Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting neighborly at El Palacio Cristal, El Parque de Buen Retiro, Madrid

Click on these images to see more pretty detail.
My favorite activity in Madrid was walking in the wonderful big city park, El Parque de Buen Retiro. I walked there every day. I chose the hotel I went to, Hotel Agumar on Calle de Reina Cristina, because I saw that park on the map nearby. I have really enjoyed locating near parks in other big cities, with which I was unfamiliar. I’m used to walking a lot at home. Not only is it nice to have a great big swath of shady green, I like getting to see people out strolling, biking, skating and enjoying the company of their pets and children. At home I have a lot of casual interactions with pets and people in my own neighborhood park and this was a similarly comfortable way to interact with people in Espagna.

The spot I returned to most often in the park was the turtle pond by El Palacio Cristal - a beautiful building if ever there was. It was fun going and sitting on the steps there in the evening, to watch the turtles and have low-key chats with children and adults. That's when I really felt a part of the community. And, unlike in the restaurants, when people started to smoke, I could move!

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