Leonardi Travel Diary

Madrid Day 1 (part 1): Twenty Thousand Steps and it Aint Even Lunch

Europe, Spain, Madrid | 11 January 2014

So this morning I did a TON of walking. The plan was to head to the Palace, walk around the city a bit, and then head to the Prado after lunch. So far so good, except I walked way more than I planned!

I woke up quite early (around 6:30am) and headed down to the buffet breakfast. This was probably the most intense buffet I've ever seen. It had Churros, dark chocolate, omelets, doughnuts, and, of course, the standards -- eggs bacon, sausage, cereal, meats/cheese, etc... After breakfast I put my plan together and was off. From the hotel I headed down Calle Mayor towards the Royal Palace of Madrid. On the way I made a couple scenic stops at Puerta Del Sol, and Plaza Mayor. The Palace was nice, but the view of the city was even better. Unfortunately I didn't get a great picture of it, but you really see rolling country side next to dense city. It's pretty neat. After the Palace, I stumbled through a couple parks: the Plaza de Oriente and Jardines de Sabatini.

At this point, it was still only like 9:15am -- so instead of heading back to the hotel to wait for the museum to open, I figured I'd just walk aimlessly towards all the things that looked interesting. So to start I backtracked a bit because when I looked at the map it seemed most of the city was in that direction. Along the way I stopped to take photos of small parks, or cool alleys, or really anything cool looking. I ended up at a rotary with a huge monument in it, and as I'm trying to figure out the best place to take a photo, I see far in the distance what looked like a bridge over a river! It was pretty far off the track I had planned, but whatever, I had no place to be.

So when I got to the river, I was happy to find a really amazing park that folks were biking and jogging down along the "river." I put river in quotes, because it looked more like a drainage ditch that they made pretty. Along with the park was also a very cool looking walking bridge, which I proceeded to head towards. You have to walk through the cool bridge if it's there. So I did.

At this point, I had no idea where I was, but didn't want to go back the way I came (and I didn't have a map or anything), so I just headed in the direction of the hotel. Not too many points of interest came of this part of the walk, but I definitely stumbled upon a ton of interesting squares, and streets packed with bakeries, restaurants, shopping -- you name it.

Ultimately, if you couldn't tell, I made it back to the hotel just before lunch (around 11:30am), and I'm wrapping up this post just in time to head out and eat!

I'll post photos tonight when I have some extra time. Loving Madrid so far! can't wait to check out the Prado this afternoon.

Check out our other entries from: Europe, Spain, Madrid