We woke to the sounds of heavy rain which continued until mid afternoon. Whilst eating breakfast we heard on the news that the UK was experiencing a mini heatwave and a Spanish plume was over the country. Let’s hope Spain gets its sunshine back soon!
Our morning’s sightseeing began sheltering under umbrellas outside the Royal Palace and it’s adjoining formal gardens. We continued on foot to the main square ‘Plaza Mayor’ and then took shelter in the market ‘Mercarto San Miquel’. Refurbished quite recently, it’s not so much a market now but more a food court and deli.
Our morning stroll then took us to Plaza Sol which is a large square lined with stores and restaurants, it always seems to be the busiest spot in the city centre. Just off the square is the more attractive Place d’Anna where I stayed at the Melia Me Hotel on my visit four years ago. We felt the need to shelter from the rain again so had cappuccinos at a bar in this square and rested awhile.
The rain was still heavy when we left and visited the modernist Parliament building and the beautiful headquarters of the Banque d’Espana. Whilst in the financial district, we found an attractive restaurant for a late lunch. A menu of the day is usually served in most Spanish restaurants until 4.00 pm and normally includes 3 courses and a bottle of wine for two diners at a reasonable price. Today’s lunch was no exception, and we lingered over our coffees to avoid going out in the rain.
Eventually it was time to leave and we decided to return to our apartment by metro, getting off at Principe Po today which was actually nearer than Place d’Espana.