Madrid Spain Virtual Tour and Travel Guide


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INTRODUC
TION

Madrid, a city located on a 2120 foot plateau in the middle of the Iberian peninsular is the Capital of Spain. It is also its major financial and industrial center. Because of its elevation,the climate tends to be very hot in the summer, and cool in the winter. See these real time scenes and view this Movie Clip about the good life of Madrid. Also view these videos about the city that never sleeps. Take a photographic virtual tour through this wonderful city

Along with Paris and Rome, Madrid is an art lovers dream come true. The people have a zest for life, and enjoy staying out late at night, conversing with their friends at cafes and night clubs, enjoying flamenco dancing and singing, and strolling along the beautiful parts of the city. They spend their Sunday afternoons either going to the bull fights, or watching football. Real Madrid is one of the best football (soccer) teams in the world. Madrid also has many beautiful parks, man made lakes and museums

GETTING AROUND MADRID.

Barajas International Airport serves Madrid and is linked to the city by metro, bus and taxi. Trains leave every five minutes from 6:00 am to the early hours of the morning and the cost is 130 ESP one way. By road the trip takes about three-quarters of an hour and the cost is about 370 ESP by bus, or a comparatively expensive 3000 ESP by taxi. If you take a taxi, don't accept offers from taxi drivers hawking for business inside the terminals but use the indicated taxi ranks outside. A handy way to get around in Madrid is to purchase a 10-trip ticket costing 705 ESP, valid for both the Metro and city buses. This is a particularly useful ticket as visitors will undoubtedly find themselves using public transport in order to avoid the city's heavily congested streets. Driving in central Madrid can be slow and somewhat nerve-racking.

DINING

Besides the up-to-date restaurants which have every dish under the sun on their menus, there are many local Spanish cooking dishes. To begin with, Madrid has a few famous old restaurants, some having been in existence for over two hundred years, where the most typical dishes of the Madrid and Castilian cooking can be savored: typical restaurants where regional dishes can be enjoyed such as "paella valenciana" (rice, colored with saffron and mixed with different types of shell-fish, chicken and other ingredients), "bacalao a la vizcaina" (cod, tomato, thyme, red pepper, bay leaf, onion, garlic and fried croutons), "Pollo a la chilindr—n" (chicken fried in oil and garlic and served in a sauce made ofonion, pimientos, tomatoes, slices of ham and various other ingredients), "fabada" (a stew made of excellent haricot beans, Galician ham, pigs' ears, a special kind of black sausage, fresh bacon, smoked bacon and other ingredients), "cochinillo a la segoviana" (sucking ping roasted either in the oven or over a wood fire and basted with lard and seasoning until the skin is golden brown) or a "gazpacho" (anAndalusian specialty: cold raw vegetable soup served in summer and best described as a liquid salad). The visitor will also find German, Italian, Swedish, French and Chinese restaurants, as well as from other countries.

PARKS
Buen Retiro Park

You may like to go for a stroll afterwards in one of the big parks. The largest and most beautiful of all Madrid's parks is the Retiro. It has 130 hectares of woodland which form a green, tree-clad island in the middle of an asphalt sea. One may enter it through any of the fine gateways. These are located in the Plaza de la Independencia, the Calle de Alcal, the Calle de O'Donnell, and the Calle de Alfonso XII. White stone figures of the Kings and Queen of Spain peep out from the avenues of lofty tees and thick bushes, and just inside the park there is a large artificial lake where row-boats can behired. The park also has its rose garden, as well as the Cecilio Rodr’guez gardens and many delightful secluded nooks where strollers can enjoy a little privacy. In the middle of the park there are two buildings known as the Palacio de Vel‡zquez and Palacio de Cristal, where art exhibitions are sometimes held.

The Botanical Garden

The entrance to the Botanical Gardens is the Glorieta de Murillo right beside the Prado Museum. These gardens, which contain about 30.000 different species of trees and plants from all over the world, were founded by Charles III for the Faculty of Totany. The different sections are divided by magnificent avenues and each tree and plant is labeled with its Latin name and species.

Rosales and the Parque del Oeste

On the Western fringes of Madrid and sloping down towards the River Manzanares there are two extensive parks calledRosales and the Parque del Oeste (West Park). They are an ideal playground for children, with their spacious stretches of lawn, their shady trees and sandy paths. There is a large rose garden at the bottom of the hill, where a rose show is held each spring, with international awards given for the finest blooms.

The Sabatini Gardens, Campo del Moro and Plaza de Espana

Not far from the Royal Palace there are several gardens: the children's playground in the Plaza de Oriente, the enclosed Sabatini Gardens on the northern side of the Palace, which are entered from the Calle de BailŽn and have benches and well kept hedges and borders; and the so-called Campo de Moro entered from the Cuesta de la Vega. There are gardens,too, in the Plaza de Espa–a, at the end of the Gran V’a.

The Casa de Campo Park

It is an extensive estate, bought by Philip II, and reforested at his orders in 1559. The present park not only has a lot ofwoodland, but also a large lake where boats can be hired and a municipal swimming pool.

MUSEUMS

The Avenue of Art is unique in the entire world as it includes painting, sculpture, architecture and natural beauty, set in one of the most beautiful areas of Madrid; The Paseo del Prado. It includes three of the most important museums of Spain; the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Centro de Arte Reina So,a National Museum. Only one place in all the world offers, in such a short space, the opportunity to see art works of the quality of The Meninas of Valequez, Las Majas of Goya, Giovanna Tornabuoni by Ghirlandajo, "Les Vessenots" en Auvers by Van Gogh and the Guernica by Picasso, as well as other masterpieces of world art.



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