It’s time to tell you the illustrated story of my short vacation in Madrid, as promised. I went in the middle of May, when Romania had 24-26 degrees Celsius and, upon arrival, was confronted with 12-13, even 7-8- in the mornings and evenings - degrees Celsius. It was freezing, I’m telling you! I’ve seen many people wearing winter jackets and boots on the streets. The cold and the rain from the first two days were the main downsides of the trip (apart from me forgetting my umbrella at home). Besides that, though, everything went even better than expected.
The hotel was located on Gran Via, in a very central area, at a walking distance from almost all the important sights. Gran Via is one of the main commercial areas/ streets in Madrid, with lots of cinemas, bars and restaurants on it. The lights made it even better at night, just perfect for a relaxing walk. I alsolutely loved the atmosphere and the people. Actually, if I were to choose one country in which I would like to move from the ones I’ve seen so far, Spain would most probably be my choice. And I’ve seen quite a few.
E timpul sa va impartasesc povestea ilustrata a scurtei mele vacante in Madrid, asa cum v-am promis. S-a intamplat la mijlocul lunii mai, cand in Romania erau 24-26 grade Celsius. Am ajuns acolo si- surpriza: am dat peste maxime de 12-13 grade ziua si 7-8 grade dimineata si seara! Am vazut numeroase persoane cu geci de iarna si cizme pe strada. Frigul si ploaia (in special in primele 2 zile) au fost principalele inconveniente de care m-am lovit (exceptand faptul ca, pe deasupra, umbrela mea ramasese, uitata, acasa). Exceptand aceste lucruri, insa, totul a fost excelent, mult peste asteptari.
Hotelul se afla pe Gran Via, intr-o zona extrem de centrala, din care principalele obiective erau usor accesibile pe jos. Gran Via este una dintre strazile/ zonele comerciale principale din Madrid, presarata cu cinematografe, baruri si restaurante. Seara era frumos luminata si parca te imbia sa te pierzi in multimea care se plimba de-a lungul ei. Atmosfera si oamenii m-au cucerit pur si simplu, incat, daca ar fi sa aleg o tara unde mi-as dori sa ma mut, dintre cele vizitate pana acum (si nu sunt putine), Spania ar fi optiunea mea!
On the first day I went to Warner Park- after having tried Disneyland this past autumn, I was eager to have a term of comparison. And now I do. Disneylad is definitely designed to be more suitable for children, while this one was far more difficult- and I am referring especially to the main attractions. I hadn’t made much research on them before my actual arrival, so, without knowing, I started my day with the most difficult one: Stunt Fall. Well, I can tell you that it was by far the most intense sensation I’ve experienced in a roller coaster before. What surprised me was the presence of many 12-13 year olds either by themselves or with their parents/ teachers, trying the most intense attractions, one after the other. Well, I must admit I even felt challenged by that at some point. I guess Spanish people must be a lot less prudent than what I am used to, at least when it comes to children.
Other attractions that I would recommend are: Superman, Batman: La Fuga, La Venganza del Enigma and Coaster Express. I was pretty tired at the end, so, after a little shopping, a walk on Gran Via and dinner, I called it a night.
Prima zi a fost dedicata parcului de distractii Warner- dupa vizita la Disneyland Paris de anul trecut, imi doream un termen de comparatie. Si l-am gasit. Disneyland este mult mai potrivit pentru copii, pe cand acesta a fost mai dificil si intens- ma refer mai ales la principalele atractii. Nu ma informasem prea mult cu privire la ceea ce ma astepta in parc, asa ca, fara sa stiu, m-am urcat direct in cea mai dificila atractie: Stunt Fall. A fost de departe cel mai intens rollercoaster incercat ed mine pana acum. Am ramas surprinsa de prezenta a in parc a multor copii de 12-13 ani, multi dintre ei nesupravegheati de parinti sau profesori, care incercau, una dupa alta, cele mai complicate atractii. La un moment dat chiar m-a ambitionat prezenta lor acolo, la modul : ”daca ei pot, sigur pot si eu!”. Cred ca spaniolii sunt mult mai putin precauti decat noi, cel putin la capitolul copii.
Alte cateva atractii pe care le recomand sunt: Superman, Batman: La Fuga, La Venganza del Enigma and Coaster Express. La final, oboseala si-a spus cuvantul, asa ca dupa cina, o plimbare pe Gran Via si cateva mici cumparaturi, m-am retras in camera de hotel.
|La Venganza del Enigma|
|Stunt Fall again|
|Remember the Flintstones?|
|I even met Yogi Bear|
Day two started with a cold rain, a visit to the Opera, The Royal Palace (Palacio Real), the Almudena Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Maria La Real de la Almudena), then to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The latter was really impressive and the timing was great, since that night exactly Real Madrid was playing there against Atletico de Madrid, for the King’s Cup (Copa del Rey) Final, so I got to witness the preparations for the big event. The next stop was the Zoo Aquarium- after a lovely experience at the Rome Zoo last year, this one was a must. By the time I got there it started raining heavily and the fact that it was in the open was, as you can imagine, not very helpful, so I had to take shelter until it stopped- for like an hour and a half. Apart from that, the Zoo was great- they had this gorgeous white Bengal tiger, lions, pandas (including red pandas), koalas, lemurs and many, many others, all very well taken care of. I particularly enjoyed the lemurs- they would actually let you enter their area and interract with them. I thought they were so funny, taking shelter from the rain and trying to get dry in the sun afterwards. (you can see pictures below) The next thing I did was take the teleferic and get an overall image of the city from up high. It was not as impressive as I expected, as the crossed area wasn’t all that nice. That night was the night of the Copa del Rey game, so the streets and bars were packed. It was a real pleasure to get a taste of the atmosphere of such an important event.
Ziua 2 a inceput cu o ploaie rece, o vizita la Opera, Palacio Real, o vizita la catedrala Almudena, apoi la Santiago Bernabeu. Stadionul este cu adevarat impresionat, iar momentul a fost mai mult decat bine ales, pentru ca, tocmai in seara aceea urma sa se desfasoare Finala Cupei Regelui, confruntare dintre Real Madrid si Atletico Madrid, asa ca am putut asista la pregatirile pentru acest eveniment chiar de la fata locului. Urmatoarea escala a fost la Zoo Aquarium- dupa experienta frumoasa cu Bioparco din Roma de anul trecut, aceasta era un must. Cand am ajuns acolo, deja ploaia se intetise, asa a am fost nevoita sa ma adapostesc undeva pentru aproximativ o ora si jumatate. Trecand peste asta, mi-a placut mult la Zoo Aquarium: am vazut un tigru bengalez alb absolut superb, lei, ursi panda (inclusiv panda rosu), koala, lemuri si multe, multe alte animale, toate foarte bine ingrijite. Lemurii au fost preferatii mei- puteai sa intri in spatiul destinat lor si, sub supravegherea unui ingrijitor, chiar sa interactionezi cu ei. M-am amuzat observand cum se adaposteau de ploaie si cum isi uscau blanita la soare dupa aceea (gasiti fotografii mai jos). M-am oprit apoi la teleferic, pentru o imagine de ansamblu asupra orasului. Nu a fost impresionant, cum ma asteptam, pentu ca zona strabatuta nu avea nimic deosebit, iar principalele obiective se vedeau din departare. A fost seara Cupei Regelui, cu strazi si baruri pline de localnici si turisti si atmosfera electrizanta.
|Baby Elephant. Cute, isn't he?|
|Lemurs taking shelter from the rain|
|And another one|
|White Bengal Tiger|
|Lemurs drying in the sun|
Third and final day. It happened to be Museum Day- the entrance was free to all museums. I could but take advantage of it, so, first thing in the morning, after visiting Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Cibeles, I was headed to Prado. Lots of people were taking advantage of the free entrace, so the place was crowded. My intention was to visit the Reina Sofia museum also and admire masterpieces by Dali and Picasso, but the queue in front of it was huge, so I decided to head elsewhere. I therefore walked to the Debod Temple and Plaza de Espana, then stopped at a mall for some shopping. Before you know it, it was time to pack for my return. If I ever return someday, I plan to take a trip to Toledo and the surroundings. If you get the chance to visit this amazing city, don’t miss it!
Ziua a treia si ultima s-a intamplat sa fie Ziua Muzeelor, cu acces gratuit in toate muzeele. Am profitat si, dis de dimineata, dupa opriri scurte in Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol si Plaza Cibeles, aflate in imprejurimi, m-am indreptat catre Prado. Acolo, multa lume, localnici si turisti, toti profitand de intrarea gratuita. Intentionam sa vizitez si muzeul Reina Sofia, pentru a admira opere semnate Dali si Picasso, insa coada de la intrare era imensa, asa ca am renuntat. De acolo m-am plimbat pana la templul Debod si Plaza de Espana, apoi am hoinarit printr-un mall. La urmatoarea vizita in Madrid mi-am propus sa vad Toledo si imprejurimile. Este un oras plin de viata, cu personalitate si oameni frumosi, care merita vizitat!
|Puerta del Sol|
|Templo de Debod|
|Plaza de Espana|
|On Gran Via at night|