Outside the Crystal Palace in Parque del Retiro was a large pond. There were many ducks, and so obviously I took pictures. SPANISH DUCKS.
It took a bit before we realized the pond was filled with turtles. And so of course I took more pictures. SPANISH TURTLES!
After a long walk around the park we stopped at one of the many cafes for a bite to eat. I finally had the first of many glasses of sangria. We were entertained by the little bowls of potato chips that were a normal item handed out (much like a bowl of nuts I suppose, but still…)
There were several palaces inside Parque del Retiro. Inside this one there was a modern art exhibit of Brazilian artist Meireles. Like most modern art exhibits, there were some pieces I liked very much, and there were pieces I found odd. Some felt manipulative, which apparently is his intent. A few were just ugly, which I don’t believe was his intent but I can’t be sure.
We followed a sign and my husband asked where we were going next. I said I wasn’t sure, but I think the sign said “Crystal Palace.” I was right. And inside this was another modern art installation – of random pastel dots. I’m not sure what message we were supposed to get, but it was very clear we were not to touch the dots (some were within reach).
Walking on from the monument to Alphonso XII, we found this fountain. I never have figured out its significance, but we liked it. (Not so much that we’d want it at home, but in a nice-to-see-on-vacation way….)
After a necessary nap in our hotel overlooking Parque del Retiro the obvious thing was to walk to the park. It turns out this park is on lists of the top things you should visit on the planet, so well done us! Admittedly, I had to look up what these monuments were after I got the pictures, but it was very impressive. In fact, the next few posts will all be from this park, which until sometime in the 19th century belonged only to the Spanish monarchy.
One of the first things we saw was the Paseo de la Argentina – beautifully landscaped with lots of statues (even of women, which I found a happy surprise).
The Paseo led us to the Monument to Alphonso XII – clearly a popular spot for people to visit and enjoy. Lots of families were here.
Okay, I admit it. My grand plans to sit down and super organize my Spain photos are just not going to come to fruition. So instead I’m just going to start sharing them, generally in the order I took them. For starters, this was the window in our first hotel in Madrid, overlooking Parque del Retiro. The arches were nifty. This page is the hotel’s website and the arches you see on the corner were our room (We blew through a ton of hotel points for that. Worth it.)