Saturday, June 4, 2011

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...


Iris said...

It's so beautiful and majestic and I can just feel the cooler air! Thanks for sharing and providing us hot Austin people a little escape. Looking forward to your next post.

It IS weird how difficult directions can be in a foreign language, even if it's a language in which one has some proficiency!

Pam/Digging said...

I'll be enjoying your posts from Spain. Looks lovely so far!

getgrounded said...

oh, Diana, how wonderful for you. I can tell you are having fun! Please continue to enjoy and don't worry about all of us you left behind in the oven. We'll be nicely baked upon your return.

Jayne said...

What a wonderful trip you are having Diana. Thanks for taking me on a tour through that beautiful park.

Diana said...

Iris - it's so pretty and historic here. I could go to cathedrals and palaces all day long for days on end! The park was so peaceful. Cool and shaded and refreshing - by compariso Zilker Park seems hot and dry and dusty.

Pam - It's been the perfect mix of sights to see - buildings, parks, pool, zoo, food and more food!

Getgrounded - Cute oven analogy. It has been a nice respite from the Texas heat here, especially in the park under all those giant trees.

Jayne - It's been delightful - I could stay 5 more days. But just 1 more left, so tomorrow it's museums and indoor things because it's supposed to rain.