Madrid is the capitol of Spain, the third largest city in Europe and the financial center of Southern Europe. As with many other places in Spain it was initially a Roman city that fell to the Visigoths, the Moors then was ultimately incorporated into Christian Castille in 1085.
We are staying at the Hostal Oriente; a lovely spot in the center of the city. We awoke at 5:30 the first morning to Shakira and the smell of baking bread. Off to see the sunrise!
As a tourist there are many places to visit.
- Palacio Real, the royal palace for hundreds of years; still used for state functions.
- The Buen Retiro Park , founded in 1631, belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century.
- There are three large museums located on the Paseo del Prado: Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum, (a museum of modern art), and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
- Almudena Cathedral is just opposite the Royal Palace.
- Madrid is incredibly pedestrian friendly. Many streets are closed to traffic and everywhere there are parks.