Trip to Madrid: pictures and impressions

Ok, here is the short illustrated story about my trip to Madrid in May, 2009. I wanted to participate in the global corporate gathering with about 50 people over there and take a vacation at the same time. So, let’s travel to Madrid!

Madrid is a peculiar combination of the unhurried Spanish lifestyle and running of the big city. This is the city with its one distinctive smell, lots of tourists, museums, parks, cafes and bars. This is the city with the airport and railway station that derserve a tour. And, unfortunately, this is the city with thefts (yep, I got my iPhone stolen).

One thing at a time though.

First impression is made by subway.

BTW, you can get from beautiful airport Barajas to the city center in only 40 minutes.

Subway is quite unpretentious compared to Moscow: no sculptures and ceiling mosaics, but very clean and bright stations with nice trains that even have buttons on doors (why open them if nobody is leaving a train nor getting in). In overall it makes a good impression.

If you’re too lazy to take stairs you can use elevators which can be found on many stations. (estacion de Plaza de Espana on picture).

Surprise-surprise! There are a lot beautiful and narrow streets, cozy cafes and welcoming terraces in the city.

One of the attractions worth mentioning is Atocha railway station. Sounds funny, but this is the most beautiful railway station I’ve seen so far. No bums, dirt or dangerously looking people, but artificial park inside and neat cafes in exchange.

Okay, now let’s go to the Retiro Park which is in just 5 minutes of walking. For those of you who have been to NYC, the closest association is the Central Park. Similar scale, a little lake in the center, diversity of fauna and of course tourists. People who run in the park are viewed by everybody as absolutely normal nowadays, but guys working on their abs with coach and practicing Tai Chi surprised me a little bit. However, for truth’s sake I should say that sunny park is more appealing place to train than gym in basement.

You can also find a sweet botanical garden over there, take a seat on a bench and thing about the meaning of life for a while.

Besides, athletes I’ve noticed some suspicious sectarians 🙂

and happy families

For those who are burnt out after the big city stress, noise and rush, there is a service of boats and oars rent.

But even outside the park you can notice that problem with weed is completely neglected in the city…

Which is wonderful 😉

A few steps a way, while crossing the road, you can see the warning about crazy running colleagues with cases. Or is it about college students? Hmm…

And a few more steps away Hugh Laurie is advertising Schweppes. Guys, didn’t he made a fortune on House MD series?


Well it may seem like the only things I’ve seen in Madrid is Gardens (which is not true of course ;), but I definitely should show you the pictures of the another one, this one is paid. Garden is beautiful of course, but it’s too early to visit it in May as everything had been already planted, but nothing has sprouted yet. So, it’s kinda boring and looks like a typical Russian dacha.

There are two big museums nearby the park: Musei del Prada and modern art one Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Continuing the tradition of the associations with the NYC it’s possible to say that these are Metropolitan and MOMA correspondingly. First one seemed a little boring to me as I’m the guy who is relatively ignorant in the history of classical art and the second one seemed to be quite pointless as the most of modern art in general. Only Salvador Dali’s pictures and a couple of recent expositions are quite intriguing imho. No pictures from museum (I irritated security guards in museums enough already during my life). But you can find Picasso’s frustrations in jpeg on the internet in a second or two, the question is if it’s worth it.

What I’d like to show you is the Madrid in night view from the rooftop of an amazing hotel that we had party on.

Night life is quite diverse: from small pubs to authentic Spanish clubs where they dance Salsa all night long. And of course regular large american style night clubs with few floors like this one:

Well, I would spend a few more hours to tell you about the sightseeing, places to go, restaurants, shopping and so on and so forth, but I have to get up early tomorrow and go to work. So, this story is over and let’s leave it this way: a little spontaneous and unsystematized, only pictures and personal impressions.

Stay tuned, my friends!

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