Puerta del Sol
From Rafaelhoteles Atocha, VT members Santi (Redang) took us for a walk to Puerta del Sol. It was a nice walk. We passed the Atocha station, Centro Reina Sofia National Museum, Caixa Forum Madrid Cultural Centre, Botanical Garden, and Prado Museum. Before we got to Sol we decided to have a Tapas lunch, then we continued on.
When we arrived the first thing I saw of Puerta del Sol was the statue of Carlos III, the hustle and bustle, the commuters running toward Sol metro station, the Japanese tourist following the tour director carrying a flag, red roofless tourist bus, the blind busker with Labrador dog, police patrolling on foot. It was a busy sight. The ambiences were definitely electrifying.
We are now standing in the heart of Madrid historic square of Puerta del Sol. It is the starting point for us as tourist to take photos of the bustling activities. In Sol you will find many great shops, restaurant, café, hotels, and the twenty ton statue Bear eating strawberry fruit (Madrono), Kilometre Zero. You will see the old 18th century Post Office with the clock tower. I’ve heard from the grapevine at New Year the Madrid people consume 12 grapes for 12 wishes whilst listening to the countdown from the clock bell. They have to consume one grape per second, luckily for the Madrilènes it’s not orange they have to consume.
The Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and Royal Theatre are close walking distance from Puerta del Sol square.
In May 2nd and 3rd 1808 the famous uprising against the French happened in the square when Madrid’s people fought against Napoleon soldiers and many died. Today protesters are still using the square to rallies and protests against violence and war.