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    MADRID

    Due to its location and its altitude (660m) Madrid has a dry climate, hot (too hot) in summer and often cold in winter. Last Christmas the temperature was about 13° with a big blue sky, perfect conditions to wander in the narrow streets of the old neighborhoods, have a coffee or a hot chocolate (chocolate with churros is a Spanish must-to-eat!) on a terrace at mid-day or idle in the great and charming parks.
    I actually loved this town, its Spanish way of living and its kaleidoscopic architecture. Compared with Barcelona or Sevilla, Madrid seems to be more real and honest, trying less to impress the visitor, living its everyday life at its own rhythm, which can be amazing for a no “gato” (cat: the nickname for the Madrilčnes).
    In another hand, the Golden Triangle satisfies the amateur of arts with its three museums Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia, in which one can see paintings from Middle age to now.
    Moving in the town is very easy, metro and busses are handy and the taxis not expensive. Anyway, the entire historic center can be visited by walk. Since few years the authorities try to improve a culture of bike (does not want to be less ecologist than Barcelona!) but it does not go in the better way…

    First evening in town, Plaza Mayor- Puerta Del Sol.










    #2
    Those boxes of lights look awesome as the night sets in. They really stand out as a focus point. Nice that they also have them in colorful lights.
    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
    Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
    Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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      #3
      First of all La Gran Via.
      Gran Vía is the vertebral column of Madrid. It groups most of the hotels of chain, leading stores and the franchises, the business, etc. Opened in 1918, with a plan in broken lines, this avenue crosses a district of the end of the XIXth century, where certain buildings are inspired by the architecture of New York of the same period or even by Chicago.
      In addition, some buildings refer to the Modernismo (like Barcelona) or Neo-Moresque style. Well, in fact, it is a “melting pot” of architecture, not objectively beautiful but interesting in the way it shows a will to become a real capital town as London, Paris or Berlin.
      As anywhere in Spain, la Gran Via comes to life on “Paseo” hours, about 6 or 7 PM, when people goes out, walking up and down the avenue, without goal, just for the pleasure to be outside and have a chat when crossing friends or colleagues or anybody they have already crossed the previous day. Sometimes, so crowded that it is no easy to find your own place on the pavement!

      http://www.aviewoncities.com/madrid/granvia.htm

      Plaza Espana, the last area of Gran Via with its two buildings of the 50's,under the franquism.



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        #4
        Still Grand Via

        El edificio Telefonica
        Erected in 1929, Telefonica was, with its 89 meters the tallest skyscraper in Europe.
        Designed by American Louis Weeks, it was constructed by the architect Ignacio Cardenas, who gave a Spanish touch by addition of “baroque” ornamentation.
        During the Civil War it was a Republican headquarter (no doubt it is the reason why I have a special feeling for it!) as well as the foreign press center. Hemingway, Dos Passos, Malraux, Saint Exupery worked there.
        Nowadays it is still partly a telecom office, partly the Museo de comunicaciones, partly an exhibition place. Of course, you can visit it and have a guided tour. I recommend it, in case you stay in Madrid.
        Here is an exhaustive link in Spanish (with a brief summary in English)

        https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edificio_Telef%C3%B3nica







        Inside. The staircase

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          #5
          Absolutely spectacular buidlings!
          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
          Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
          Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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            #6
            Views of Gran Via.


            Torre de Madrid in the background (not my favorite edificio) but in contrast with the neo-moresque one.


            Plaza Callao and the sweppes tower.

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              #7
              Frontages along Gran Via.







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                #8
                Movida neighborhoods
                La Movida is a countercultural movement, which appeared during the Spanish democratic transition after Franco’s death.
                The word Movida comes from Spanish “hacer una movida” (to move around) which means leave downtown to buy drugs and come back to use it in town. A slogan illustrates these years: Madrid me mata (Madrid kills me) that makes sense. At the end of the 90’s a journalist wrote: if you are still alive to speak about la Movida it is the proof you did not live it!
                Anyway, in spite of the excesses, the movement was a revival for the Spanish intellectual life in the field of music, graphic arts, design, comics, theater and cinema (Pedro Almodovar is emblematic of movida).
                As for me, I remember that in my grammar school years when I was learning Spanish (70’s), the contemporary cultural approach was very poor, due to the dictatorship. Each year we had a film, always the same (Muerte de un Ciclista), the only one (interesting at least) our teachers could find. Needless to say we were totally ignorant about the” real life”, newspapers not being “free”. With La Movida, Spain found its original place in Europe.
                The movement began in the historic part of Madrid: Malasana, Latina, and Lacapies.

                A short article in spanish
                http://letamina.com/cursos-de-musica...ida-madrilena/









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                  #9
                  TAPAS
                  Like in literature, the Ancients and the Moderns confront each other on the origin of the tapas.
                  The first think they were created by a king (they have forgot his name) who wanted to wrestle against the alcoholism of his subjects. So he obliged the bar owners to put a saucer with something to eat above the glasses of wine of his costumers.
                  For the second it was a mean to prevent the flies from falling in the glasses. Since it did not look nice, an olive or a slice of ham was added on the plate.
                  Who is right? Nobody knows.
                  Anyway, we can be sure that the Spanish word “tapear” means to plug or to cork, so this little snack took the name of tapas.
                  A tapa is a little piece of food you find in the bars to accompany your glass of wine or your small draught beer (called “cana”) or anything else. It can be something very simple, ham, tortilla, anchovy, various seafood, stuffed vegetables, even though the actual tendency is to cook more elaborate dishes. Three or four of them make a light meal, you eat mainly standing at the bar, in the noise of the customers' (regular or not) conversations. Atmosphere!!
                  We can translate a Spanish expression “Ir de tapeo” by “going from tapas to tapas”. It illustrates a kind of social ritual consisting on meeting friends in a bar, have one tapa and one drink, then go to another bar and have a round with other friends. And so on...
                  In case you are in Madrid, try a tapa called “percebe”, a shellfish I did not taste before. The French name is “pousse-pied” and wiki says “goose barnacle” in English. Anyway in a garlic-olive oil sauce I appreciate.


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                    #10








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                      #11
                      Pero, se puede encontar restaurantes donde comemos sentado.
                      But you can find more traditional restaurants in which you can sit......

                      La mi venta,I highly recommend it.


                      La Bola, guides' pet. Correct but nothing more.


                      Cathedral for its menu of the day at lunch time

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                        #12
                        In Old Madrid, the lovely plates of street are made of earthenware, some of them even signed.












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                          #13
                          What is the way to the bullring,please.

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                          • pakarang
                            pakarang commented
                            Editing a comment
                            HAHAHAHAHAHA

                          #14
                          Plaza Espana
                          Cervantes Memorial



                          The Master





                          Its well known characters Don Quichotte y Sancho Panza




                          And others...

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                            #15
                            When wanderind in Madrid never foget to look up and down.

                            Up






                            Down.On the pavement



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