Evening Strolls in Madrid

Some evenings the mood will strike me to get away from the computer and go to downtown Madrid. Thank goodness there’s a bus stop 20 meters away from my door and the ride only takes about 20 minutes.

The bus takes me directly to the Plaza de Isabel II (a.k.a. Plaza de Opera), just next to the Royal Opera House. Sometimes I’ll get off 2 stops early, just to the edge of the Royal Palace in Madrid, and wander about the pedestrian area in front of the Palacio Real and the Plaza Oriente gardens which are between the Opera House and the Royal Palace. This is a particularly nice area around sunset as the sun sets over the horizon over the Casa de Campo park and Spaniards and tourists alike come in droves to enjoy it. Watch out for the skate punks practicing their craft, though.

Other times I’ll walk directly towards the Puerta del Sol and join the hustle & bustle of the combined Spanish and tourist crowds, making my way up one of the many little streets towards the Plaza Jacinto Benavente or Plaza Santa Ana in the Huertas Neighborhood. My destination? None, really. It’s just nice having Old Downtown Madrid at such easy access. I’ll oftentimes just walk to walk and take in the sights, the sounds, and the smells until I stop at some little bar where I may well be the ONLY non-Spaniard in the place, order a 1.20€ beer, get a free tapa or order a pincho de tortilla or patatas bravas. I like ordering patatas bravas in many places, trying to find the best Patatas Bravas in Madrid. Next Stop? The next bar which catches my attention and/or if I’m still hungry. Sometimes the perfect dinner is a light one; a beer and a plate of olives in an authentic Spanish bar, listening to the conversations around me.

It’s so nice having Madrid in my front yard, my back yard, and all around me.

Saludos, MadridMan

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