As I mentioned in Part 1, due to the short amount of time that we actually spent in Madrid, we only dipped our toes into a small bit of what Madrid has to offer while we were there. While our first half day was spent mostly in art museums, on our second half day (the morning before we left for Barcelona), we took a scenic walk to the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and the facing Almudena cathedral.
Had I not already packed our Rick Steve’s Spain tour book which served as our guide, I could provide a bit more detail about our walk. However, as it sadly is at the bottom of a box (somewhere…?), here are a few shots of our scenic walk from the Puerta del Sol to the Palacio Real.
[note: clicking on the thumbnails throughout this blog will open a gallery for larger views]
We spent some time walking around the cathedral and palace. Inside the palace, we took a tour of the main rooms used for official functions, saw the famous clock collection, wandered about a room full of suits of armor and weaponry, and popped in the old palace pharmacy (none of which are supposed to be photographed–we complied). The grounds, however, are beautiful on their own. Given the altitude of its location, the palace seems to be almost situated in the clouds.
The cathedral, too, was imposing and beautiful, though seeing it from across the broad courtyard in front of the palace seemed to “miniaturize” it. Although we didn’t go in, we did happen to walk out of the palace just as the bells were ringing.
After viewing these sights, we made our way to the Museo de Jamon — actually not a museum but a chain of sandwich shops specializing in fairly inexpensive sandwiches featuring jamon serrano (Spanish cured ham). As on of our goals during our stay in Spain was to consume as much jamon serrano as possible, it seemed like a good place to go. On our way there, we passed several street performers.
And that was our time in Madrid!