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Madrid: Europe's Big Mystery

TM Jardines de Sabatini. View of the Palacio Royal de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid)
Madrid is with nearly 3.3 million people the third biggest city within the European Union, the capital of the Reino de España and the seat of the Spanish Royal family. Despite these facts is Madrid relatively unknown to many people. Reason for this is probably the lack of an outstanding landmark. Rome has the Colosseum. London has the Big Ben. Moscow is home to the Kremlin and Berlin to the Brandenburg Gate. Even Barcelona has more sights attracting the average traveller. But Madrid? What can you find in Madrid? - A good question!
Maybe Bimbino and Bambina can give you an answer. Maybe not.
Fact is that the monkeys can still not point out a single sight of outstanding significance, even after spending three nights in the Spanish capital. What they have found instead is an uncountable number of places worth to visit, unique in their beauty and relevant in history but nothing extraordinarily remarkable. High standard upper average.
Why are we pointing out this fact? Do we want to stop you from visiting Madrid? No, not at all. Madrid is definitely worth a visit. Just not because of a Sagrada Familia, or an Eiffel Tower, but because of everything else!
If you would like your friends to recognize that you have been in Madrid, you'd probably better take pictures with following objects:
TM Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid)
TM Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
TM Puerta de Sol. The Bear and the Madroño, the heraldic symbols of Madrid
TM Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace)
TM Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace)
TM Museo del Prado. Goya's Ghosts
TM Museo del Prado. Goya's Ghosts
Some flying pictures are good for a change:
TM Plaza Mayor de Madrid. Find Bimbino.
TM Plaza Mayor de Madrid. Find Bambina.
But honestly, the monkeys had a lot of fun in Madrid, not only flying around, but visiting galleries, parks, gardens, trying food, strolling along the streets, and going out at night.
Quite a few times already have the monkeys encountered galleries or museums being sponsored by some big banks. There is one like that in Madrid: the CaixaForum. It is a post-modern art gallery with a relatively cheap entrance fee (4,- €), and some free exhibitions. That time there was a free exhibition devoted to the magic of cinema, and especially to Georges Méliès, a French illusionist and filmmaker. Bimbino and Bambina really enjoyed the "play".
TM CaixaForum
It is not a "must-see", but quite an interesting site - a train station Atocha with a piece of jungle just in the middle of the hall. On the stones by a little lake you can see loads of turtles playing "king of the rock" kicking each other back into the water.
TM Estación de Madrid Atocha
One of the "must-dos" in Madrid is the Museo Nacional del Prado. The entrance fee is relatively high (14,- €), BUT there is a trick. During the last two hours of opening you can enter the museum for free. And there are two days a year when it is for free the whole day: the anniversary of the Museum and the International Museum Day. Moreover, there are quite some categories of people who don't pay the entrance fee to Prado Museum, like, for example, students. You can get all information about the prices here. Bimbino and Bambina used those two free hours of the day to the fullest, but they still didn't manage to see a lot. Two hours are definitely not enough to perceive even a little part of the art placed in the museum. Therefore, the monkeys decided to concentrate the little time they had on just a few painters, and spent most of the time contemplating Rembrandt's and Goya's works.
The rest of the time Bimbino and Bambina were just walking around the city, taking street photos, lying on the grass, sitting in cafés. They also met some friends, who showed them some more interesting parts of the city, good places to eat, and kept a great company hanging out at night.
TM The guy on the right is definitely jobbing as Santa when the season comes.
TM Just a random café with a remarkable name
TM Awesome logo.
TM Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
TM A sunlight play
This scene is one of the most remarkable and usual in Madrid. People illegally selling things on the streets have all kinds of ways to hide from the police. Usually they all know a few seconds before the police comes, most probably receiving a signal by phone, or just hearing a special signal from the partners. So just within some three seconds they just pick the sheet from the ground, as if they haven't been selling anything. Once there is not lying on the ground anymore, they are just carrying stuff, and then police has nothing to press charges on.
TM A hunger-strike
TM A fancy food market: Mercado de San Miguel
TM Mercado de San Miguel
TM Mercado de San Miguel
TM Street food at night
Thanks to Kelly for showing the shortest way to meet Don Quixote!
Thanks to Daniel for a great evening and luxurious hosting!
Thanks to Lowa for a great dinner and for yet another great evening!
It is very important to meet the right people when you form your impression of a city. The monkeys had the whole luck of meeting a bunch of such people, and a lot because of them they liked their stay in Madrid so much. But their main destination lied still more than 10000 km away, and they were excited to know what is awaiting them on the yet unknown continent. Their plain was waiting for them in Madrid Barajas International Airport.
TM After many complains about annoying children on flights a Spanish airline has decided to treat children as check-in luggage.
TM Boarding pass ready at hand!
TM Off for a Magic Red Carpet ride.
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