Madrid's botanical gardens...

This morning we set out to see the Parque del Buen Retiro in the heart of Madrid. Enormous and beautiful, it reminded me of Central Park.
It was primarily green - lush with huge trees and paths and a suprise around every corner. There a few splashes of seasonal color, but this is not a flower garden by any means.
There's a little lake and rowing and the wide avenues (no cars) were filled with walkers, runners, skateboarders and hordes of roller bladers. They were even giving lessons to kids and adults alike - it was so fun to watch. Then there were people and families like us, the strollers.

It really is a treasure in the heart of the city, and everyone came out to enjoy it on this beautiful Saturday morning.
Even though there were people everywhere, it was still vast open space to enjoy the setting. It includes formal fountains, children's play areas (we checked all of those out!), outdoor cafes, snack vendors, bubble blowers, fortune tellers, musicians and more.
And it was peaceful - a haven from the hustle and mucho bustle of the heart of the city. The park was once the private playground for royalty.

When we finished going through but a small section of this enormous park, we headed across the street (well, not quite that directly) to the Botanical Gardens. My Spanish is passable at times, but my comprehension when getting directions at a very fast clip is not quite as good. So after several "permit a me's" we finally arrived at our destination. Missing nuances and words can make a big difference when getting directions - imagine that!

We've had internet "issues" with the hotel. We get it -- sometimes. So, that's why this is my first post. Just glad to be able to share it now.

Tomorrow I hope to give you a peek into the Botanical Gardens. You'll be amazed at what I found there. And I know I've made the folks back at the house terribly jealous -- sorry. But it is wonderful. More to come...

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