Plaza de España

Plaza de España

Madrid, Spain – March 26, 2011

Leslie and I went on a 4.2-mile “death march” through Madrid today.  We left home at about noon and walked to the light rail station, Pozuelo Oeste, near our home.  Once on the Metro, we made our way to the Plaza de España stop.

The Pozuelo Oeste (West Pozuelo) light rail stop.
The train stopping at the Colonia Jardín Metro station.
Leslie sitting on the Blue Line.

When we emerged from the Metro, we found ourselves at the corner of Gran Via and the plaza.  We crossed the street and sat down by a large fountain.  There was a bazaar set up at the plaza.  The bazaar had everything from candy to jewelry, from t-shirts to posters.  I would guess there were about 50 booths set up.

The Metro sign above the stairs at the Plaza de España stop.
A craft market at Plaza de España. The sign reads, “ExpoNations in Spring.”
Pausing for a photograph at the fountain.
Several pigeons bathing and drinking at the fountain.
People shopping at the many vendor booths.
One of the vendor booths at the market.

In the center of the plaza is a large obelisk.  In front of the obelisk is a large statue of Miguel de Cervantes and a bronze depiction of don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

Another water fountain at the plaza.
A woman pozing with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza at Plaza de España.
The obelisk behind the Don Quixote statue.
The carved seated figure is Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote.
Another view of the plaza with an imposing building in the background.
An apartment building with “trees” overlooks the plaza.
The opposite side of the statues.

After exploring the plaza, we crossed the street to the west.  There was an old church there, the parish of St. Teresa and St. Joseph.  We went inside and looked around.  From there we walked up the hill to the Templo de Debod.  It is an Egyptian temple given to Spain in recognition of Spanish engineers that helped with the construction of the Aswan Dam.

A very ornate building near the plaza.
The interior of the parish of St. Teresa and St. Joseph.
People walking uphill in the park to the Templo de Debod.
A woman photographing her friend at the Templo de Debod.
The reflecting pool at Templo de Debod.
Looking from the rear of the temple to the skyline.
A father helping his children with their scooters passes by Leslie.
The skyline as seen from the temple.

As we walked through the park around the temple, we came across a man playing guitar and singing.  He was playing near an overlook.  His name was Willie Garcia.  We bought his CD titled “Sin Razon” (Without Reason).  We sat about 10 feet away from him on a park bench.  We sat there and listened to him for a good 30 minutes.  From where he was playing, one got a good view of the Palacio Real and the Catadral Almudena.

The guitarist, Willie Garcia, playing in the park near Templo de Debod.
The Palacio Real (Royal Palace) on the left and the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena (Cathedral of St. Mary the Royal Almudena) in the center.
People walking in the park.
Two people walking a dog in the park.

When we left the park, we went hunting for an ATM.  It did not take long to find one.  They seem to be located about 100 feet apart in this country!  We made our way back to Gran Via and walked along the street in a southeasterly direction.  Gran Via is somewhat equivalent to Broadway in New York.

The skyline across from the park.
The Monumento a los Caídos en el Cuartel de la Montaña (Monument to the Fallen in the Mountain Barracks).
A Peugeot dealer across from the park.
A fire hose connection on a building.
The famous Gran Via.

We sat at a sidewalk cafe and had a glass of wine.  After our wine, we continued until we found McDonald’s.  Leslie thought that sounded good, so we had lunch there.  Then we made our way to the Gran Via Metro station.  We took the Metro to the stop at República Argentina.  That was very near the party we were to attend, beginning at 19:00.  We arrived near 18:00.  We asked the portero (door attendant) if he knew where a small grocery store may be located.  We followed his instructions and finally found one.  We bought a couple of bottles of wine to take to the party.

As tired as we were, we only lasted until about 21:00.  We walked back to the Metro to go home.  We made it home just after 22:00.

People walking past theaters on Gran Via.
Below the comedian’s name is the phrase AIGUANTULIVINAMERICA (I want to live in America).
A Hop-On-Hop-Off bus on Gran Via.
In Spanish, Les Miserables is Los Miserables.
This sign at a casino reads, “Try your luck.”
The theater at Plaza Callao.
A taxi driver stopped beside our sidewalk café table to read the newspaper.
Crossing Gran Via.
Another group of people and dogs crossing Gran Via.
Two police officers at Plaza Callao.
A street sweeper passes by our table.
A woman approaching a violin player on Gran Via.
The Dolphin Fountain at the Plaza de la República de Argentina was near our party location for the evening.
A Mini Cooper parked on a sidestreet.

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