Hola Madrid!

If only I can foresee that someday I will have the opportunity to travel the way I am right now, I would have learn different languages back then. Because la comunicacion es importante cuando viajas.
It is such a lovely way to communicate in Spanish language just as preciosa como la ciudad de Madrid.
Bienvenido a Madrid! A bustling large metropolitan city where you will experience the harmonious blend of progress with tradition, offering its visitors from around the world a complex and exquisite fusion of Old Spain and modern life.

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It was actually the start of holy week when I visited, where Semana Santa is considered one of the biggest religious celebration in Spain. Reenactments of the Passion of the Christ in elaborate processions that takes place throughout the entire holy week.

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I was completely blown away by how they celebrate this religious event. From the most intricate costume, music and tradition that dated back during the 15th century is what makes it extraordinary to experience a solemn and unique lent season. From Palm Sunday to Good Friday up to Easter Sunday, a whole week of intense and pensive observance is truly impressive.

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Watching a procession accompanied by live marching bands, with the deep pounding of synchronized drums and trumpets gives me goose bumps. The scene of procession where the participants are wearing “capirote,” a tall conical hat that also covers their faces, as well as in belted robes. Capirotes used to be reserved for people doing penance, as a sign of atoning their sins. While women participants wear “mantilla,” a black lace veil worn high on the back of the head.

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It looks bizarre and frightening at start watching several processions of hooded penitents with massive replicas of Jesus and of Virgin Mary carried in carosas that was decorated with lights, candles and fresh flowers arrange beautifully.

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Most people said that I won’t be able to do anything during Semana Santa in Madrid. Well that’s completely wrong. Most of the tourist attractions are open and the fact that you’ll be able to witness how they celebrate lent season, it is truly overwhelming. Madrid is alive throughout the year!
GRAN VIA literally mean “Great Way.” A vibrant and the most popular touristic street in Madrid is full of things to do. Great restaurants, coffee shops, bars, theaters, cinemas, shops for everything and top tourist spots are just walkable from this part of Madrid. I can’t ask for a better location to stay where I booked my hotel for a week long vacation.

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The 20th century style of architecture in this energetic city center is gorgeous. The “Metropolis Building” is one of the famous office building that has become the symbol of Gran Via with its impressive lovely facade and the awe-inspiring statue on its cupola.
Plaza De Cibeles Square is another popular destination. A bustling area where you’ll find the Cibeles Fountain standing in the middle of the square. It is a symbol of Madrid designed by Ventura Rodriquez in 1777 that depicts the Roman goddess Cybele (Ceres). The iconic landmark which is also a symbol of a Spanish Football team is extremely popular among Real Madrid fans who flock the fountain every time their team wins an important match.

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Another impressive building within the square is the Cibeles Palace also known as Palacio de Comunicaciones. It is now the official city hall of Madrid. It stands proud with its cathedral-like structure although its architecture is said to be a combination of gothic style with neoclassical elements that is truly monumental.

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The architecture appeal of PLAZA MAYOR is very captivating, though the whole atmosphere in this central plaza is truly busy, no visit in Old Madrid is complete without experiencing the beauty of Plaza Mayor, built during Philip III’s reign in 1580-1619. The building of Casa de la Panaderia is the most noticeable.

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Obviously a very touristy spot and my favorite place to sit, have a coffee, watch people pass by, enjoy street performers and have your lunch or dinner in one of the many cafes, bars, and restaurants within the plaza. An experience not to missed!

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Puerta Del Sol (The Gate of the Sun) is a public square. The most prominent iconic sight is the 18th century Real Casa de Correos which is best known for its monumental clock tower.

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The “El Oso y El Madrono,” (The Bear and the Strawberry Tree) another official symbol of the city.

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Just like Plaza Mayor, this square is very busy with tourist and locals. A very energetic square with lots of street performers.

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Plaza de Espana is a large square that features a monument of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and bronze sculptures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

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Royal Palace (Palacio Real) an easy walk from Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol is a beautiful baroque structure that serves as the king and queen’s official residence. They don’t actually live there and use the palace as a venue for state ceremonies and events.

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Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat) a breath of fresh air in the middle of a metropolitan city, is a large park filled with numerous statues, gardens, galleries and a beautiful lake. A place where you can just relax, stroll and admire the man made lake, lovely gardens and street performers.

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Another must see inside the park is the beautiful glass building “Palacio de Cristal,” built in 1887 initially used to house exotic plants. It is now mainly used for temporary exhibitions. Rocking chairs are also available inside where you can use and feel the tranquility inside the glass building. Just outside is a smaller lake with a fountain.

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I wish I had more time to explore this fascinating city, For Madrid beams a different intensity that you’ll definitely fall in love. No question about that, for it is an unexplainable feeling that you’ll only discover when you wander around this vibrant city. I love the food, culture, people and el encantador idioma espanol. Yes, the Spanish language is indeed lovely!
There is so much to discover, experience, learn and see. Needless to say, I found more reasons to return to this incredible city.

Te Amo Madrid!

a

13 thoughts on “Hola Madrid!

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