Saturday, May 9, 2020

Virtual Tour of Spain: Day Two: Walk to Retiro Park (May 9, 2020)

Welcome to our "Virtual Tour of Spain" May 8 to 22, 2020!
Day Two: Saturday, May 9, 2020
1) Reflections on Cava Baja
2) Walking Madrid Today!

Seven memories on top of mind from our time in Cava Baja last night.
  • Favorite place: Txakolina, Pintxoteca Madrileña, Calle de la Cava Baja, 26
  • My top loves in tapas: gambas al ajillo, jamon iberico, bocarones, and manchego -- all among my best "foodie dreams" of Spain
  • Rueda, rueda, rueda ... the verdejo white from rueda ... tiny sparkle of fleeting evervescence and the crisp taste that pairs so well with the bocarones and gambas
  • The crusty bread that is the base for the tapas.
  • The fun of walking along Cava Baja and ducking into the crowded tapas bars.
  • The walk to Plaza Mayor after taking in Cava Baja ... if you missed seeing the virtual 360 of Plaza Mayor from last night ... worth going back and seeing it again from our Day One post.
  • Tucking in at our hotel for this stay in Madrid: the Home Club Palacio Real I on Calle de Angosta de los Mancebos, just about five minutes walk from Cava Baja, and close to Plaza Mayor.
See details about our Madrid base, the Home Club Palacio I, on at:
Here's the Home Club Palacio, and the view out the window:

Walking Madrid Today!
High temperature today (for real, not virtual!) is a glorious 78 degrees under mostly sunny skies with wispy clouds here and there ... time to get out and walk!  We depart the hotel and head for Parque de El Retiro ... Retiro Park ... it's about a 35 minute walk east, past Plaza Mayor in the direction of the Prado and Atocha rail station.  Here's our walking map for orientation.

TECH NOTE: To make this virtual tour as interactive as possible, we can explore by actually moving throughout the places we are "virtually visiting" through Google maps. On our virtual touring, you'll first see a map to get your bearings ... which you can zoom in or zoom out as you wish by using the PLUS or MINUS tools on the lower right of each map ... or spread two fingers on the map to enlarge and move around the map, and we'll have at least one Google Street View frame which you can "crawl" along, the closest thing to walking the streets.

And we are off to explore!  Use your mouse or finger on the Google Street View image below to navigate your walk from the area of Plaza Mayor to Retiro Park!  If you get lost, refresh this page and start again :)
  • Click OR Tap twice in the CENTER to move forward, for example, so you can "walk further down the street."
  • Drag mouse OR Swipe to LEFT or RIGHT to navigate to left or right, all the way to changing direction.

The fun part of navigating along Google Street View is that you can literally navigate and look at everything along the way in a time frame just like a real-time walk. You can get lost, too! And then find your way back.  (You can also refresh this page to get back to where you can start again!)  If you've navigated well along your virtual walk through the Google Street View, above, you've reached Retiro Park. Here I'll leave you right at the Crystal Palace ... "walk around" Retiro from this position, just as you walked to get there. Here we go:

More about Retiro from:

"In the heart of the Retiro Park lies this large lake, a popular spot with the city's residents, who go there to sunbathe or hire rowing boats.

"Built between 1634 and 1636 by the architect, Cristobal de Aguilera, this lake was the heart of the Buen Retiro Palace garden  and was used to hold  water shows, such as navy battles or mock battles, and boat rides for the King and Queen and their Court. At that time it was linked by a stream to the chapel of Saint Anthony of Padua, which no longer exists, and the Retiro had its own shipyard to build boats. In the middle of the lake there was an oval-shaped island which was used for theatrical and musical performances.

"On the same spot, almost a hundred years later, Farinelli delighted the court of Philip V with his singing. In the last third of the eighteenth century the island in the centre was covered by the waters of the lake and in 1902 the monument to Alfonso XII was erected. Financed by popular subscription, it is an outstanding example of historicist architecture. The monument was designed by José Grases Riera and completed by Teodoro Anasagasti, while the equestrian statue crowning it is the work of Mariano Benlliure.

"Currently the Retiro Pond offers several activities like rowing boats, two of which are wheelchair accessible (these last ones will be available as of February 2019), solar boat (wheelchair accessible) and solar classroom and the Municipal Kayaking School, for children and young adults aged 7 to 17."
That's our DAY TWO!  Have a great dinner ... sleep well and see you tomorrow for our adventure at El Rastro and visit to the Prado.  We'll need to bring a sweater or sweatshirt tomorrow ... get ready for a big drop in temperature for tomorrow when the high will be about 66 instead of today's 78.


UP NEXT TOMORROW:  Rastro and Prado

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