Madrid--Capital of Spain

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August 10th 2009
Published: August 10th 2009
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Some photos of my travel in Madrid. the capital of Spain...

In general, Spaniards eat lunch anywhere from 1:30 to 3:30, and dinner is frequently at 10:00 at night. Some advice is to eat out at lunchtime rather than in the evening if you want a good menu at a cheap price.

Sitting and waiting should be observed as a comfort time to enjoy your company. Waiters will never ask you to leave. People go out to have a good time, so the noise level is high. Asking to take your left over food home with you (i.e. doggie bag) is virtually unheard of and often considered cheap. Tip by simply leaving your change or a few coins. Spaniards are big on greetings and farewells. They place a lot of emphasis on physical contact. When men greet men, they shake hands, when men greet women or vice versa, they apply a light kiss on both sides of the person’s face. Conversations occur at a much closer physical distance than you might be accustomed to and it is considered rude to step back.

Most Spaniards do not plan as far ahead as you do and many things are spontaneous, improvised.

Traveling around the city is really easy, unless you have a car. The metro and bus systems are well priced and convenient, as well as being very safe. Taxis are apparently among the cheapest in Europe. If you think you are going to travel a lot by metro and bus, buy an abono transportes (transportation pass). This lasts from the first day of the month to the last and will save you a lot of money as you jump around from bus to metro with an unlimited number of rides. The one you will need will depend on where you live and how old you are. If you live in the A zone, buy the A pass, if you have to take any green buses, you will have to start looking at B1. If you ask in an estanco, which is where you buy your abono, they will tell you. You will need a passport-sized photo and a copy of your passport if you are under 21. Alternatively, you can buy a Metrobus pass for ten journeys, (5 €) and of course a single ticket (0,95 €). Be careful, the single tickets that you buy in the metro cannot be used on the bus! The last metro is at 1h30 in the morning, so if you miss that you have to get a night bus, the buho, (meaning owl) which leave from Cibeles (where the central post office is) or Moncloa starting at 1am until 6am when the metro starts again.

El Escorial, the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real (also known as the Monasterio de El Escorial or simply El Escorial) is located about 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid. El Escorial comprises two architectural complexes of great historical and cultural significance: El Real Monasterio de El Escorial itself and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge and monastic retreat about five kilometres away. These sites have a dual nature; that is to say, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, they were places in which the temporal power of the Spanish monarchy and the ecclesiastical predominance of the Roman Catholic religion in Spain found a common architectural manifestation. El Escorial was, at once, a monastery and a Spanish royal palace. Originally a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now an Augustinian monastery.

Philip II of Spain, reacting to the Protestant Reformation sweeping through Europe during the sixteenth century, devoted much of his lengthy reign (1556-1598) and much of his seemingly inexhaustible supply of New World gold to stemming the Protestant tide. His protracted efforts were, in the long run, partly successful. However, the same counter-reformational impulse had a much more benign expression, thirty years earlier, in Philip's decision to build the complex at El Escorial.

Madrid is a great place to spend free time, because, if you want to, there are innumerable things to do. Whatever you're into, there's going to be something for you in all price ranges. Spaniards are very gregarious and social. Now i'm going to take the "SIESTA" haha...

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 24


Royal PalaceRoyal Palace
Royal Palace

The Biggest Royal Palace in the world
Tombs of several kingsTombs of several kings
Tombs of several kings

Carlos V (impet rex), his son Philip II (Rex), and Philip III and IV (Rex) Escorial Monastery
Catholic MonarchsCatholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs

There are many statues of these kings around Spain. They were loved by the people.
Retiro ParkRetiro Park
Retiro Park

Mexico Avenue

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