Class Starts in Madrid

June 1, 2009

We started class at the Circulo de Bellas Artes, located across from the Metropolis Building, where we learned that Cafe Americano is coffee with water added.  From this point we started to walk down Calle de Alcala to Paseo del Prado which is the major cultural axis in the city of Madrid.

Metropolis Building

Metropolis Building

As we walked down the Paseo del Prado we passed the Museo del Pardo which we visited the next day.  Shorty afterwards we came upon the Caixa Forum.  After departing from the Caixa Forum we continued down to the end of the Paseo del Prado across from Atocha Station.  We then proceeded to the second museum of the day, the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.  And then we broke for lunch.

Map of afternoon walk

Map of afternoon walk

The second half of the day was a journey through the city and a look at the plazas.  This walk was a real way to start the trip because it was one of the longest we would do the entire time there.  It started by going through the Parque Del Buen Retiro then proceeding back across the Paseo del Prado up Calle de Alcala.

Lake in Parque del Buen Retiro

Lake in Parque del Buen Retiro

We then went up Gran Via to Plaza Callao before dropping down to Sol.  Plaza Puerta del Sol is the center for all roads in the country of Spain and sadly was under construction while we were there.  From Sol we proceeded to Plaza Mayor.

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is one of the most important plazas in the city.  Located within the old section of the city it was created by demolishing a large rectangle of buildings and then building a uniform facade over the existing buildings.  What is seen while standing in the Plaza Mayor is a facade that is a few feet deep and connects back to the buildings that surround the plaza.  This type of Plaza is seen in may cities throughout the country.

From Plaza Mayor we continued on to Plaza de Carros and Plaza de la Paja.  Plaza de la Paja is intresting because it is located on a steep slope and you can see people sitting on benches that lean sidewards.  We then continued down to Basilica de San Francisco el Grande.

Basilica de San Francisco el Grande

Basilica de San Francisco el Grande

The final leg of the walk was up to Almudena Cathedral and then to the Royal Palace of Madrid.

Almudena Cathedral

Almudena Cathedral

Interior of Almudena Cathedral

Interior of Almudena Cathedral

Royal Palace of Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid

This was the end of the first day in Madrid and the first day of classes.  Allthoguh I was really tired from the massive walking it was amazing the things we saw in just one day and I just could not imagine what we would see over the next 29 days.

Photos of Madrid

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