The footpaths throughout el Retiro are lined with comics, street vendors, musicians, and craftsmen who add a little joy to the park and earn a few coins from the passersby that enjoy their art.
With 118 hectars, the Park contains many monuments, from the Astronomic Observatory, to the Cason y Salon de Reinos (Kings House and Hall), the current Military Museum, to unique structures that are the remains of what was once the palace of Felipe IV.
During the reign of Fernando VII, small structures, called Caprichos (Whims), were erected, some of which still conserved: la Montaña de los Gatos or Cat Mountain (now used as an exhibition hall), la Casita del Pescador or the Fisherman's hut and the Sala del Contrabandista or the Smuggler's Hall, currently used as a party hall.
In the so-called Campo Grande (Big Field) important expositions are set up in places as lovely as the Velasquez Palace, a structure of iron, brick and crystal decorated with ceramics by Daniel Suloaga, or the Crystal Palace (seen here), constructed in 1987 by Ricardo Velasquez Bosco and conceived as a heater for the exhibition of the Philipines.
One of the joys of Madrid is the food, often best enjoyed in the many bars and cafes that serve ready made food (tapas) to its standing customers. Cheap and quick, it makes for a great, authentic, meal. What we really like about many of these eating establishments in Madrid is the old-school style of clothing that the wait staff wears. Pure class!!
El Capricho Park
Not many people knows about the existence of El Capricho, a small park placed on the north east of Madrid, full of charm.
To get there, you could stop at the Campo de Las Naciones Metro Station (Line 9), and walk through the Juan Carlos I park, until you reach a road. On the opposite side of the road, there's a Camping. If you follow the path of the camping, you'll find el Capricho right there. It's placed on the Alameda de Osuna Street. Opens from 9 to 6,30 on the cold season during weekends.
Please, check my travelogue for more pictures of this unique place.
If you wanna go shopping in Madrid, there are specific areas for:
- Clothes and shoes high quality: Serrano street
- Antiques and second hand items:
"El Rastro" fleamarket on sundays near "La Latina" Metro Station.
- Souvenirs: Puerta del Sol, Gran Via...
- Anything else in one place: El Corte Ingles department stores.
"SALSA" DISCOS: SERRANO 41
completely crowded in summer, kind of irregular during the rest of the year. this place only open as salsa on tuesday. there are two separate zones called SERRANO 41. you get the upper one at the street level, and its the "posh" one. to get the salsa part, you must go downstairs. i really like its music, but they have a problem with their wardrobe, as i stood for half an hour waiting for my coat. i ve always had a great time here. lovely people
open only tuesday, from 23.00 to 4.00
i think the cover is 10 euros with a drink. inside beers 4 eur shots 8 eur
24/12/2003 no required