanya.

Ornamental Chimng Clock Madrid
Ornamental Chimng Clock

Across from where we were sitting an ornate clock began chiming at 12.00 midday, then its bells started ringing and finally beautifully painted figurines appeared out on a balcony beneath the clock and played a tune.  It was totally unexpected but absolutely delightful.

Our next stop was to visit Madrid’s main gardens, The Retiro.  We sat and sunbathed awhile beside the large boating lake and then wandered through the formal gardens.  Next, it was time for lunch in the nearby financial district.  The day’s choice was called ‘Pascalles’ and it didn’t disappoint.  We shared our last bottle of Rioja of the holiday alongside good food.  To walk off our large lunch we continued to Madrid’s main railway station, Atocha.  It’s certainly worth a visit even if no rail journeys are planned.  It is a rail station like no other as it contains a small rainforest in its central concourse.  This is surrounded by a pond filled with fish and turtles.  I have never seen so many turtles in one place, they were sleeping piled on top of each other.

Well,  that was enough walking for one day, so we took the metro to Opera and enjoyed our final cappuccino of the holiday there whilst people watching.  An hour later and it was time to return to the airport for our flight back to Manchester which departed on time.

Madrid has been an excellent choice for a springtime city break, it’s a very walkable, compact city centre with lots of squares to enjoy a coffee, a beer or a glass of wine.  We took advantage of the ‘Menu del Dia’ which is served in the majority of restaurants until 4.00 pm each day.

Atocha Station Rainforest
The Atocha Station Rainforest

The menu usually has 3 selections to choose from for each course, and is three courses and a bottle of wine for two people at a very reasonable price.  We then enjoyed wine and tapas during the late evening.   Do try to make time to visit  both Toledo and Segovia, both easily accessible by public transport from the city centre and both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Visiting Segovia from Madrid

Visiting Toledo from Madrid




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