Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Parque de Berlín

On my final day in Madrid—a Sunday—before my flight back to the U.S. (after a year living in France), Damien, Gregorio, and I strolled around in Parque de Berlín (Berlin Park) after lunch.

I had never been there before, nor remembered hearing about it the years I lived in Madrid. A pretty standard Madrid park, it's up in Chamartín, just east of Bernabéu Stadium:

Berlin Park Madrid - Map

The main fountain features three parts of the Berlin Wall.

We saw this bear statue, representing Berlin, and apparently the park also has a Beethoven statue—but we didn't go past it on our stroll.


What: Berlin Park
Where: Av. de Ramón y Cajal, 2, 28016
Metro: Concha Espina (Line 9)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Matadero Madrid

I was also surprised to discover that I'd never gone to (nor really heard much about) Matadero Madrid during my two years living in the city. So on my most recent visit last month, it was a must-see destination.

Located near the Legazpi metro stop (lines 3, 6), Matadero Madrid is a free cultural center that used to be an old slaughterhouse. There are many buildings and outdoor areas that make up the complex, and is well worth a visit in my opinion.

You'll find movies (in the cineteca), galleries, exhibitions, workshops, libraries, work tables, food stands, local artists selling work, and more.


What: Matadero Madrid
Where: Centro de Creación Contemporánea; Plaza de Legazpi, 8
Metro: Legazpi (Lines 3, 6)
Hours: The plaza and Matadero street are open for pedestrians every day from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. However, many exhibitions and activities are in the afternoon: Tuesday to Friday, 4 - 9 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; closed Mondays 
Price: Entrance is free. Cineteca tickets are 3.50 euros each.
  • Check for the day's events on the website (on the right side, underneath the calendar, where it says "Hoy [date]").
  • Here's a map of the various spaces and entrances.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Parque El Capricho

This past Saturday, I walked from Pueblo Nuevo to Parque El Capricho, a park I'd surprisingly never been to before. 

It's very close to Parque Juan Carlos I and the airport, but it had somehow escaped my presence both years I lived in Madrid.

They count people as you enter, since there's a cap at 1,000 people. When I entered, the woman asked me if I had any food in my bag ("¿Lleva algo de comer?") , and I said no. (I did have a snack, but it was for later, post-park!) You can't eat food in the park—no picnics here—so just be aware that they may ask you the same thing.

I brought along my kindle, notebook, and watercolors, and thus passed several peaceful hours either sitting on benches beside the gardens, walking through the park, or reading in the grass.


What: Parque El Capricho
Where: Paseo Alameda de Osuna, 25; Madrid 28042
Metro: El Capricho (Line 5)
Hours (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays):
  • October 1 - March 31: 9:00-18:30
  • April 1 - September 30: 9:00-21:00
Map: Click here for PDF of park
Price: Free!
Tips: Below are a few park rules that are helpful to know ahead of time.
  • Animals are not permitted in the park.
  • Riding bikes and rollerblades/skateboards are also not permitted.
  • You can't eat in the park.
  • You can't play ball in the park.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Last Friday Gregorio and I went to Chinchón, which is a small town just southeast of Madrid.

Our first stop was at the castle, which is closed to visitors.

It was neat that while looking out to the fields northwest of the castle, we could see the four towers of Madrid, as pictured below:

On our way to find lunch, we happened upon this cool shop, La Ruta Natural, where the guy working was cooking his lunch out front with a solar oven.

Lunch was a delicious 3-course menu del día for 10 euros.

First course:

Second course:

(By the way, it's been so long since I've lived in Spain, that I was surprised when our waitress opened and left an entire bottle of wine on the table for me, the one who'd picked wine. I'd totally forgotten that some places do that!)


The restaurant was just off of the plaza de toros, which was being used as a parking lot since there weren't any bull fights that week.

Lunch gave me a total food coma, so I rested on a bench for about 40 minutes until I could walk again.

Gregorio, of course, captured the scene.

Then we headed higher up near the cathedral (closed), which offered a nice view of the town and plaza de toros.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I'm back again! (for a limited time)

Yup, I'm in Madrid! My last visit had been just over a year go, last July (that's when I'd had that unbelievable surprise from one of the gas & electric companies here...)

Lunch in Chinchón last Friday

After-lunch tea in Pueblo Nuevo yesterday

And I'll be seeing two more madrileño friends (from 2009) on Thursday!

Is anyone in Madrid still reading and want to meet up? I have Wednesday and potentially the whole weekend free—pending Gregorio's plans.